Shruti Lakhotia has a standard 37 foot size, but in her quest to buy the perfect pair of shoes, she has often been left disappointed. "When I would get the right design, the heel would be too large or small, or the fitting would be an issue," says the Mumbai-based girl who has a corporate sales background. Having worked for almost a decade with companies such as Canon India, Panasonic, Staples India and Perpetuuiti Technosoft (Dubai – IT Software sales) – Lakhotia decided she wanted to be her own boss.
The fashionista, who has a fetish for shoes, started her own venture MYOS, short for Make Your Own Shoes, last September. At MYOS, the 33-year-old customises footwear for her customers. She soon plans to open five stores across the world. Excerpts from an interview with Lakhotia:
Q. How did the idea of MYOS strike you?
A. My shoe fetish began around six years ago, when I was working with Canon India. Even though I'm a standard 37 size, I would face a lot of difficulties to get the right shoe. Out of a 100 times, I probably found a right pair just once. That's when the idea of MYOS struck me. I discussed the concept with my family and friends and got an incredible feedback. I did a lot of research and found the right shoemaker. A year ago, I quit my job at Panasonic so that I could concentrate solely on this venture.
A pair of shoes designed by her
Q. How does the venture work?
A. When I meet a customer, besides a few samples, I always carry my laptop, which is a treasure trove of some 1,500 odd designs. I carry fabric samples, right from leathers to suedes and accessories such as stones, tassles, brooches etc. I spend at least an hour with the customer and take their shoe size on a piece of paper. They choose the fabric, the heels and the design. I take orders from customers over the telephone, people see my Facebook page and often courier me their shoe size and send me their requisite designs on Whatsapp.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. We are working on the software right now. It will be ready within a month. I'll launch it along with my website. It will be an interactive website where people would be able to choose from myriad options, right from heels to fabrics and colours. I'm also planning a mobile app on the same lines. I'm in the process of getting funding for my retail stores, which I plan to open in Mumbai, New York, Los Angeles, London and Dubai.
Visit www.facebook.com/makeyos to check out Shruti's Facebook page on MYOS.