Robyn Shreiber of BEAUTIISOLES: “Strong Relationships”

Strong Relationships- It is so important to have beneficial partnerships and good communication with everyone you work with to get the results you are looking for. You need to be proactive with the relationships you have and have the confidence that all partners of the team are pulling together in the right direction. As part […]

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Strong Relationships- It is so important to have beneficial partnerships and good communication with everyone you work with to get the results you are looking for. You need to be proactive with the relationships you have and have the confidence that all partners of the team are pulling together in the right direction.

As part of my interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Robyn Shreiber. Robyn is a PRO-Am ballroom dancer and executive at the billion-dollar diversified food company J&J Snack foods. Fashion disrupter Daniella Clarke is the founder of the iconic women’s denim brand Frankie B. Together, they have created BEAUTIISOLES, an affordable and luxury shoe brand that focuses on comfort. The inspiration to create the line stemmed from a persistent worsening condition that was caused by wearing shoes that were uncomfortable for decades.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

As the VP of sales for a national snack food manufacturer, I’ve been traveling and running around to customers in my heels for decades. I’m also a ballroom dancer in two styles and dance almost every day for practice and compete regularly around the country in ‘normal times’. Over the years, painful soft corn developed on my left foot between my toes and it was directly related to wearing shoes that were too tight. In Feb 2018, I was in horrible pain at a dance competition in NY and walked off the dance floor from my last dance and took the earliest flight back to LA. I went straight to my doctor the next morning and he immediately put me in the hospital, connected me to an IV and told me how urgent the situation was since it was on the left side of my body and could become septic and travel to the heart!

I was in shock at the seriousness of this issue. Two days later, I had a massive debridement surgery. I was scheduled to go to Tanzania three weeks later with my charity group so I really needed to heal quickly and learn how to ‘pack the wound’ on my own. Throughout this entire ordeal, I was obsessed with getting to the bottom of healing my feet, my shoes and the comfortability of my shoes. I knew I didn’t want to give up on style and fashion, so when I came back from Tanzania, I immediately found a shoe manufacturer and set up a meeting. I was determined to create a gorgeous line of shoes that were COMFORTABLE!! Fast forward to bumping into my friend and neighbor Daniela Clarke and we started talking and planning next steps! All from my tight shoes!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started?

I think the most interesting story is sort of a continuing pattern of stories. Every single time I wear my ROBYN blue mules, no matter where I am, I have people commenting “I love your shoes!”, so that of course leads me to tell them they are BEAUTIISOLES and my brand, my design and postcard with our logo and gorgeous ambassador Veronica Varekova on the picture. I have worn these shoes with an all black outfit and a shawl that has the same color tones in it and I honestly get stopped all over. Back in January I was wearing these shoes with a pair of leggings and an oversized coat and I walked into a store and immediately heard: “Wow look at your style and I love your shoes!” As it turns out we are doing a 2 week event there beginning March 8 in celebration of International Women’s Day. It’s a very cool story.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The name of the company was originally BEAUTISOLES with one ‘i’. When Daniella got involved, we thought about changing it and came up with some ideas using a mix of our names, our street, and then we started focusing on ‘duality’, meaning style and comfort. We were looking up words and texting each other ideas and then one day she texted me “I GOT IT”– all we need to do is add another ‘i’ in BEAUTIISOLES. So the (2) I’s are for (2) women, (2) ideas style and comfort! It was funny to see how something so simple could make such an impact on our brand, teaching us to have patience when making important decisions.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story? — I definitely believe our background story and how we came together makes us stand out. Daniella and I are both successful, dynamic women who come from very successful careers — me as a sales executive from the snack food manufacturing world and Daniella as a fashion disruptor having launched her own brand. We’re neighbors, friends, and have known each other for almost 20 years! Now we’re working together to sell BEAUTIISOLES- something we are both very passionate about!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I think it’s extremely important for anyone regardless of their industry to have a passion for themselves that helps them to relieve the daily stress of their job, whether it be building a new company or continuing with a successful one. For me, it’s my latin and smooth ballroom dancing. I’ve been dancing for over 10 years. Competitive ballroom dancing has brought me such joy and inspiration in every other element of my life.

