When I got assigned to interview Jodie Fox from Shoes of Prey, I got very excited. I loved the concept and also really admired Jodie for her entrepreneurial nature.
She truly is the definition of beauty and brains. Not only is she the Co-founder of Shoes of Prey but by trade is a banking and finance lawyer who has now followed her passion and has made it a huge success.
I got to chat to Jodie and ask her a few questions…
Tell us about yourself?
“I grew up in Lismore, which is country New South Wales. My home town “city proper” has two blocks. I am the granddaughter of Sicilian immigrants who prized education and family above all.
I spent my childhood heavily immersed in creativity, by my own choice. I started ballet at just 2 and a half years old and continued it all the way through to my final years of high school, very nearly pursuing a career on the stage.
My mother and father worked hard to provide a solid education both through school and travel. We spent occasional winters in Sicily getting to know our family, and on my part being inspired by the Italian way of life. The colours, patterns… I still reference these shapes in my work today.”
“I was always fiercely independent. I knew I wanted something of my own. I remember telling my mother at eight years old that I was ready to move out, into the cubby house. Of course, she didn’t let that eventuate, but that independence and drive was always there.”
“As the first to go to university in my family, I studied law and international business after which I became a banking and finance lawyer – A place where my heart was absolutely unhappy. Knowing my family cared about my happiness as much as my success I turned from practising law to advertising, before starting my own business.”
How did you come up with the idea of “Shoes of Prey” and how did you make it happen?
“I was solving a problem of my own – I’d always liked shoes, but I never loved them because I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. Either it wasn’t quite the right colour, there was an embellishment I didn’t like, not quite the right heel height… Anyway, when I was travelling, in the same way that you find someone who will make a custom suit for you, I found someone with whom I could commission shoe designs.
My shoe collection became exciting, and my girlfriends asked me where I was getting my footwear. When I explained, they asked me to create shoes for them too. Concurrently, my two business partners Mike and Michael were at Google and becoming excited about the opportunities in online retail. They just needed an idea. We all came together, and Shoes of Prey was born.”
Having come from a background in law, was it hard leaving your corporate job to start your own business, in a different field?
“I went from Law into advertising for about two years, during which time we came up with the idea for Shoes of Prey. The courage to jump from law happened when I received a brief that just absolutely made my heart sink. The AHA moment going from advertising to Shoes of Prey happened after a very long lunch with Mike and Michael (without any alcohol) where we realised collectively that we needed to fail fast if we were going to fail, and failure wasn’t all that scary. But, ‘what if’ was incredibly scary.”
What would your advice be to someone starting out their own business?
“Do everything before you’re ready – especially in e-tailing, the pace is lightning fast, you can’t afford to miss a moment. And, focus. Strong, disciplined focus.”
Not only do you run the social media for “Shoes of Prey” but you also have your own website and youtube channel, I see you are always replying which is something I appreciate but how do you have time?
“I now have a person who runs the social media for Shoes of Prey, and I dip into it from time to time because I love connecting with our customers and shoe lovers. I do always reply, because I know what it’s like to be on the other end of hoping someone will reply to you when you have a question you think that they can help you with.
Regarding finding the time – For me, the answer is to schedule everything and prioritise well. If I could, I would reply every day, but sometimes I have to put other tasks ahead of this.”
To keep up with Jodie and her endeavours make sure you are following her on Instagram. For all the latest news with what is going on with Shoes of Prey keep up to date via their Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Dont you feel like making and buying a pair of custom made shoes now, I kinda do! 🙂