Congratulations on the success of Sole Savers. How did you come up with such an amazing idea?
Sole Savers was born when my niece was born, who is just 3 months younger than my son. After I actually gave birth, I had a lot of issues with shoes and my knees. While I loved high-heels, they certainly didn’t love me any longer and I needed something that I could throw on when my feet began to flare up. I thought about it and started doing research.
A few months later, my niece Teyana was born with CHD. CHD is the number one birth defect and there are many challenges that she fights – but she is certainly a fighter. Concerned with her quality of life, I sat down with my mom and it was almost instant that the name “Sole Savers” popped into our head. We wanted our shoe to save soles and souls, and we wanted to have an “avenue” that would provide Teyana with a comfortable life.
Please tell everyone what Sole Savers are.
Sole Savers are rollable/foldable flat shoes! They are convenient, comfortable and compact.
What sizes do they come in?
Our sizes range from small to XXL. We cover shoe sizes 5-13.
As fashionistas we like to match our shoes to our outfits, how many colors do Sole Savers come in?
Sole Savers has 14 color options – we have traditional colors in our original line, we have bright and vibrant colors in our Spring Fling line, and we have 2-tone colors in our City Life line. There’s a pair (or more) of Sole Savers to meet your style.
Briefly tell us about your experience on Queen Boss.
Queen Boss was a great experience for me. I appreciated the feedback that the judges provided me with and I used that to help push the needle in a few areas of my business. More than that, I am grateful for the relationships that were built and the opportunity that was given to me.
What did you learn on the show and how can it help you going forward?
I didn’t find the judges’ criticisms negative; in fact, I found their critiques to be very constructive. I am pretty good with receiving feedback, and I didn’t feel like they were negative towards me. But, I did feel that they gave me some things to think about as it pertained to my business. I am very committed to my level of philanthropy. One of the issues they brought up was for me to remember that I was not a charity and that the business had to make money in order to help the charities. While it was something that I knew, it caused me to reevaluate how we operate with our charity partners. We want relationships that are mutually beneficial, while still providing a healthy level of support to them. This will help me going forward with balance. I am a giver, and I constantly struggle with giving all that I have, versus saving something for myself.
What made you decide to be an entrepreneur?
I grew up being entrepreneur. My father’s side of the family are immigrants from Guyana, SA. They came to America with very little, yet, they have built so much. My mom will tell you that I have had about 15 businesses since I was about 5 years old, hahaha! It’s funny, but it’s so true. Business was what I saw on my father’s side. Education and books was what I saw on my mother’s side. I combined the two, and here I am.
What suggestions do you have for other women who want to be entrepreneurs?
Never stop learning – connect with women who are entrepreneurs, who aren’t afraid to talk to you and be truthful. Read. Research. And read some more. Entrepreneurship is not the easy way out, but the fulfillment is never ending. If it’s what you really want to do, learn about your desire and then just…go for it!
Being a mother and running your own business, how do you find your balance?
HAHA! Balance? What is that? There is no magical method to balance. Some days are great; some days I miss every mark I set for myself. BUT, at the end of the day, I know I am human and I have to show up for my family. And on those days when I am missing the mark, I have my mom and my fiancé to support me, as well as a host of other friends and family members who understand and want to be there for me. So balance means…being real, and having love and support. In 10 years, my story might be different, but today, that’s just what it is.
What’s next for Melodie Narain?
Growing Sole Savers, Heelos (our sister brand) and something for the babies. Giving back to entrepreneurs, speaking and hosting small events. I also plan to help my niece, Teyana, to continue to bring awareness to CHD so that we are able to get these babies what they need to survive.
What three items are in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal–those Holy Grail items you just can’t live without?
My C.O. Bigelow Lemon Lip Cream my Urban Decay Double Team Lipstick and my Motions Foam Styling Lotion! My lips and my hair! And then I am ready to go!!!