For stiletto loving Missy's, comfy couture never looked so good!

Hi all!  Let me introduce myself first. My first name is Sotiria (it rhymes with cafeteria, just with an “O” instead of the “A”).  I’m 27 yrs old now, but when I started my entrepreneurship journey I was 24.  It’s been a long, long road but a rather exciting one and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wasn’t born an entrepreneur, but as soon as I began working for myself, I realized how much I loved it, and here I am today with my own company and spilling allllll the secrets!

 

The Concept

In August 2005, at 22 years old, I was in Las Vegas with four of my girlfriends getting away for the weekend.  Las Vegas is a greattttt place, if any of you haven’t been there, you MUST!  Our plans for the evening were dinner and dancing at Body English (now called Vanity).  All of us were getting dressed putting on our finest outfits and shoes, of course. I grabbed heels that I have never worn but planned to wear with an outfit that matched them.  As soon as I put the heels on, I knew it was a disaster waiting to happen.  These were 15 minute shoes, as I like to call them, and they were literally unbearable.  I try and hold my own with painful heels but sometimes the pain is just too much and I need a break.  I made a quick purse change and grabbed large rubber flip-flops to place in my bag to change into.  Guess what, as soon as I stepped foot into the venue, I transformed into the ugly shoe stepsister.  Anyone who knows me knows I never, ever, ever wear flip-flops.  These were the culprit:

 

 

 

This is when it hit me:

 

Me: “This sucks, not Vegas material. Got to be a better way.”

 

Little birdy in my ear: “How about stylish flats that fold?”

 

Me: “Yes!!! That’s what this world is missing.”

 

So, as soon as I came back from Vegas, I started sketching and researching. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but I knew it needed to be done and it would help many women.  

 

But, and a big BUT, I was in college, and I didn’t go to a business college where I was prepared for all of this.  I went to

Stony Brook University, home of the magical sea creature – the Seawolf.  I majored in Health Science with a concentration in Nuclear Medicine (it sounds cooler than it really is).  I graduated in 2006 and from 2006-2007 I did a clinical rotation in hospitals and private clinics.  This is what really pushed me and made me think “I need to work for myself; I can’t let my destiny lie in someone else’s hands.”

 

I rotated for 3 months at a hospital (I won’t mention the name of the hospital or the people) and it was 3 months of HELL!!  I attribute all my motivation to this one experience, so even though it was horrible, I would never change what I went through.  The supervisor in the Radiology department that was in charge of the students, lets call her Tina, was such a miserable person.  She was a negative, nasty, anxiety through the roof, hyperthyroid, evil person.  (Side note- for those of you that have never seen a person with hyperthyroidism – they are skinny, hyperactive, eyes coming out of their sockets, if you see someone running around like a chicken without a head – you’ll know what I’m talking about.)  Tina didn’t like me very much; it was almost as if she had something against me.  I've never been the person to suck up and keep my mouth shut (it has gotten me into a few troubles) so whenever I felt violated, I said something, and maybe this is the reason why Tina had it in for me.  Still, to this day, I don’t know why I was disliked by this lady. 

 

Now, you get the picture.  Because of this, I knew instantly I could never work for someone like this, nor would I ever treat someone like this.  So, entrepreneurship was my way out, and I knew I had the drive and determination to make it happen. 

 

Another note about my background, my mom was an apparel designer.  She was born and raised in

Greece and was sewing wedding dresses to clients by the time she was 15.  When she came to the states and had kids, she began making children’s clothes and started selling them to small boutiques.  I grew up walking to showrooms, factories, (which were all in NYC twenty years ago) fabric stores, Bloomingdales and Saks.  However, she gave up her vision to take care of my brother and me.

 

This is going to be a blog showing everyone a behind the scenes look at what it takes to not only develop a product from scratch, but also how to develop a brand with staying power and legs to grow.  Currently, I am also writing a book about the steps I took to start my own brand and business, and this blog will highlight key points from my journey. All the marketing, PR, the development process, dealing with

China, events, sales, etc.  All the glittery details will be right here on the journey of a Soloprenette!

 

So, go ahead, read, pass the info along, and ask me any questions you might have.  I will always respond.

 

Until next time,

Sotiria

 

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