Many of our retailers started their own business because they faced the challenges of trying to find something to fit. They had the passion and drive to change their future. Renate Mackay from MAC’s shoes shares this entrepreneurial spirit and drive setting up her own online shop specialising in footwear for women with a larger than average shoe size.
When did you start MAC’S Shoes?
I launched my web shop in March 2012.
What inspired you to start your own business?
My feet !
I used to be a size 8. But after a sports injury I was given special insoles and my feet starting growing again until they reached size 10. What had been difficult already with size 8 seemed impossible now with size 10. That’s when I decided to start my own shoe business to provide beautiful shoes for bigger feet and solve a problem for women with similar issues.
What industry did you work in before you started MAC’S Shoes?
Most of my working life I spent in the airline industry and still am a consultant to provide training for airline management all over the world. Before I became self-employed, I went on a 5-year excursion into the fashion business – building up and running a UK fashion and accessories brand in Austria.
What are your biggest challenges?
Finding new manufacturers who provide trendy styles in big sizes which are of high quality and reasonably priced
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don´t just think about it – do it!
What’s your favourite most memorable pair of footwear from any age?
A pair of wooden mules with a 10 cm heel. I was in my Twenties then and looks were more important than comfort – or reason. Once I got stuck with the heels in the gap of a wooden floor on an old-fashioned tram. It is a true miracle that I did not break a leg back then.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Usually my day starts with working on new orders, emails and social media, updating my website and benchmarking. I always want to know what the competition is up to… I also read a lot of fashion magazines to keep up with current trends.
During the year I visit fairs to order the next season´s collection. When the new orders are delivered, it still feels like Christmas every time I open the boxes to check the new shoes. At this point time is money and the days are busier – off to the photographer, getting all new styles online as quickly as possible and informing my customers about the new arrivals.
What do you like most about your job?
Because I don´t have a shop, I often meet my customers in person so they can try on the shoes. A lady once stayed for 3 hours and went home very happy with 10! pairs of new shoes. The next day she asked me to send her pair number 11 – those moments are the purpose of my business.