Business

This + That

Three, three, three!

Oh hello there lovelies!

I see that it has been awhile since I sat down and wrote a blog post. One year to be exact…oops!

Today I am celebrating Pretty Little Shoes’ third birthday! Say whaaat?! How has it been three years already?! Three years ago I had NO IDEA what I had gotten myself into and was a little, ok, a lot, over my head but with patience and perseverance, here I am three years later, running a successful ladies and little girls home and online based shoe company.

It has become a tradition for me to write a blog post on our birthday so this year I am going to be telling you the story of how exactly Pretty Little Shoes came to be.

All the way back in 2011, I was at a ladies night with my mom. To my surprise there was a lady there selling shoes. After further discussion I learned that her name was Kim Moss and her company name was Head Over Heels. That night I was like an annoying little fly that wouldn’t leave the table. I’m sure I tried on every single pair of shoes Kim had there. I fell in love with a pair of heels - they were zebra patterned but most importantly, they were PINK! Drool, right?! My mom ended up buying them for me as a Christmas gift. Thanks mom!

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That night, Kim had mentioned that she does shoe parties and much like many lady’s reactions I thought, “A shoe party is a thing?! Sign me up!”.

May 17th, 2012 was the date of my first shoe party. I just about had to cancel my party because I was so sick with pneumonia. I remember that night just feeling like garbage, watching all my friends shop while I stood back and just watched. I felt so bad! But my party was a success and I remember getting lots of fabulous shoes for free and 1/2 off!

My haul from my very first shoe party. Can you tell I had a thing for heels?! Are they all just gorgeous?!

My haul from my very first shoe party. Can you tell I had a thing for heels?! Are they all just gorgeous?!

That fall I decided to host another party, a boot party this time. Because it was November 1st, the weather was super crappy. It was snowing and freezing rain - such a terrible combination. That party wasn’t as big as success as my party six months prior but it was still fun and I still got some beautiful boots that are still in mint condition that I wear often!

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Between 2011 and 2016, I purchased most of my shoes from Kim whether it be shopping with her online or at other events and parties. I was hooked on supporting this wonderful company.

In January of 2016 Kim had posted on Facebook that Head Over Heels would be closing down but talked about a business opportunity that she was making available. I won’t go into the specifics but this opportunity intrigued me. At that time in my life I was studying from home and had been looking for an opportunity to make some extra money while studying. I tried traditional direct sales businesses but they just weren’t for me. So after corresponding with Kim for a few days, yes, only a few days, I decided that opening my own shoe company was something that I was wanting to move forward with and accepted the opportunity.

The days and weeks that followed were such a whirlwind. I had to get business licenses, get tax and legal stuff figured out, inventory my stock, book parties, build a website, and other things that make my head spin just reflecting on them. Those first months are still so fresh in my mind. I probably started getting on Kim’s nerves messaging her what seemed like daily with questions.

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Three years later, it is so fun to reflect and look back on how much things have changed from the early Pretty Little Shoes days to now. Back then, I was simply just a ladies shoe company that did shoe parties and shopping appointments. Now, we’re so much more! We sell other products on top of shoes; we not only sell ladies footwear but also sell little girl shoes; we have a wonderful rep Mandalyn; we sell on Amazon; and we travel out of province for events!

To those who have had a piece in Pretty Little Shoes’ first three years, whether it be big like hosting a party or small like ‘liking’ one of our Instagram or Facebook posts, please know what I wouldn’t be where I am today without your support. From the bottom of my heart, THANK-YOU!

To show my appreciation for your support and to celebrate three years in business, all ladies footwear is 25% off using discount code THREEYEARS at checkout. Sale ends January 15th. <3

Here’s to another year of Pretty Little Shoes!

xo Baillie

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This + That

Two Years & Counting

They say time flies when you're having fun. That must be true because I cannot believe it's Pretty Little Shoes's second birthday! Happy Birthday to us!!! 

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Last year on our one year anniversary, I penned a letter of gratitude for your support with my business. And while I am forever grateful for the continued support, this year I thought I would share the top 11 things I have learned over this past year of business.

1| There never is enough hours in a day. There is always another email to respond to, social media post to put up, and more shoes to buy. But knowing myself, I get burned out trying to keep up so knowing my limits has been an asset to running my business.

