Edmonton

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

Hello, my name is Baillie

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday! I hope you've all had an incredible week! We are having gorgeous summer weather here in Saskatoon this week, so I have worked outside on my deck practically all week. How is it real life that my office is my deck?! I'm so grateful!

A couple weeks ago, you may have seen on our Facebook and Instagram pages that I formally introduced myself to all of our followers and I'm so grateful for all the love I got from those posts. I realized that not everyone is on social media so I thought I would introduce myself on the blog too. As an added bonus, I have included a couple other tidbits about myself in this post that you wouldn't have read on social media. 😊

So, hi! My name is Baillie Janex and I am the owner, fashion buyer, salesperson, shipper, accountant, marketing director, customer service representative, and public relations manager at Pretty Little Shoes. That's a lot of titles, isn't it?! 😉 Owning my own company has taught me a lot of things and brought such joy to my life. I love what I do but being a business owner is only one part of me so I thought I'd share some random facts so you could get to know me a little it better:
-I am a night owl, definitely not an early bird. I work/ study until all hours of the night, then sleep in. Sometimes I feel guilty about doing that but hey, it's what works for me. 
-I only wear leggings and anyone who says leggings aren't pants cannot be my friend. 😉
-Pre/post pregnancy and labor care are my passion so I'm studying to become a doula. I hope to educate women on alternatives available during pregnancy/ labor. 
-I strongly dislike slang and will never use the shortened version of 'Laugh Out Loud'. 
-I am a health and fitness freak! I eat clean and am love being active! I have ran 2-10kms, 3-1/2 marathons, and 1-full marathon. And I'm SUPER competitive with myself (sometimes that's a reallly bad thing!). 
-In a family of three children, I was the only one blessed with red hair. I used to hate it as a child because I was different but now I love it and understand it's one of the many things that make me special. 💛
-Washing dishes is my least favourite household chore. Give me a broom to sweep the floors or supplies to clean the bathroom and I'm happy. Give me a dishrag and I will hate life for those twenty minutes of dishwashing.
-I have a lot of giftings but being an artist is not one of them.
-I won't eat grapes without washing them twice. Think of the germs left on them if you only wash once. 🙉
-I rarely send a text, email, or message without using at least one emoji, or at least put in a smiley/ winky face. 😉  

Photo Credit:  Heather Fritz

Photo Credit: Heather Fritz

I could go on and on but I wouldn't want to bore you! I'd love to get to know you a little bit better so please share something completely random about you in the comments. 💛 Thanks for taking the time to getting to know me better! 

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Recipes

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

Hi friends! Happy THURSDAY! Ummm, what?! It's Thursday?! How?! I completely forgot to write yesterday's post and I don't understand why, haha!

Last week on Facebook I shared a little bit about myself including how I love to bake in my spare time. I got lots of comments and messages from people wanting my recipe for my Vegan Chocolate Truffles so I promised to share it on the blog. :)

These truffles are so amazing! They are a guilt free snack that are packed with healthy fats and some good old carbohydrates. They are sure to leave your sweet tooth satisfied! They are vegan, gluten free, and clean. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Snap a photo of you making my version of the truffles and post it on Instagram and hashtag #PLShoesRecipe. Enjoy! This recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.


Vegan Chocolate Truffles

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs and almonds/ pecans for topping

Directions

In a food processor, crush the pecans and almonds until they are the consistency of a meal; set them aside. Place pitted dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or it forms into a ball. Add to the dates the cacao powder and 1/2 of the nut meal and pulse, gradually adding the nut meal until a dough is formed (you may not need to use all the nut meal, but you can keep it for the topping). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into small balls (use either a tsp or tbsp for guidance). Place the truffles on the cookie sheet and place in the freezer to chill. While they are chilling, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until completely melted. Mix in the coconut oil. Grab the truffles from the freezer. With a fork, dip the truffle in the chocolate and thinly coat. Place back on the cookie sheet and garnish with cacao nibs and crushed nuts. Let the truffles set in the refrigerator for fifteen minutes. Can be stored in the freezer for long term storage. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes // Work Time: 30 minutes // Serves: 18


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This + That

Our Commitment to Charity

If I'm being honest, shoes are superficial. They aren't a need; they are a want. They make us feel pretty, but we could survive without them. For this reason I wanted Pretty Little Shoes to be much more than just a shoe company. Regardless if you're purchasing a pair of shoes or one of our fabulous accessories, please know that your purchase is making a positive impact in the world.

