From Google to glamour

Shoes_of_Prey_JodieSydney based company Shoes of Prey has harnessed the power of the internet to create something wonderful – custom designed shoes. SFO talked to co-founder and director of fashion Jodie Fox (pictured) about an unusual but highly successful combustion of web smarts and delectable heels.

When was Shoes of Prey founded and what has its growth been like since?

Shoes of Prey went live (after a nine month gestation period!) in October 2009. Growth has exceeded our expectations with over a million unique visitors to the site and sales beyond our projections.

What part did founders’ understanding of the World Wide Web play in launching shoes of prey?

It definitely played a big part. Both of the Michaels [Michael Fox – co-founder and director of operations and Mike Knapp – co-founder and director of technology]
had been working at Google and brought with them skills that have been absolutely integral to our business. Mike Knapp had been working as a software engineer and therefore had the skills to develop our shoe designer and website. Although he’s very modest he is extremely talented – besides being able to do the production side of things, he is also able to create a Shoes_of_Prey_w300website that operates clearly from a communications/design point of view. Michael Fox had been working in advertising sales and so brought with him an intimate understanding of Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Marketing, which has been brilliant for underpinning all of our marketing and PR work. Generally speaking, both are well-versed in all things online.

How have you advertised or promoted the brand since launching?

We’ve really focussed our efforts on PR and social media. There’s definitely value in more traditional advertising, but you may have seen that we were voted a finalist in the TechCrunch best boot-strapped start up in 2009, so as you can assume, we don’t have the marketing budget that’s needed for that kind of advertising.

What’s new at Shoes of Prey at the moment?

We’re looking to hire a full-time staff member in Australia, you can check out the job description at our website (below). We’re also in the final stages of preparing for our launch in Japan, while 2010 is the year of cracking some vegan shoe options as well…!

Any shoe trend predictions you’d like to share?

Shoes_of_Prey_2_w300Yes – this winter try out socks with high heels and make sure you own a pair of dark purple heels. Moving into summer, nude patent leather is essential. Marc Jacobs didn’t show any heels in his last collection, suggesting that we’re moving away from the teetering heights of the last 18 months – but I personally don’t see this trend ending just yet! We’re also keeping on with heavier shaped heels and thick straps, but the studs and heavy-duty, metallic footwear embellishments both seem to be finally falling off the radar – we’re now exploring heavier heels and thick straps in a more feminine way.


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