I’m sure you’ve spotted the fuss around an amazing start up company called Pandere shoes. Created by the Lymphie community for the Lymphie community. After following their Alaskan journey on Instagram I was honoured that I was lucky enough to get 5 minutes of their precious time to quiz them! Read the interview below and find out where you can get yours!
1. Who are Pandere Shoes and what does your brand stand for?
Pandere Shoes is founded by Laura Oden, Ayla Rogers and Celia Crossett. We live in Alaska and have been working with people all over the world to create our unique brand of shoes. We always tell people our shoes stand for: Mobility, Dignity and Comfort.
2. Why did you decide set up Pandere shoes?
Laura has had lymphedema for almost 40 years. She knew there had to be a better shoe for people with lower limb swelling. We wanted create a shoe that would provide relief to people struggling to find shoes to fit. A lot of these people end up in unattractive orthopedic shoes, or shoes that don’t fit their style. We spent 2 years working on prototypes before we launched our Kickstarter.
3. How did you come up with the name Pandere?
Pandere is a latin name, it means to expand, stretch, unfold.
4. How long, from thought to finished product, did it take to create the products and brand?
We have been working on prototyping for the last two years. We wanted to give our customers a closed toed shoe that expanded in the places for people with foot swelling. We developed a patented expansion system that expands in the toebox, midfoot, and the ankle. Our shoes expand up to an E width and expands up to a size and a half in width and volume. We are working to develop shoes that will expand even more.
5. Why did you decide to create Lymphie friendly footwear?
Laura has lymphedema and has struggled to finds shoes that fit for her whole adult life. We understand the toll that is taken on a person when shoes become a burden. This problem can have devistating effects and inhibit mobility and basic health, not to mention self esteem and confidence. Everyone has a right to have comfortable cute shoes that fit!
6. What are your future plans for the brand?
We know men and children also need shoes that fit. We hope to launch shoes for those groups this fall. We hope to develop many more styles for women. Winter boots can be a huge problem for our customers in northern climates. We know we need a pair of shoes that can slip on, and sandals for customers in warmer climates. Our shoes are also great for people who are on their feet all day, like nurses, teachers, baristas. We actually named our first shoe after this group. It’s called The Barista!
7. What was the most difficult part of the process?
When we first started, it seemed impossible that we would spend 2 years developing our prototypes. We are grateful for that process because we have learned a lot about the shoe making process. Conveying to our designers the unique needs of our customers was a big challenge and we learned that this is a hard problem to tackle. This is most likely the reason other companies haven’t addressed this problem. Expansion and support are naturally in opposition to each other. It’s not exactly low hanging fruit for a shoe company.
8. What were the key areas you wanted your footwear to address? Do you think you have succeeded in doing so?
The top priority is to make shoes for people who’s feet swell. What we didn’t anticipate was that by designing shoes for this niche market, we accidentally were developing shoes for a host of other problem conditions: arthritis, diabetes, bunions and lots of others.
9. Who would you most love to collaborate with (designing/ marketing/ sales)? Why?
Could we collaborate a shoe with Ellen? or Kathy Bates? Kathy is the spokesperson for the Lymphatic Education and Research Network. We’d also love to collaborate with well established shoe companies like Clarks or even organizations whose members could benefit like Teachers or Caregiver organizations.
I’m so excited to see the company progress to great widths.
Find your perfect pair of Pandere Shoes here!
Lots of Love
Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2018