With the start of the school year comes the influx of school shoes and the excruciating decision parents have to make when choosing the right pair. Lasting through 365 days of wear and tear, rain and shine, school shoes are the most important pair of shoes your child will have. She Society had a chat to Sophie McLellan, a podiatrist who founded Skobi Shoes after seeing the lack of options that school children have for good quality school shoes. The name Skobi itself comes from the Danish word sko for shoe and bi comes from the biomechanical aspect of podiatry.
After stocking ranges of kids shoes in their podiatry clinic, Sophie and her husband realised that the quality was becoming underwhelming, brown school shoes were becoming less and less and there were fewer options for good European brands.
“We decided we had a few good contacts in the industry and so we decided to work with one of our suppliers in Europe and create our own range.” Sophie said.
“There are quite a number of schools that have brown school shoes, and we found over the years that a lot of parents were coming up to us and asking specifically for brown and only a few places carried them. So with Skobi we made a big point of our styles coming in brown and carrying a lot of brown in our warehousing.”
“We have year round stock unlike other brands who only have the one drop per year in January and when they run out they run out. For us the focus is always the school shoes because children generally spend the greater portion of their week in school shoes, about 80% of their time,” Sophie said.
As an entrepreneur Sophie said that it has given her two really great perspectives because she can look at things from that podiatry angle as well as a parent.
“It gives us a more of a wholesome approach because we can look at it from both angles and obviously really identify what the kids needs are, what the parents needs are and what we really like as podiatrists as well. Parents and children don’t often see eye to eye and oftentimes the footwear thats getting chosen is not appropriate for the child’s activity level. So it’s really important that you choose a shoe that meets the needs of the child.”
“We will continue to refine and develop new designs all throughout the year and to bring out designs that the kids want and need. For now our focus is very much Australia and going forward New Zealand in the immediate future.”
SheSociety is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.