2| It's ok to be who you are. I struggled with not wanting to overshare about my life on social media and on my website but I learned that people want to know who is behind the business. Sharing more has helped me become more personable and helped me grow my relationships with my customers and business connections.

3| There are going to be days when you want to quit. I have these days...often. I have learned though that I need to trust where God has me and be obedient to Him. Sometimes it takes a few days of being patient and still. But for every reason I want to quit, there are 10 reasons why I shouldn't.

4| Don't underestimate the power of friends who are business owners. These women are your tribe - they understand the ebbs and flows of business and life as a business owner. They are likely the first to support your small business because they understand the value in supporting small and are always there to offer advice and a listening ear when needed.

5| A little competition never hurt anyone. Of course it would be great to have the entire ladies home shoe party market to myself but that is not realistic. Different companies offer different products and each company is run differently. Competition allows me to stay innovative and authentic which is important in business.

6| Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Although competition is healthy, imitation is not. I've had companies copy and paste things from my website, take my hostess program, bring in identical products, and mimic my social media posts. This is not cool and is just downright hurtful. But when another company imitates, it doesn't make me look bad, it makes the other business owner look bad.

7| You don't have to say yes to every opportunity. Every opportunity may lead to more sales and more bookings but sometimes those opportunities are not what's best for you or your business. I have a strong intuition and go with my gut. If something just doesn't feel right, I know to decline the opportunity or even cancel.

8| There is nothing shameful in asking for help. As a relatively independent lady, asking for help is a struggle. However, having an extra set of hands is sometimes needed. I'm so thankful for the helpful hands of my parents, brother, sister, cousin, friends, and boyfriend. All have helped me SO much throughout the year in various ways and have helped me learn that it's ok not to do everything myself.

9| Cancelling an event is not the end of the world. This year I had to cancel one party because my vehicle broke down on the highway while driving to the party. Another party, my hostess orchestrated her own party because I had to go to the emergency room. Neither were ideal scenarios but life happens.

10| Taking time for yourself is essential. This was a mistake I made my first year of business - working up to nine events a week just because I couldn't say no. But by the end of the year I was so burned out I didn't even want to look at another pair of shoes. I never took time for myself; I never saw my friends and I was miserable. At the beginning of the year I decided that I would commit to only doing 4-5 events per week so I could take the time to do things I enjoyed and pay more attention to my relationships. This made a huge difference in my overall happiness.

11| At the end of the day, it's just shoes. Yes, it can be frustrating as a customer when there is a hiccup, but in reality no one is going to die if they have to wait an extra week to receive their order, if there is a quality issue, or if there is an inventory error on our site. I am only human - I make mistakes. No one is perfect and it is unfair for people to assume that we are. We all have lots going on in our lives and sometimes things slip through the cracks. Yes, we feel horrible when they do, but it’s not the end of the world. We just ask for forgiveness, learn from our mistakes and hope we can do better next time.

Friends, thank-you very much for making year two of Pretty Little Shoes a success. Whether you hosted a party, shopped with us, or follow us on social media, I am forever grateful for the impact you have had on my business. I wouldn't be where I am without you. 

And of course, thank-you to my family. Man alive - the support I get from them is out of this world.

Enjoy these never-before-seen photos from the last year! Cheers to another fabulous year. <3

xo Baillie

Me + my mama sitting in the tow truck after my vehicle broke down. :(

Fashion show fun with my good friend Jess from Covered & Co.

Women supporting women. My friends, Dani from Dani's Vintage Designs and Kaitlyn from Spruce Homes coming shopping at Woman's World.

Deciding on our spring stock. One of the most difficult parts of my job. Seriously.

Two of my happy helpers - my brother Ryan + cousin Noah.

My not-so-happy helper. Love you Noah! ;)

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This + That

11 Reasons Why You Should Shop with Us

I am beyond grateful for those who choose to support Pretty Little Shoes, whether it be following us on Facebook or Instagram, shopping with us, or hosting a party. In this week's blog, I'm sharing 11 reasons why you should shop with us (and the impact of your support).

1| You are supporting a small business

You're not paying a CEO's wage; you're helping me pay my bills, buy food, and enable me to further my education. 

2| You're supporting our local economy

Supporting our local economy allows for job growth, development, and innovation. Think about this - when you pay sales tax on our items, the money goes back to the community, repairing our roads, supporting our schools, police, and other services.  

4| You're giving back to the community

We currently have three organizations that we support. Locally, we donate shoes to The Princess Shop and internationally we support Water For Good and Angel House

5| You're getting some of the cutest & fashion forward products

Every item we carry is carefully selected to ensure they meet my standards as well as your standards. If they're not cute, comfy, and practical, they just won't do.

6| We're a one stop shop

Shop for you and you're little girl all at one place. Plus, we carry accessories - bracelets, boot cuffs, and boot socks! And don't forget about our gift certificates, which are available in many different increments.

7| You won't break the bank

We keep our products affordable so if you have a tight budget or want to purchase one of everything, we can accommodate you!

8| You can shop in the comfort of your living room (or a girlfriends)

The beauty of a shoe party is we bring the shoe store to you!

9| You can earn shoes for FREE and 1/2 off

Who doesn't love free stuff?!

10| Our products are unique

You likely won't find our brands in stores or on many other ladies feet. We only order a small amount of each style to keep our product line fresh. 

11| We support small business too

The accessories we sell come from small businesses, so when you purchase them from us, you are helping those businesses grow as well.

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This + That

Our First Year

It’s hard to believe that Pretty Little Shoes came into existence one short year ago today. Owning my own company was something I knew I had wanted but also thought it was a far and distant dream; and never did I think I would own a shoe company. But God works in mysterious ways and I'm so glad He brought this opportunity into my life.

During my first year in business has proved to have many highs and lows, learning curves, challenges, blessings, and growth. I met hundreds of customers, new friends, and business people; sold thousands of pairs of shoes; increased our social media following (be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram); had tens of thousands of website visitors; expanded our product line; and partnered with local and international charities to help spread a little bit of love and hope in this world.

It’s very heartwarming to see how far we have come in the last year. It’s even more heartwarming to reflect on how Pretty Little Shoes has impacted our customers, friends, and even the world! One of the most humbling things to reflect on from this past year was having customers who were amputees, have physical disabilities and hearing/ visual impairments, and even a sweet little girl who is currently battling cancer. These beauties have so much joy within them and it was such an encouragement meeting them.

On paper, Pretty Little Shoes is technically a one-woman-show. But it would be wrong of me to take all the credit. I owe a huge amount of thanks and gratitude to my family. My sister Brianne is my photography and photoshop extraordinaire. She puts up with my constant questions, takes photos for me, and edits them for free out of the goodness of her heart. My brother Ryan loaned his muscles when I got my very first {yet incredibly large} stock order. My dad - he has loaned me his muscles, his truck, trailer, and heart over the last year. Sometimes his willingness drives me crazy but he’s just being my dad. My mom has been my shoulder to cry on, my idea-bouncer-offer, and my right hand woman. I can’t thank her enough for all she has done for me. To my aunts, cousins, and friends who have helped me out throughout the year, asked how business was, helped me out at events, or offered encouragement - I love you all so much and am so grateful for you!

I also owe a huge amount of gratitude to Kim Moss. Many of you have had the pleasure of meeting Kim - she was the owner of Head Over Heels Shoe Company, which I took over for. A year has past and I still text, email, and meet up with her to answer questions. Over the last year, she has also become a sweet friend and mentor and I am so glad I have her in my life.

Lastly, I have YOU to thank! Whether you are a follower, friend, customer, hostess, or just stumbled across our website, I appreciate you taking the time to support my small, local business. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have had an incredible first year in business. Loyalty from customers and hostesses is something that I thrive on so thank-you for coming back, whether you were a Head Over Heels customer/ hostess or a customer/ hostess I have had the pleasure of meeting throughout the year.

Oh friends! I’m so looking forward to 2017. This coming year is going to be full of growth and expansion (hint, hint!). My commitment to you is continue to provide the best shoe shopping experience possible - a positive place where you can come purchase shoes, host parties, and receive top notch customer service. I ask that you please continue to refer your friends and family to Pretty Little Shoes - referrals are the greatest compliment I can receive.

Thank-you again for an incredible year! Here's to an even better year ahead. :)

Enjoy these never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes photos from the past year. <3

Just after I picked up my first order (I had no idea what I got myself into!) // My brother playing with all the boxes // Our front room was FULL

My sister taking stock photos // My favourite little helper giving me a hand with choosing stock // My friend Jenn & I goofing off at 'The Man Show Meets Women's World'

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