This week, I’m sharing interviews with some inspiring BusiChics I met while I was in Sydney.
Before we get into it, I’d like to emphasize that this isn’t a sponsored post. The week before I was planning to fly out to Sydney for Voices of 2013, I received an engaging blogger’s outreach email, inviting me to get to know a brand that I’ve been interested in for some years now. Anyone who has an eye on Australian fashion will have seen their articles and collaborations with emerging as well as established Australian fashion labels – continuously going from from strength-to-strength with a business model I can’t seem to get my head around. So clever. So without further ado, let’s dip into the day that I got to visit the team at Shoes of Prey!
Shoes of Prey is an online shoe store where you can custom design your own women’s shoes. Yes, it’s lots of fun and there are trillions of options that customers can play with. All of the shoes are hand-made individually in China and upon my inspection the construction looked superior to their similarly-priced, mass-produced counterparts; I was pleased to see that there was no unsightly glue or wonky stitching. Founders- Mike, Michael and Jodie share their entrepreneurial journey through their own widely-read blog, 22 Michaels. As the story goes, both Mike and Michael were ex-Google and had seen the opportunities presented by online retail. Jodie had been travelling and found someone to custom make shoes for her and found that she was always being asked by friends to custom-make shoes for them. It wasn’t long before these law-school friends put two and two together and come up with the idea for, Shoes of Prey and now their newest venture, Sneaking Duck – an online store specialising in prescription glasses.
I relate to Jodie’s story of starting out her career as a lawyer in the finance industry before following her creative flair to a career in advertising, then finally as an entrepreneur. And I admire their combined stories of traditional study (i.e. law) coupled with learning the ropes that enabled them to embrace new technology, entrepreneurial jumping at opportunity plus a clever mix of creativity. Seriously, how they are able to mass-customise shoes in a country known for its mass-producing technicians is something to marvel at. Plus I was heartened to hear that staff from the Australian office spend months-on-end working in their Chinese factory alongside the workers, sharing the same food and conditions. Thumbs up from me.
My marvelling aside, it was pretty great to get some time with Jodie and photograph her stylish self on the streets of Sydney.
Jodie wears felt Armani cape (the most similar thing I’ve been able to find online is this Bianca Spender number), Givenchy bag, Sneaking Duck sunglasses and shoes from the Shoes of Prey collaboration with iconic Australian fashion designer, Carla Zampatti.
As a busy entrepreneur who has made the change from conservative corporate to the much more flexible wardrobe of entrepreneur, I had a bunch of questions for Jodie which she’s answered here. She’s generously answered quite a few so sit down with a cuppa and enjoy!
What are your thoughts on the traditional corporate power suit? Is it appropriate for aspiring web entrepreneurs?
Well, that depends on how authentically you wear it! If it’s your personality, then you’ll pull it off no matter what. But, if I had to use a broad brush, I’d say no. Generally the entrepreneurial mindset is around breaking or changing something for the better. Given that donning a suit is such an accepted mode of corporate attire, I’d say it is in direct opposition to my personal definition of being an entrepreneur.
Favourite magazines, books, websites, blogs that inspire you?
How long should it take you to get dressed for work?
It takes me anywhere from 20-40 minutes, and I have to style, do hair and makeup to a standard for which I’m happy to be photographed for a style shot each day… so I don’t think it should take longer than that! // follow shoesofprey on instagram to see Jodie’s daily style outfits!- Cheryl
Any skincare or cosmetics that you keep handy at workplace?
Absolutely. I keep the following in my desk drawers:
Perfume (Badgley Mischka’s Couture),
Handcream (Aesop’s Resurrection hand cream),
Lip gloss (Lucas Pawpaw balm)
We also have a beauty bar in the office with essentials for that unexpected Friday night out including nail polish, a hair dryer, straightener, eye liner, mascara, perfume, stockings and body moisturiser. // What a great idea! It makes me wonder whether hair care and cosmetic brands etc have tried to offer companies products to stock in their offices for staff to use? – Cheryl
I personally carry a small kit in my handbag at all times that lets me go seamlessly from yoga to office to night time if needs be.
Jodie’s business travel tips:
Plan exercise into everyday. When you travel for business it’s so easy to run yourself ragged. Plan to exercise with the same commitment you have to brushing your teeth, even it’s just a 30 minute yoga session on a bath towel in your room. I find it clears my mind, stops me from becoming too wired with work and gives me a really productive kind of focus.
Keep a collection of outgoing and incoming passenger cards for destinations you frequent so you can pre-completely them and whip through the channels quickly.
A noise cancelling headset is life changing when it comes to flying.
Think outside of jeans for your suitcase staples – I take my Sass and Bide Blackrats instead – more comfortable, more versatile and arguably, more fashion forward!
The key things Jodie always has in her suitcase:
- Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – makes skin look fresh even when you’re exhausted.
- A great hydrating moisturiser for the flight.
- A beautiful black dress that doesn’t crease (you never know where you may be invited) // yes, I love this tip 😉 – Cheryl
- My felt Armani Cape – the perfect warm, comfort item that looks chic (I’m wearing it in my shot!)
- A soft silk eye mask and soft earplugs for sleeping on the plane.
- Chic flats for pounding the pavement.
- Party heels – self explanatory, I suppose!
- A casual 4 inch wedge heel with a high upper for everything in between – they are so easy to run around in.
- Bounce coconut protein balls – for moments when you’re starving, on the run and no idea where the closest healthy food option is.
If you enjoyed this interview with Jodie, you might also enjoy reading others here finding out more about the businesses that she’s co-founded!:
- Jodie Fox : Sneaking Duck & Shoes of Prey | CBA Women in Focus
- One well-heeled business woman | Australia Unlimited
- JODIE FOX: HUNTING FOR THE PERFECT SHOES OF PREY | Woman.com.au
- Audio Interview with Entrepreneur Jodie Fox | Clever Fox
Thanks for your time, Jodie!
Follow BusinessChic on Instagram +: