THESE SHOES ARE MADE FOR WALKING
Dr Liza the founder of dr LIZA shoes is a fashionista and always wanted to wear heels all day as a doctor. She has treated women who developed foot and back pains from wearing painful heels all day and wanted to find a solution for herself and her patients. We chatted with her to find out more about her innovative business dr LIZA shoes.
When did you start your business?
I launched dr LIZA shoes in March 2017 after over a decade of treating women with high heel related pain. I had smart and fashionable patients who wanted recommendations for healthy shoes to wear that were also stylish and I could not confidently recommend any. So after 2 years of prototype development I launched the dr LIZA pump - an innovative high heel that you can comfortably wear all day.
Why did you decide to become a business owner?
I founded dr LIZA shoes because I wanted to positively change the lives of women around the world. As a Chiropractor, Manual Osteopath, Media contributor and mom, it was a big shift to also add shoe designer to my title. I have always been an entrepreneur because I knew early on that being a passionate Black woman - I wasn't able to work under someone and minimize my presence.
What product do you provide?
dr LIZA is a luxurious line of beautiful all-day footwear and sleek minimalist weightless bags designed by a female doctor and expertly crafted in Brazil. This collection of designer flats, booties, sandals and heels feel like sneakers – making them shockingly comfortable. And unlike most bags – these bags are made to be good for your posture. Designed with a timeless aesthetic in mind, these innovative shoes and bags will have you feeling as good as you look.
How does your business compare to competition in the market / what makes your business unique?
After treating thousands of women for high heel related pain for over a decade and dealing with my own agonizing foot problems - I designed high heels that not only look great but are also great for you. And it’s not just heels - dr LIZA offers comfort through a wide range of innovative and thoughtfully designed women’s footwear. These are outstanding accessories that are made well to be well worn. With a keen eye for design, we utilize science and clinical expertise to develop fashion products that improve the quality of lives of women from morning till night. Our silhouettes give peace of mind that you’ll be ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you. And not only that – they are the only dress shoes to be clinically tested for comfort
We have elevated women’s fashion most notably with heels that feel and function like sneakers and posture friendly designer bags. They are shockingly comfortable and shift the notion of sacrificing style for comfort. I want women to go ahead and invest in your pieces. Feel good about putting yourself first. Because when you feel good - you do good.
How much time did it take your business to earn a profit / how long did it take for you to fully start your business and how would you describe your company's success so far?
We were fortunate to have earned a profit after the first year of launching dr LIZA shoes. In the last 2 years we have added 44 more styles to the initial collection of just 2 shoes that we started with in the first year. In the last 2 years sales have quadrupled and there is growing brand awareness. I have also included a bag line and production has also increased 4-fold. I would say that we are successful because women are feeling great in their shoes and I can’t think of a better success than that.
Where do you see your business in the future?
In the next 5 years I project that we will be available in several retail outlets worldwide. The main hesitation for people buying shoes online is fit so if they are able to try them in stores - they are likely to be repeat customers. Our average customer has four pairs of dr LIZA shoes. Our most loyal customers have up to 40 pairs.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned from starting your business?
The most important thing that I have learned is that you have to invest money in your business to grow and scale. Marketing and public relations are key since customers cannot buy your product if they are not aware of your product. It is also important to spend wisely when it comes to building your business so that you can allocate funds for growth. And yes, even in business it pays to bargain as most costs can be reduced by simply asking.