Meet Drummer Jodie Fox. Jodie is Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Shoes of Prey, a website which allows customers to design their very own unique pair of shoes, selecting everything from the shape, style, heel height and embellishments, and over 100 diffferent fabric, leather and colour options. It’s a concept Jodie developed after seeking out her own custom made shoes in her twenties.
Partnering with two former Google employees who she met whilst studying law, Mike Knapp and Michael Fox, Jodie launched Shoes of Prey in 2009. Just 5 years on, Shoes of Prey has taken significant investment into the company, and has grown to become a multimillion dollar business. All the shoes are manufactured to the highest quality standards overseas, and shipped directly to customers all over the world. With headquarters in Surry Hills, you can find Jodie doing all of her design, communications and technology work there.
Jodie’s other business, Sneaking Duck is a little more recent, having launched in 2011. Similar in concept to the idea for Shoes of Prey, Sneaking Duck allows customers to select from a wide variety of spectacle frames which are then made to order, with prescription lenses, and shipped directly to customers.
How did the idea for Shoes Of Prey Come About?
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 really 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 really excited about the opportunities in online retail. They just needed an idea. We all came together and Shoes of Prey was born.
What do you consider to be success as an entrepeneur?
That’s exactly it! I think the best entrepreneurs are the ones that solve a problem to an extent that people are happy to pay for that solution. And, so long as the entrepreneur is willing to find ways to continue to make that solution better, more relevant and to evolve with that customer need, it’s a really exciting prospect.
What systems have you set up in your business to help it grow?
Probably the most important are goal setting, forecasting and strong analysis on a very regular basis. I’m not great with numbers, but my Co-Founders Mike and Michael are which has been critical to our success.
If you had to choose one thing, what do you think you’re the best in the world at?
Giving my cat Hunter pats that make her purr instantly!
What was the most exciting/memorable experience as a startup?
This is going to sound really trite, but the first day that we went into our own office. It was this incredible feeling that there was a real tangible place in the world for what we had imagined.
What do you wish someone had told you about being a start-up before you ever started?
It’s going to take so much of you – And you’ll love it and hate it intensely almost every single day. It’s the most personally and professionally revealing experience you will ever have and that takes a whole lot of courage and very little ego. Even then, you might not make it. So focus on the journey and know that whatever happens in the end, that you will learn more than you can ever imagine.
What was your greatest fear when you started your business?
The same fear I have every day of the business – Failure.
What advice do you have for women starting a business?
- Do everything before you’re ready!
- Just make a decision and see what happens…
- Believe passionately in what you are doing!
Head over to the website to see what Jodie has created & what keeps her so passionate about designing shoes worth chasing.
Sheer determination, positivity and a willingness to keep trying are all integral. While those “secrets” aren’t rocket science I can tell you that they are so crucial to running your own business.
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