When you purchase a pair of shoes...

For every 150 pairs of shoes sold from Pretty Little Shoes, we will donate 1 pair of new shoes to The Princess Shop. The Princess Shop is a Saskatoon based organization which gives girls in need a special graduation experience as well as tools and mentorship to succeed after graduation. 

Last year, Pretty Little Shoes donated $1100 worth of shoes to The Princess Shop! How amazing is that?! To read more about our collaboration, click here

Me and Karen, the director of The Princess Shop

Me and Karen, the director of The Princess Shop

When you purchase a MudLOVE bracelet...

MudLOVE has a heart for charity and that's why they have partnered with Water for Good - a non-profit organization that drills water wells, and provides clean drinking water in the Central African Republic, a country that is desperate for the basic necessities of life. Every MudLOVE product you purchase provides 1 week of clean water to someone in need. So when you purchase a bracelet, you're not only going to look great but you will also be supporting a great cause!

When you purchase Grace & Lace boot socks/ boot cuffs...

What I love most about Grace & Lace, much like our collaboration with MudLOVE, is their commitment to charity. For every Grace & Lace purchase, a portion of the sales is donated to Angel House, an organization that builds homes for orphans in India. Once in an orphanage, the kids receive proper water, healthcare, and education that they otherwise wouldn't receive. In addition to building orphanages, Grace & Lace has funded safe houses for women to escape sex-trafficking.

Thank-you so much for supporting Pretty Little Shoes and subsequently these incredible charities. With your purchase, you are making the world a better place. <3

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Mother's Day Gift Guide

It's time to celebrate mom! Normally I'm a procrastinator when it comes to gift giving but this year I'm on top of it. Ok, I just got my mom's gift yesterday but that's still five whole days before Mother's Day - pretty impressive for me! ;)

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If you're still struggling with what to give your mom, I've put together a Mother's Day Gift Guide that may just help. I love every one of these items and I know your mom would too!

1| All Natural Candle

This all natural soy candle from Pretty Clean is clean burning & has a wonderful subtle scent of lavender, pine, & spearmint. The woodwick crackles as it burns & it will last for about 40 hours! Pretty Clean also has amazing all natural cleaners that not only smell amazing but work really well! Follow Pretty Clean on Facebook and Instagram!

2| Pop Top Tumbler & Tea

The Pop Top tumbler from Steeped Tea is the best to-go cup that was ever created! It keeps your tea hot for 8 hours or, on the flip side, keeps ice frozen in the cup for 8 hours! It comes with an infuser to place loose leaf tea leaves in and the lid has a lock so you don't have to worry about spilling. Get your mom a yummy bag a tea to go along with the Pop Top and you are good to go! Follow Colleen Janex, Independent Steeped Tea Consultant on Facebook.

3| Customizable Locket

Honour the special Mom in your life with a customized locket from Annibelle Lockets!
The Family Tree Locket is a modern twist to a traditional family ring & the lockets have magnetic closure so new birthstones can be added at anytime! Complete designs range in price from $30-$60, and you'll receive a preview prior to order finalization so you can ensure the locket is perfect! Follow Annibelle Lockets on Facebook and Instagram.

4| Heels

Pretty Little Shoes always make a great gift! We have lots of styles to choose from but are currently loving the Shaky-S heel in hot pink for Mother's Day. The color is stunning (everything is better in pink!), the lay of fabric on the foot is pretty, and they are practical as the heel is thicker and not too high. If your mom doesn't wear heels, we have lots of other shoes she will surely love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


Finally, happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! Your sacrifice, patience, and most of all, love doesn't go without notice. Celebrate you today - because you deserve it!

Me &amp; my mom &lt;3

Me & my mom <3

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This + That

Shoe Life Hacks You Must Know!

Happy Wednesday friends! The sun is shining, the weather is great, prepping for a business trip to Edmonton/ Red Deer...life is good!  

This week I'm sharing some life hacks related to shoes. What is a life hack? A life hack is a trick that makes your life easier or more efficient. Many life hacks will have you thinking, "That's so obvious - why haven't I been doing that?!"

