First and foremost, I can't thank everyone enough for the love and support you've given to my brand and I throughout the year. It's because of you that we've had our best year yet and we look forward to continuously pushing and challenging ourselves in 2023 with big dreams.
As I reflect on this year, there is so much that I, as the Founder of Protect My Shoes, am so proud of. For one, collaboration was a key focus for us and we created some fabulous limited-edition capsule collections with other amazing female entrepreneurs. The Coastal Collection featuring prints designed with graphic artist Dawn Burke brought a fresh summer-vibe to our product offering. After being an Instagram follower of Lisa Jacobs @imagineitdone for years, we co-designed a chic butterfly print that turned into our Sold Out Graceful Wings cushioned shoe stuffers. And of course, there is our recently launched Protect My Shoes x Amanda Perna collaboration with color-loving fashion designer Amanda Perna. This collection exudes pure joy and inspires us to have fun with fashion. In January, we are launching a brand new product with a print designed by artist Kourtney Cannon which we can't wait to share, but enough said for now. ;)
In addition to adding new shoe stuffers and shoe bags in a myriad of prints, we introduced a Made to Order section to the website to make the process of placing custom bespoke shoe cushion orders easy and seamless.
Being a big proponent of supporting other women and finding inspiration from so many wonderful boss babes, we continued to shine the spotlight on women who spread sunshine and positivity to this world under our Blog section of the website.
Our Wearrior Tags project in collaboration with author activist Alicia Sanchez also came from the beautiful power of women uplifting and helping each other. Alicia's amazing mission to help cultivate change through crafting was the impetus behind her book Crafts Create Change. So when our friend Alicia came to us asking if we would love to create a special project as part of the 40+ crafting projects that are featured in her book, it was a resounding yes!!!
Many may not know this, but we work with brands to create private label versions of our patented shoe stuffers and boot shapers. This year saw growth in that aspect of our business with some new high-end brand partnerships and we will continue to work hard on expanding that side of the business. Since it’s private label, we do keep that list of clientele confidential. It’s hush hush…;)
For us at Protect My Shoes, one of our core values is to give back to the community. Aside from always being willing to donate raffle and auction items for fundraising events and participating in shopping pop-ups, I stepped into the role of Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Boca Raton Historical Society and the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum. It's been an incredible experience to sit on this Board for over 3 years now and I take my responsibility as the Chair very seriously. I must admit, I came into this position at a wonderful time as the nonprofit celebrates its 50th anniversary. To commemorate this big milestone, I proudly co-chaired the Golden Jubilee event with my dear friend Zoe Lanham at The Addison. Other nonprofits I'm personally involved with include Festival of the Arts BOCA, Boca Helping Hands, American Cancer Society, the George Snow Scholarship Fund and Impact 100. We are currently in the process of looking into a new initiative to give back from our online sales. More to come... After all, at the end of the day, it's about helping our communities and teaching my kids the importance of volunteerism is an essential core value that we practice at home.
Speaking of kids, my boys are growing, thriving and keeping up with them is hard work! Guillaume is now 8 and Gianluca is 2 years old. When I’m not working, writing for Boca magazine as their Style contributor, or volunteering, it’s time spent at the rink for hockey practice, running after the little one, car line at school, and simply the best moments with the family. In 2023, I’m going to try even harder to be present for those sweet times. Plus, once a week, on Sundays, I vow to put down my phone to disconnect from all the noise. I must say, I cherish the little things now so much more than before. That's where I find such big joy.
On a separate note, I can't forget the awesome experience I just had two weeks ago, co-hosting a live show at The Studio at Mizner Park with three celebrity Housewives, Margaret Josephs (RHNJ), Ramona Singer (RHNY) and Marysol Patton (RHMiami). Can I please relive this moment?!?! Oh what a night it was as we heated up the holidays with unfiltered, unscripted, candid conversations. Plus, the highlight for us all was hands down the lip sync battle to Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas…” 🎤🌟👏
Another standout memory from this year is being not only in the fashion editorial pages of the September/October issue of Boca magazine, but also jumping for joy on its cover alongside two local female powerhouses. What an honor that was and I'm truly humbled by the opportunity. Still pinching myself!
It was such an eventful year, including moving to a new office that we love, that I'm most definitely forgetting key moments that will come to me later, but I write this post feeling grateful, blessed, and thankful. We could not do any of this without our family, friends, customers, followers, and brand partners. Thank you for your constant love and support.
Wishing you an amazing year ahead filled with love, laughter, success, happiness and health.
Cheers to 2023!