I recently caught up with Dawn, who is on her way to living every fashionista’ss dream with the launch of her online shoe boutique www.aussiegirlsloveshoes.com.au (AGLS)
I am so inspired by people who can turn their dreams into a reality, and seriously, who wouldn’t love to design and sell shoes for a living
Tell us about the history behind the brand?
I started the brand in April 2011 but only coming to launch my designs October 2012. I faced many “upheel” battles trying to find suppliers and get myself up and running while also managing a full-time job as a neuroscientist, and getting through rehabilitation for a sprained back which happened late last year. I set-up the company because I realised Australian women didn’t have the same access to reasonably priced, good quality unique fashion shoes as women in the US and Europe. I have been blogging about my journey since the first “bumps” last year and you can read the tricky, funny and sometimes ridiculous challenges I faced on my blog at www.aussiegirlsloveshoes.com.au/blog
The first thing I did when I decided I had to pursue my dream of designing shoes and owning a shoe store was to go into Borders Bookstore (which was still open then) and buy a book called “How to Start an Online Business for Dummys”. That’s literally where it all began and after countless networking and professional development events, courses etc I got to where I am today which is with uniquely designed, quality products, made from European leather, available for sale in my boutique. It’s all very exciting (and scary) for me.
Where do you source your inspiration? And how do they influence your design?
Inspired by my long-term love affair with all things French, the collection is inspired by French feminine chic style. I connect closely with the statement “Fashion appeals to many – but style is individual”, French author Véronique Vienne. Each AGLS style is named after a French city, like St Etienne or province, the Bordeaux. I like to think that when an Aussie girl buys a pair of my shoes, they are kind of buying an overseas experience, without the price tag!
Talk us through your design process from drawing board to in-store/online?
I sketch my designs simply with a sketch pad and pencils, using colour and textile swatches provided to me by the manufacturers. They can source accessories for me and I am provided guidance by them on the “engineering” of the shoes, in that, if a design feature I’m after will not translate into a quality, long-lasting shoe they very kindly advise on better modifications to my get close to my desired features.
I agree with Dawn that us Aussie’s don’t have the same access to high quality AND reasonably priced shoes. Sure…we can go budget and buy from chain stores (nothing wrong with that, they make up half my wardrobe – but they will rarely last more than a season or two), or we have to spend a month’s wage to buy heels from high end fashion labels
AGLS gives us a chance to have a little bit of French chic style and quality in our shoe collection, for a fraction of the cost.
Since the website was launched earlier this month, I have had my eye on 3 styles;
Bordeaux - A funky T-Bar take on a classic pump. A little bit sassy, but still subtle enough to wear to the office
Cannes – A sophisticated printed flat that my swollen pregnant feet are dying for
If you are after high quality, reasonably priced, and fabulously stylish shoes… Check out Aussie Girls Love Shoes For a limited time only, AGLS are offering a 10% discount to KarinaXOXO readers using "karinaxoxo" code.
For any Melbourne ladies, you can still take advantage of a free blow wave from VA Hair & Makeup with any purchase. Check out AGLS facebook for more details
This post is my own opinion and I was not remunerated or sponsored for this feature. For my information see my disclosure information