1| Pool noodles in the shaft of a boot

If you're like me, you hate having the boots go all flip floppy. The purpose of this hack is to keep the boot standing straight up when you're not wearing them.  I get my noodles from Dollarama for $1.25 each and depending of the length of the boot, I can usually get 2 pairs covered with one noodle. Another bonus with this hack: when the boots are standing straight up with a noodle, you are saving on space compared to the boots being flip floppy and taking more space.

2| Silica packs to dry out your phone

We've all heard that rice dries out your phone if it gets wet, but have you ever tried using the silica packs that come in your boxes of shoes? 

3| Rough up the soles of your shoes

If your shoes are too slippery, find some concrete and scuff up the soles by dragging your foot on the ground. You could also use sandpaper instead of concrete. Joey could've used this hack at Chandler and Monica's wedding! ;)

4| Heel too high? No problem!

Most shoe repair shops can shorten the height of heels depending on the height of the heel and the platform. 

5| Cleaning the rubber sole

If you need to clean a rubber sole or sneaker, use either rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. Your shoes will look good as new!

6| Stuff stuff in your shoes when travelling

We could always use more space in our suitcase when traveling, and if you're anything like me about 1/2 the suitcase is full of shoes. To recover some space, put items in your shoes! If you're transporting breakables, put those in the shaft of boots (wrapped up of course!); if you're taking flats, put socks inside; if you're taking running shoes, put jewelry and sunglasses inside; if you're only taking sandals, stuff one sandal in the other.

7| Stretch your shoes

If you're shoes are a tad bit tight, put on some thick socks along with the shoes and use a blow dryer to stretch them.

8| Hairspray your feet

If you're feet pop out of your fave pair of heels or flats, put some hairspray on your feet, then put your shoes on. The hairspray acts as an adhesive so your feet won't go anywhere!

9| Sore feet?

After being on your feet all day they are sure to be tired and sore. Grab a tennis ball and roll it under your foot to release those tight muscles and give your foot a good, deep, massage.

10| Cold feet?

If your feet have a tendency to get cold, put a layer of wool in your shoe. 

11| Teeny tiny calves in oversized boots

If you have small calves and have trouble finding boots that don't make it look like you're swimming, get a pair of our cute boot cuffs or socks and roll them over the opening of the boot at the top of the shaft. The fabric will make the boot tighter fitting and less sloppy.

Have you ever tried any of these life hacks before? Maybe you have another one to share. Share your life hacks in the comments below.

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It's Here...Spring/ Summer Collection!

Well hello there beautiful friends! I know I mentioned in last week's blog that this week's post will be tips and tricks to walk in heels but that's just going to have to wait - we have NEW shoes to talk about!

I really believe this collection is our best shipment yet! There is something for every woman out there - we've got some sandals, heels, loafers, sneakers, and of course, little girl items! 

This collection is also a reflection of my personal style, which is fashionable and feminine. I am obsessed with the Reba-127D sneakers in black but also Amie-2 in mint, which features lots of dainty cut outs.

I did a Facebook Live showcasing all of our new items - have a watch! I'd love it if you'd comment below with your thoughts on this collection and what your favourite items are.

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What's In a Name

One common question I get asked is how did I come up with the name Pretty Little Shoes for my business. I'd like to say it was an easy decision but boy oh boy, it was not! 

One of the first things you have to do when starting up a business is to create a name. Not only because it is the basis of your brand but in order to complete any paperwork that progresses the legal process of setting up your business, a name needs to be listed.

I felt a lot of pressure to have a really great business name but only had three days to think of one. Three very short days. Those days my family's supper conversation consisted of them throwing names at me. Either I thought it was decent and jot it down or I tossed it right out the window. We came up with SO many ideas, but nothing seemed just right. 

During this period in my life I had a slight obsession with the television show Pretty Little Liars. It was the first show that I actually binge watched so I'm sure you can understand my deep emotional connection to it. :) Anyways, on that third day I was flipping through my Instagram feed hoping to gain some inspiration when I came across a post on Pretty Little Liars page. As you can see, it's not an incredible, inspirational, or motivating post, but as soon as I saw the name Pretty Little Liars, the name Pretty Little Shoes just popped into my mind and it stuck.

I didn't want a name that was similar to another business, that people would forget, or may get confused about what our product was. It had to be clear and concise. Likeable and memorable. Cute and feminine. I think Pretty Little Shoes encompasses all those qualities.

So there you go! That's how Pretty Little Shoes came to be. Next week I'll be giving you tips and tricks on how to walk in heels. Stay tuned for that!

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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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