The adventures and musings of an aspiring shoe designer

I had no idea how I was even going to begin to find funding for this venture. I had been drawing and spending every spare second I could find trying to learn about how to start a shoe line.  Most of the information I had come across seemed even more daunting than the thoughts I already had in my head.  I read somewhere that it costs approximately ten million dollars to create a brand, I still don’t know how true that is.  My only thought was “well that’s one way, but obviously I need to find another way.”  

I have no super rich relatives or friends looking to give or loan me ten million dollars and I couldn’t even fathom convincing a bank to give me that kind of loan.  So I came up with an idea, not a ten million dollar idea but an idea nonetheless.  At this time I had been working for an architect and interior designer.  I had taken a very substantial decrease in salary not only because I had moved from California to Utah but this position allowed me to have the flexibility to take my son to school and pick him up every day.  

My husband is an IT recruiter and working on a commission only basis, he is fantastic at what he does so he makes success look pretty easy.  I was only making a fraction of what he made so I thought “I could do what he does, he could teach me everything he knows and then I could have more control over my income.” So that is exactly what I did, it turned out to be quite difficult to break into the IT world.  I had to learn the lingo, which really is another language.  Then I had to convince someone to hire me, I couldn’t be hired by my husband’s company because of company policy. I had to convince one of his competitors to hire me.   I ended up walking a tightrope, I had to convince them that I,  someone with absolutely no IT background or experience, someone who had spent the last several years pursuing design and creative fields, someone who does not know the difference between Java and C#, that I would be good at Information Technology.  Not only in getting new business but also in screening and providing the right candidate to the right job.  Even now I look at this and can’t believe that I did it, I guess it’s a testament to what you can and will do with the right motivation.

A lot of companies made it clear that regardless of my background they would never hire me because I would be a spy of sorts.  I can understand why they would think that but obviously if I gave my husband all the inside info he would be doing good but I would not make a dime.  I found myself wanting to hide the information of what my husband did because they were all so paranoid but, then I couldn’t explain how I was going to hit the ground running.  I am thankful for the company and the people who did take a chance on me.  I felt some guilt about my deception but, I thought as long as I was doing a good job in the end it would be ok.  Turns out that I met some wonderful people while I worked there and I have since confessed my true motives and they are all extremely supportive of me.  I did a pretty good job as a recruiter and in a year I had more than doubled my salary. 

The deal I had made with my husband was that anything I earned above what I had earned before could go to my business.  When he agreed I’m not sure if he really thought I would do it but, either way once he saw just how hard I worked and how much I wanted this he was my biggest cheerleader.

That year was crazy I started on October 15, 2008 and I immersed myself in all things IT.  I studied harder than I can ever remember; I went to meetings and learned the language, as best as I could.  I sometimes wondered what I was doing because I had to spend so much time to do a good job in my new field that I had absolutely no time for design.  I learned like anything else you can learn very useful things from every situation in your life.  I am absolutely grateful that I had the experiences I did because I get to take that knowledge and apply it to my future endeavors.  I learned so many different things but one of the most important was how to cold call, which to this day I do not like, but because of recruiting I am much better at it.  I also gained some wonderful friends that I would not have had the opportunity to even meet had I not been in the right places at the right times. I am always grateful to have good people in my life.


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