So much of what I do with BEAUTIISOLES is reliant on others, and I’m not in ‘control’ of what the outcome may be, so I can try my best and create the best gorgeous shoes but in the end I am reliant on others. (The manufacturer, retailers, direct customers, social media users etc.) In my Pro-Am dancing partnerships, it’s up to me primarily to be the best I can be. My dancing has also taught me the importance of every single movement and how the one before affects the one after and patience. Also, the importance of presentation, timing, dynamics, and partnership is a vital tactic that everyone should be aware of.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

In 2016 I established a 501c3 Charity with my Pro Dance partner Italo called “Robyn & Italo’s Dance Events (RIDE)”. Our mission statement is to create one of a kind dance events for difference-making charities, Each year we choose a different charity that we want to highlight. Our inaugural event was in July 2017 and it was DANCE FOR AFRICA benefiting the African Wildlife Foundation. Additionally, in 2018 we put on DANCE FOR FREEDOM and benefited (2) anti-human sex trafficking agencies: CAST and Journey Out. This year we will put on “Dance to End Hunger” benefiting “No Kid Hungry.”

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.”

I have so many examples and stories for this quote in my life. It truly is how I approach everything.

1.I was a French and Poli Sci Major and a German minor in college. When I was a sophomore in college and was preparing for my junior year abroad, I kept being told I had to choose between French and German for my year abroad and apply to a program that offered one country. I researched this for months and finally found a college in Iowa that offered both and allowed me to split up my year. To this day I remember how ecstatic I was that I found that program. I ended up spending my year split between Vienna and Paris!

2. In my snack food manufacturing business life I’ve always created the circumstances and worked incredibly hard to sell customers and create the products they wanted despite being told we weren’t able to produce them or despite all odds. Many years ago we had a customer come to us and ask for organic cookies and at the time we weren’t producing anything organic. Today we have over 10 varieties in this brand. When a customer tells you no, it only means ‘no’ for now. Timing, circumstances, need to evolve. Good salesmanship requires patience and tenacity!

Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?

I think that the pandemic has clearly shown the world how powerful D2C is for all industries and how powerful social media is for influencing our buying and shopping decisions. Whether it’s an amazing meal or snack or pair of shoes, people want to share their experience with the world. Every single industry has been affected by the pandemic. Once upon a time, home shopping networks were ‘fascinating’. Now we have so many different platforms to buy products instantly. I also think that with how the world currently is, people have become much more conscious of what we are buying, consuming and putting go on our bodies.

Thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Top 5 Things Needed to Succeed in the Fashion Industry”. Please share a story or example for each.

Passion — You need to be passionate about your product and what your product stands for and be prepared to tell the world over and over. In today’s world, the product must be spectacular and the message needs to be powerful and repetitive from every angle to see positive movement and growth. Our short attention spans in today’s world demand that brands show their PASSION.

Point of Difference — A fashion brand needs a story that customers can relate to and feel a personal connection to. I love when BEAUTIISOLES customers tell me how much they are able to relate to my journey.

Strong Relationships- It is so important to have beneficial partnerships and good communication with everyone you work with to get the results you are looking for. You need to be proactive with the relationships you have and have the confidence that all partners of the team are pulling together in the right direction.

Intense Selling and Marketing- Someone may tell you no, but ‘no’ means not right now. Consumers and buyers are overloaded with sales materials so tenacity and a powerful marketing plan can push past obstacles and get your product in front of the right people.

Broad Appeal- I love how BEAUTIISOLES shoes are loved by women of all ages, ethnicities and life paths.

Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?

I think the fashion industry has set an example in diversity with color, shapes, and genders over the years that is recognizable. I think in this day and age where people are heavily consumed with media and streaming shows, it would be very cool to have lists of the wardrobe in the credits. There is so much that goes into styling and fashion that I believe it deserves more credit. I believe even a feature to shop a look that is shown in a TV show would be very interesting too.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Probably the biggest issues in LA right now in front of our faces is homelessness. Many of the homeless are a different type of homeless from decades ago. If I won the lottery I’d try to create a shelter incorporating meals, clothing and remedial skill training to help these people get rehabilitated.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Beautiisoles is on Instagram at @beautiisoles!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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