What inspired you to start your own brand?
I have always had a love affair with shoes and dreamed of running my own business designing shoes. As a new mum I struggled to find baby shoes that ticked all the boxes, for me that was a thoughtfully designed shoe that was environmentally kind and still beautiful. Realising this didn’t exist we set out to create it, locally! I had just arrived back from a Footwear Design School in Italy, and had a baby on the way so I got the best of both worlds… starting a business I was passionate about, while having the flexibility to work on my own terms when our baby arrived.
How did you go about launching Two of a Kind Shoes?
After much research and development around the materials and design for our shoes, we finally landed on a product we were really happy with. We really wanted our shoes to be made from materials that were sustainable and durable so finding the right leather was paramount to the process. Two of a Kind was launched on Instagram followed by the release of our first collection on our website.
What has been one of the biggest challenges that you have faced since starting, and what have you learned from it?
Running a small business means you wear all kinds of hats! I think balancing all areas of the business and learning the areas that aren’t naturally my strengths has been a challenge but one that has been really interesting. As a designer I love all the creative side of running a business but there is naturally so much more to it than that, it’s a bit of a juggling act but a very rewarding one.
What makes Two of a Kind Shoes unique?
We are creating shoes for your little ones that are not only beautiful but kind to our environment. Our shoes are all individually handcrafted and hand painted here in Wellington, New Zealand, using beautiful high quality materials that are environmentally friendly and ethically sourced.
What advice would you give others who are wanting to start a business?
Believe in what you are doing otherwise you won’t be willing to put in the work and go for it!! You can start small, it gives you the ability to easily adapt and evolve as you grow.
Why do you think it is important to support local businesses?
Both in New Zealand and Australia there are so many people doing amazing things! 2020 was a great teacher for getting people to look closer to home for things they want and need. Buying local means building your local community, as you support a local business they are in turn able to give back to the local community. And it’s often a far more sustainable way of shopping too!
What do you love most about running your own business?
I love the freedom it gives me, I can work on my own terms! I have complete creative freedom and it’s cool to work on something I am passionate about. Hearing from happy customers is the absolute best, when someone loves what you have created it makes it all worth it. And seeing babies in my shoes is the sweetest thing.