Small 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!

IMG_2487.JPG

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!

IMG_2488.jpg

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.

Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 1.56.43 PM.png

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

Follow

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!!! 

IMG_5575.JPG

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! ;)

Follow

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.

Follow