We spoke to Courtney Gideon, co-founder of Toronto Marisoles Footwear and Accessories.
Their’s is a unique story! “You see my business partner (Julia) is my husband’s Ex wife!!! In a society that says we should hate each other, how many people can say that they are friends, and business partners with their husbands Ex? This is why we have started a YouTube series called “Picket Fence”.”
What is your business called and what does it do?
Our business is called Marisoles Footwear and Accessories. We are a unique footwear company because our sandals are interchangeable. So you can create hundreds of looks from just one pair of shoes!
What made you want to do this work?
We love to travel and we love fashion. Taking inspiration from our travels in South America we brought back an idea of comfort, practicality and versatility for all women!
What problem does this solve?
I have to admit I over pack ! When I go away I pack way too much…and need a pair of shoes to go with every outfit. With Marisoles, you only need to pack one pair of shoes! You can have your cute and comfortable sandal during the day, and change the upper to create a sexy lace up look for the evening. They are light and take up minimal space in your luggage. It’s truly the perfect footwear solution for traveling.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Women of all ages and sizes. We carry children’s sizes too and many mothers love to match with their little ones. We have found all demographics love Marisoles because they don’t rub or cause any discomfort. All of our uppers are made from swimwear material so they are soft and they can stretch if your foot tends to swell. Ad added bonus is if the upper gets dirty you just throw it into the wash and they come out looking like new.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We are primarily online right now, although we have launched a new amazing distributor program. So we have ladies all over Canada and the US selling Marisoles. It’s unique and fun and it’s such an untapped market.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
Well we are truly entrepreneurs. We are also Mom’s trying to balance the work family life. This is not an uncommon story and we do what we can to empower women in business.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?
There isn’t anything else really like Marisoles. This is great because our competition is minimal. However, when something is so unique people are a little bit standoffish. I think you just need to try a pair and let the quality, versatility and comfort speak for itself..and they are affordable.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part is being our own boss and having full creative rein on our product. I also love meeting people in the Toronto Fashion world. Everyone has been so gracious especially JC, Klaudia, and Basil from the Toronto Fashion Academy. We have such talent in our city and consulting with others is always beneficial to your business. To be honest I can’t really think of anything negative. Leaving my corporate job to run my own business has been the best decision I ever made.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
That people in the Fashion world are always trying to reinvent the wheel. I suppose at times we are but Fashion is so much more than that. For us it’s really about giving women a comfortable, stylish and unique footwear option. You get to be your own designer with Marisoles and mix and match all your favorite styles without breaking the bank.
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
Toronto Fashion Academy!