Her tools: Bows, glitter, flower appliques, and patterned fabrics. Her motivation: To create fabulous shoes for tiny tootsies. Joyfolie founder Jessica Hernandez started off making handmade booties for her infant daughter, and her creative designs kicked her business into blockbuster status. Learn what inspires her when she’s creating the cutest shoes on the planet.
What inspired you to start Joyfolie?
Joyfolie began as an “accidental” company. I was teaching college writing and made a pair of booties for my infant daughter, and (on a whim and with prompting of a friend), I put them on Etsy. Rather quickly, that Etsy shop turned into what Joyfolie is today.
Where do you get your ideas when it comes to shoe design?
I often seek pattern and color inspiration in unlikely places… a table setting, a bouquet, interesting architecture or decor, and I try to turn that inspiration into a pair of shoes. Like these pumpkin and slate striped skimmers which we are producing for the Spring 2013 line.
How does Joyfolie stand out from the other kids’ shoe companies out there?
Joyfolie has a nonpareil approach to footwear for the fashion-forward little girl. We try to create unusual designs like our ruffled T-straps, velvet spat boots, or flowered peep toes, which are matchless in the market place. Additionally, our shoes are packaged in organic bags, they have eco-friendly soles, and are lined with organic and eco-cottons. When I had a shop on Etsy, I often included an extra little hair clip for the customer as a way to say thank you. Now, even though we have grown to a manufactured line, each pair includes a matching clip as an extension of that personal touch I was trying to create when we were a one-woman operation.
What should parents look for when they’re shopping for kids’ shoes?
Something that the child wants to wear. As my own daughter has gotten older, I have found that if she doesn’t like the shoes, they don’t get worn. Joyfolie shoes are designed to make a little girl feel loved and special — like a little princes — but in a way that delight both mother and daughter.
What are your favorite looks from the Gilt Kids Joyfolie sale?
“These are my daughter’s favorite because of the flowers.”
“I love that these have a fun, modern aesthetic.”