Are you a small-footed gal who has a hard time finding shoes in your size that you actually like? If so, look no further than The Odd Slipper. While I, like almost everyone, am a standard size 7½ (which has its own disadvantages), it makes total sense that those with more modest feet would want options other than the kid’s section.
The site launched recently as a resource for gals who wear size 3-5½ shoe. However, it’s more than just an ecommerce site. Each week, they unveil a new shoe style, which users can vote and give feedback on. They then manufacture the best reviewed styles with the highest amount of votes and let shoppers know which styles have been picked and when they’ll be ready for sale. The advantages of this business model are that there is little risk (shoppers are getting what they want) and costs are kept at a minimum since they coordinate manufacturing directly.
The site is doing well and they hope to expand to offer even more options for petite ladies. We chatted with founder Sindy Sagastume about how the site came about, how it works and what’s next!
First, can you give our readers a little background on what the Odd Slipper is?
The Odd Slipper is an online space for petite women that is currently focusing on petite shoes sizes 3-5.5. We offer designs to our customers so that they can vote on them, and manufacture the winners. We provide high quality shoes, at lower prices than traditional retail because we handle all parts of the process, from design to customer.
How did you come up with the idea for the Odd Slipper? Do you have small feet yourself?
I am 4’10″ with a size 4 foot, and an obsession with shoes, and I wanted to do something about the disappointment that comes with seeing a great pair of shoes knowing 100% they are not available in my size. The few choices available were either very expensive or not fashion-forward enough.
How did it all come together?
I worked in fashion for many years, on the business and the operations side, and finally kept comfortable working on a project for myself that I could be passionate about, and serving a neglected group of women was just the right venture. I contacted my best friend who is a developer in the tech industry to head the website and together we came up with The Odd Slipper.
How does it work exactly–who designs the shoes, where are they produced?
We collaborate with independent designers to create our samples, and then invite our customers to vote on the samples. We also work with manufacturers who show us available “lasts”, which are general shoe molds/shapes and allow us to mix and match different materials on them. Our shoes are produced overseas, depending on price points, either China or South Korea. After seeing the comments and votes, we decide which styles to manufacture and once they’re here we ship them out!
Why should people by shoes from here as opposed to, say, the kids section?
Our main goal is to serve the petite shoe market so we take pride in checking that all of our styles (every individual pair that ships out) are sized correctly and that they are not marked as a 4, but really are a size 5. Our styles are designed for women, some fun, some conservative and some in between, with women’s materials and a women’s silhouettes. Kids shoes are usually manufactured with lighter weight materials, and also a wider silhouette because children’s feet are shaped differently than women’s feet.
I know you just launched shopping on the site (is that right). Do you have any other plans (or hopes) for expansion? New features? Collaborations?
Correct, we officially launched the shopping section of our site (before it was only voting) on October 27th, and we are already extremely excited about the potential of the petite market as a whole! We are currently working on bringing all sorts of new styles each week and be the first source for petite feet. However, we are already planning our expansion into apparel, with bottoms being the closest on the horizon. It will be a long road but our goal is to serve the women’s petite market 5’2″ and under!