When shopping for nude shoes the colors rarely match darker skin. There is no shoe brand on the market right now that caters to women of color. The beauty industry is starting to expand and we feel that footwear needs to also.
Our biggest problem is being a small brand in a big market. Our solution is grounding ourselves in Grand Rapids first and slowly expanding to other cities and online. We will have samples of shoes for consumers to try on and presales to make sure we are maintaining our inventory responsibly.
Shades has two goals. To uplift women of color and create a product that makes them feel comfortable and beautiful.
Products directed towards women with darker skin are usually named after food (chocolate, coffee etc.). We want to change that. Our shade names are Success, Ambition, Joy, and Prosperity. All the things that we wish for women trying to progress.
We also want to use the brand to give back. Each month we will pick a different charity to give a portion of our proceeds to.
What I Will Do With $5,000
We will use the money to work with our designers on sourcing materials, the creation of 3D illustrations of our designs, and sample mock-ups of the shoes.