Who can resist a pair of baby shoes?? Especially ones that are handmade! Roxanne Bryan sent me a pair of the pre-walkers she creates for her line, Bella Simone, and having just struggled through Halloween costume making, I am incredibly impressed with the craftsmanship. Super soft leather on the outside and suede on the inside, these shoes are comfortable, fashionable, little attention getter's. How does a mom turn a need into a business? Check out our Q&A with Roxanne below!
How long have you been in business?
I started by creating purses and hair accessories for friends and family which spurred me to create an Etsy store. I fully transitioned to baby shoes in August 2014.
What prompted you to start it?
When my son (EJ) was around 4 months old and time came for him to be out of the socks and knitted booties phase, I found it difficult to find cute shoes for him. For a while, he was stuck wearing colorful socks when we took him out because I simply refused to buy what was available at the popular retail stores. To be honest, my husband’s sense of style is far better than mine, and he too was finding it difficult to shop for EJ. I bought a new sewing machine and dabbled in suede and fabric baby shoes at first, then transitioned to implement leather in the designs.
What sets these baby shoes apart from some of the others out there?
The handmade market seems to be saturated with “baby moccs” and I wanted a man’s shoe in a miniature version for my son, to look like his daddy. I implement the ‘cute’ factor in the booties we produce, but the shoes are meant to be stylish mini boots for little guys. Recently, moms have begun asking for girl versions of our shoes, so we did a Candy Pink bootie, which is popular with the baby girls. We intend to extend the line to include more little girl booties for the Spring collection.
Where is your production facility or do you work out of your home?
I currently still work out of my home. My family has been very patient with me for the most part. I have a dedicated section of the home for production, but most meetings end up on the living room sofa with a box of Dominos pizza!
What is the process for making a Bella Simone original?
It starts with getting my thoughts on paper. I am always doodling on my mini moleskine notepad, which goes everywhere with me. I am a fashion major; my first degree is in Fashion Marketing (which my husband teases is simply a degree to shop! … MEN!!) so I peruse the Spring and Fall collections from major and avante garde designers. Most of my early designs did not make the cut and got vetoed by my team. This, our introductory collection, was meant to stand out for being classic and stylish, but future collections will also include a more trendy, spunky and flirty (for girls) feel.
Posted on Mon, November 3, 2014
by Elise Edwards filed under