It was 8 months ago that Polyvore held a contest with simplysoles.com. Since then Simply Soles has been a very unique and popular brand. Many sets are created daily using items from Simply Soles, but just who is Simply Soles? Well i had the honor and privilege to interview Founder and creator, Kassie Remple. This red head beauty has created a genius way women can find a "Sole" mate.
Kassie has also designed her own line of awesome shoes called "Lilibee" inspired by her children, her line makes women feel sexy, chic and comfortable. A while back i received a lovely package, inside was a cool pair of shoes from the Lilibee collection. I am a fan of heels, and most make my feet hurt, but these are light, airy and so comfortable, and not to mention the lovely baggie the shoes come in. So well packed with a cute card "SimpySoles" and it's trademark logo. Enjoy the inspirational interview below.
When and how did you start simplysoles?
I started SimplySoles in September 2004 out of a passion for shoes and a desire to have at-home access to them. I wanted a boutique with the owner’s perspective on fashion. Doing a lot of catalog shopping at the time, the lack of attention to accessories in fashion catalogs drove me crazy. I couldn’t see details of the product despite potentially spending hundreds of dollars for a pair of shoes. So I decided that I needed to build what I wanted to shop from – a catalog and online boutique offering a carefully edited collection of shoes, handbags, and other accessories. It took about a year to design the first catalog, and educate myself about how to design, print, mail a catalog – but the first ones shipped in September 2004 and with some shoes, a tape gun, and a 1-800 number, my business began.
When you think back to when u started simply soles, was this how you pictured it would be like?
HAH! I got some great advice from someone in the catalog industry (Andrew Newsome from Wisteria.com). He said to take my expense and quadruple them. And take my projected sales and slash them in half. He said “maybe then you’ll be close” to what you can expect from running a catalog. He was right. And even though I was forewarned, it was still a loooong road to profitability. It’s the reason why people don’t just casually start catalogs. That’s a steep learning curve and requires a substantial capital investment.
Did you always have a passion for shoes?
My passion for shoes wasn’t really palpable until I started working after college and had the income to make my own meaningful purchases. I am a CPA by trade and worked for Ernst & Young about 15 years ago when “business casual” wasn’t yet invented. I wore suits daily (in the form of black, blue and gray) and I could only express myself through my accessories. There was a bet in the office as to how many pairs of black shoes I owned. I began to realize how much of an impact shoes have on an outfit, and that’s when my passion was solidified. I was working so much I didn’t have time to physically go to stores, so that’s when I started dreaming of my ideal shoe shopping experience.
If you were not in the art of making fabulous shoes, what would you be doing?
Raising my children. I have a 2 and 3 year old. It takes something I’m passionate about to keep me away from wanting to be with them all day long. They wear me out, but the love they give in return is immediate gratification for the trying or tiring days. It’s not like that at work, but I obviously still enjoy it so that’s why I continue to do it. That – and I feel loyal to my customers who rely on me each season, just as they are loyal to me.
Your own line Lillybee was inspired by your children, what else inspires you to design shoes?
Running after my children. Seriously, I wanted to design a collection that fit good, felt good, and was affordable. I’m chasing something or someone down daily, so wedges are a staple in my wardrobe and I think they can be hard to find.
Any advice you want to give anyone else who wants to get into designing shoes?
People ask me all the time if they can design a shoe and I’ll make it for them. While some companies, like Nike, can do that, most factories aren’t set up to make one single pair of shoes. So if you want to get into designing, think about the business decisions that come after the design. Where are the shoes going to be produced? How are you going to sell them? If you just want to design, then maybe heading to a fashion house would be the best place to start. Many times manufacturing and distributing the shoes are far more difficult than designing them.
How would you describe your style? Do you only wear simply soles?
Yes – giving that I design my own collection to fit my lifestyle and I also work with the other designers I carry, like Bettye Muller, Butter, Chie Mihara, to design exclusive styles available only at SimplySoles.com, I don’t feel the need to wear anything but that which I carry. My style is fairly simply: invest in quality staples and great accessories. I have a few pair of great jeans, a few white button-downs, some great costume jewelry and naturally my shoes. It’s simple and clean, and the accessories tell the story.
Last but not least, because i love candy and always curious about what sweets people love the most, I want to know
what is your favorite Guilty Pleasure? (candy, sweets)
I have a sweet tooth the size of the grand canyon (and a few cavities that large too…lol!). My favorite food is a warm KrispyKreme doughnut and my favorite candy is Harbo Raspberries/Blackberries.
Thank you Kassie. oxox. Also below check out some Simply Soles polyvore sets featuring their fall collection. To DIE for. OMG check out those gor'juss boots..Yum, Feet candy!
Some more polyvore sets featuring simplysoles