Readers – today you are in for a treat. I recently had the opportunity to interview an up- and-coming new footwear designer, Jordana Silver. Jordana is the brains behind an ingenious new concept in footwear – basic black ballet flats that can be customized with an array of unique shoe clips, called bisous.
I am so proud to call Jordana my friend. We met over 15 years ago when we both attended the University of Toronto as undergrads. I’m in awe of Jordana and what she has accomplished since then. I’m continually impressed by her courage, her creativity, her passion and her drive.
I’ll let Jordana tell you more about herself and the concept of her shoes. I hope you enjoy the interview!
Tell us a little bit about your background in fashion and design.
My love of fashion actually began when I was a little girl and my mother took me to Creeds on Bloor Street every weekend. Growing up, I had aspirations to be a lawyer and then when at University of Toronto I had a change of heart and wanted to pursue a career that I felt would offer me more creativity. I applied to Parsons School of Design in NYC. While in school I interned for established designers like Eskandar, Cynthia Rowley and Michael Kors. Once I finished my degree I was hired by Michael Kors. I worked on several of their design teams with Michael over the course of 7 years and also worked in corporate sales for the brand.
How did you first come up with the concept of the bisous?
I have a true love for shoes! When I was traveling for Michael Kors I would visit different stores and always found myself stealing a few minutes in the women’s shoe departments. Unfortunately, I would always leave disappointed. The shoes I coveted were out of my price point. I could not purchase as often as I wanted either and when I did in fact buy the shoes were black and basic because they were so versatile. I felt like I was missing out on the latest trends and not having fun with my shoes and ultimately fashion is supposed to be fun! I knew if I was feeling this way, so too were other women. I also knew the economy changed over the last few years and that the trend of accessorizing had become huge. My solution to create a brand around the shoe clip seemed like an amazing solution and worked with what was going on in the market place.
Where do you find inspiration for new bisous?
I find inspiration everywhere. The bisous can be sophisticated or fun and whimsical. I definitely pay attention to current trends and those on their way but I also will see someone wearing something down the street and an idea will come to mind. I had the opportunity to vintage shop this summer in Paris and that was such a treat!
How do you think that the Jordana Silver shoe can play a role in the life of a busy mom?
I cannot think of a better shoe collection for busy moms. The flats were designed to have a great shape but we paid careful attention to comfort! There is memory foam in each shoe and everyone tells me they live in the flats because they are so comfortable. Beyond comfort, what could be more appealing to moms on the go than a shoe where you play designer and get the latest trends without sacrificing quality or design for a fraction of the cost of designer shoes?! Moms still want to be on trend. When all my friends started having babies, I repeatedly heard that their priorities changed. This is a product where moms can indulge without the guilt and do something fun and luxurious for themselves.
Do you have any quick and easy fashion tips for moms?
Absolutely. I actually use these for myself and think they are universal for all women including moms.
- Show off your assets. Sounds simple but figure out what you love about yourself (everyone has something) and show it off. My waist is the smallest part of my body so I wear flattering silhouettes that draw attention to my waist.
- Stay true to yourself and don’t be a victim to trends. If you wear something you are uncomfortable in you will be pulling at your clothes all day long. Don’t worry about trends. Wear what works for you and makes you feel your best. Fashion is supposed to accentuate the positive and make you feel great.
- Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize! I may be partial but accessorizing helps keep things simple and on trend. Color is making a statement right now. Get a colorful scarf to pop any outfit. Buy an amazing bold necklace you love and it will update any outfit. Or have fun with your shoes and accessorize them with bisous. Accessorizing is a great way to feel like you are on trend without over spending.
What are some of the challenges you faced in starting your own business?
There were so many challenges. I really had to learn everything as I went. Probably the biggest challenge was tackling everything predominately on my own. I had some mentors I could call on for guidance and that was great but a lot needed to be learned and figured out as I tackled issues. You never understand how much is involved in a business until you launch one.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs? Especially women entrepreneurs?
- I would encourage female entrepreneurs to trust their gut. Just like moms know what is best for their children, you probably know what is best for your business.
- I would suggest you view each problem as a minor set back with a solution. Every time an issue arises, I know there is a solution and I go into problem solving mode. Being an entrepreneur is a lot about one’s ability to react quickly and calmly.
- Lastly I encourage female entrepreneurs to stay passionate and positive. People react to the energy you project.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I definitely appreciate downtime and simple pleasures. I enjoy spending time with friends, trying great restaurants, and exploring the streets of New York.
Where do you see yourself 5 or 10 years from now?
I would love to see my business grow. I have a few exciting projects I am working on that hopefully I can share with your readers soon enough. The truth is I am really open to seeing how things develop. One never knows what opportunity will present itself and that is part of the fun of having your own business.
Where can my readers purchase your shoes? When will they be available in Canada?
My shoes will be available on Fab.com from today (Saturday) for four days only. Fab.com ships to Canada and the US. You can also purchase shoes and bisous from my online store www.jordanasilver.com. Also, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone on my team will be happy to help with your orders.
Thank you so much Jordana for taking the time to answer my questions. I love the tip you provided about looking at problems as minor setbacks with solutions. I think this can be applied to any problems that we encounter in life. It can be so beneficial to think positive and look at obstacles we face as learning opportunities.
Readers, I hope you take a look at the Jordana Silver website and purchase a pair of shoes and some bisous. The shoes really make a stylish yet practical addition to any mom’s wardrobe.