The story of ShoeShock is the story of me. It is my hope that if you understand where I come from, then you can understand what made me passionate about getting into the business of shoes. I grew up in Los Angeles, CA in a single parent household. My father left right before my 6th birthday for Korea and I would not see him again for another 25 years. I can still remember when my mother found out he was not coming back. The image of her on bended knee, sobbing is forever etched in my mind. I remember watching her and felt helpless. My mother was educated, but my father asked her not to work in order to stay home and take care of my sister and me.
Here she was with two children and no job. We had nothing but the furniture in our apartment and an unreliable, 1972 Chevy Impala. We went from a one income home to no income at all. My mother eventually found a job but she wasn’t bringing in the kind of money we had when my dad was in the home. We struggled tremendously. There was no gas for the unreliable car and at times we even went without electricity. We sometimes had to stay with family and once in a shelter for a few days. Our grocery budget for three people was $25 a week and there was no such thing as extra or expendable income. I wore no name shoes with holes in the bottom and was teased by kids at school. I surprisingly made it through without a bruised ego, because I knew what my mother had to endure to get me what I did have. The car that always broke down caused my mother to walk home for 20 blocks at a time. As a seven year old I would leave the house in the dark to sometimes meet her halfway so she would not have to walk home alone. She made the walk in shoes that were poorly constructed with no cushion. The cheap shoes made her feet ache and sweat. My mom didn’t ask for much, but I knew she sometimes wished she could splurge and get a pair of quality shoes to make her long walk home from the bus stop a tad bit easier. However, when it came down to it, taking care of her family was her priority.
I don’t know if she knew, but I saw joy and a sense of hopefulness from her whenever she’d browse through store windows or looked at catalogs that had nice, beautiful, well-made shoes. There was something I saw in her that made me think if just looking at shoes made her feel that way, then what would happen if she could actually buy them. I made it my mission then to make sure that one day my mother would never have to make the choice between a good pair of shoes and paying the electric bill. Not only did I have that hope for my mother, but also for other hard working, amazing women who have to choose between paying a light bill, buying food for their children, putting gas in the car, or splurging on that one great find that they don’t feel they can afford because of other priorities like taking care of their family.
I believe that women deserve to feel beautiful without breaking the bank or overextending themselves. So you might ask, why does ShoeShock matter? Because it is my story, my mother’s story. A story of how resilience and sacrifice made me see that something as simple as owning a great pair of shoes could make someone feel better, feel beautiful. I wanted to provide a vehicle for women to buy designer shoes at affordable prices without having to sacrifice the necessities. ShoeShock was created with every woman in mind. No matter your walk in life, I know how shoes make you feel! If I can give women the opportunity to experience that feeling everyday, then ShoeShock has served its purpose.