I don’t swoon (often) but these shoes are amazing. I am thinking weddings, barbecues, the hamptons, baptisms, birthday parties, family reunions….and also doubling up as an everyday quality shoe. Seriously, the quality is so great that you can pass down these shoes to siblings, etc. Yes, kid’s feet grow really really fast and after your first child, you are stunned by how often you are back at the shoe store. Then you have your second child, and you start rummaging through the old shoes of your first. So it really helps if you invested in good quality shoes the first time around.
I am pretty impressed that Charles and Ama, were inspired by this concept following the birth of their first child, Joojos and then had the gumption to turn it into something tangible. Check out my chat with Charles below….
1) At what point did you and Ama become inspired to put together an upscale shoeline? Was it the gap in the market? Or your newborn’s incredibly delectable foot?
The story of Joojos is less about any idea of market positioning. It’s a story about people cultivating relationships, working together, learning together to create something that puts a smile on our faces. Ama and I started working on Joojos around the time our son, Jojo, was born. For me, having a child for the first time, was incredibly humbling. There’s the natural pride that comes with it, but for me there was another sense of vulnerability that is hard to describe. You see this adorable boy and you have all these hopes for him, for his life, and want to move heaven and earth to care for him. The idea of Joojos was born out of a dream of creating a pair of shoes that will last forever. Now we haven’t come anywhere close to that, but if you suspend any doubts for a moment, we can begin to consider the essence of such a pair. The pair of shoes might get better with time, it might grow with your feet, lead you on the path to your dreams, it might even help you create meaning out of your life in a way that will bring you a sense of contentment. The good news is that we can live that dream, not necessarily in the form of a physical shoe, but in the way we nurture the genius of the inner child that’s in all of us, but more evident in kids. It starts with the choices we make for our kids and how we allow them to follow their dreams, through our words and actions. Seth Godin
shares some practical ideas on how we might be able do that in our school systems, our homes, and in our communities in Stop Stealing Dreams
. But I believe it starts with honoring that creative spark that’s in all of us.
2) What makes joojos so distinct from other shoes? What would be a good comparable?
We owe a lot of our look and feel to our friends at HerraizSoto & Co
(a creative agency based in Barcelona), our designer Amanda Blackwell (based in the UK), our packaging designer, Daisy Lew
(based in New York), our craftsmen in Italy and Romania, and the long standing tradition of craftsmanship that believes in creating things out of love. I think distinction starts with love and care for the work that one does. And when I look at Joojos, I see all the multitude of choices that were made out of a deep love for the craft of shoe making and art of delighting another human being.
3) I love the ‘crew’ portion of your brand. Are the shoes inspired by different kid personalities? If so, how did you go about picking these personalities?
Thank you. We had a lot of fun with the copy for the Crew. There was no process per se for picking personalities. The test was whether the copy put a smile on our faces. And in many cases, our copy writers were as excited about the project as every one else. In the end, there are some connections between the personalities. Some we intended, others just happened to emerge when it was all said and done.
4) Where can i buy these shoes?
Joojos are available on our website at www.joojos.com.
5) My friends love these shoes so much that they are asking for an adult version. Do you see yourselves going down this route?
Most of our friends want adult versions. And we want adult versions too. Maybe someday we’ll get there.
6) Your packaging is awesome! We are currently using our box to store ‘superheroes’. What was the thinking behind the packaging?
Thank you. I think the feeling behind the packaging was to create something that was useful and fun at the same time. Something that people will be less inclined to throw away. The rest of it was Daisy looking into her crystal ball and calling on the muse.
And that’s all folks! Before you leave…go through my 2 minute quiz below…
Is Joojos for you?
1) Do your kids go to the playground, park or garden at least once a day? (yes/no)
2) Do your kids wear shoes some of the time? (yes/no)
3) You are not a shopaholic and prefer to buy quality over quantity? (yes/no)
4) You are a sucker for fashion? (yes/no)
If you answered yes for 3 of these questions…then you should seriously consider Joojos.