Shoe Talk with Tricia Calfee

Moms know that while women love high heels, our 4-inch stilettos aren’t exactly ideal for many of the labours that come along with the early years of motherhood. But sacrificing a few vertical inches doesn’t mean we need to forfeit style—a thing that designer and co-founder of Roses & Rye, Patricia Calfee, knows a thing or two about. Here, we chat with Patricia about how she maintains luxury in her new brand targeted towards Moms on-the-go.

Before establishing Roses & Rye, did you feel there was a hole in the market for comfortable shoes for mothers?

My girlfriends convinced me to create Roses & Rye. I had a closet full of beautiful heels (plus heaps more in storage) and was preparing for my new life as a working Mom. I remember Vogue’s Plum Sykes saying, “You just can’t play with kids in heels,” and I realized that I needed a pair of beautiful flats that would care for my feet during busy times.

I worked closely with a cobbler from Central St. Martins and a leading surgical podiatrist to create a chic ballet flat with a specially designed insole that protected my feet. Protecting my feet from damage means that I can still wear stilettos whenever I want. When girlfriends began asking me to make shoes for them, Roses & Rye was born.

How do your shoes balance comfort with design?

Our philosophy is that luxury must be comfortable or it is not luxury. Roses & Rye shoes are affordable luxuries that feel very, very good! We think of foot care like skin care—if you care for your feet and protect them against harmful elements (like bad flats) you can keep them looking beautiful and youthful for a long, long time. We don’t compromise on design or comfort because we value both features and our patent pending technology makes this balancing act easy.

Right now you have two styles of flats—the Marina and the Laurel—do you plan to expand the line to create more shoe styles?

We are excited to be expanding our shoe line in Spring 2012 to include a casual peep-toe style and a flip-flop sandal. Recently, we created a feedback group for Moms to provide product and lifestyle comments, which has proven to be a key part of our product development cycle.

What are your thoughts on creating heels?

We love heels!  At some point heels will be part of our collection. We design for the busy, stylish Mom and heels are definitely a part of her life.

Will mothers always continue to be your target consumer?

Yes! We believe that Moms hold the future—both for our communities and our economy. We work to empower Moms and created our community-selling program with this mission in mind. We partner with non-profits that support Moms and families to host local pop-up shops where 25% of proceeds are donated directly to the community organization.

RWH 2012

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