If I look back at the first day I started my degree, I would never have thought I would end up launching a shoe company.
It took me four business ideas before I started Lost Sols. I previously designed recycled activewear, sustainable swimwear, or collections made from organic linen. Continuously coming up with brands and consistently disappointed in myself when someone would beat me to the market with the same idea.
My goal was not only to design a new product made from recycled materials, but I also wanted to be the first to the market (I guess that is my competitive Leo spirit coming out).
However, it wasn't until one Christmas when my brother showed me some fish leather and car tyres that the idea for shoes was truly born. We spent a whole day watching YouTube tutorials, cutting up old car tyres and sewing different materials, attempting to make the first sample. I quickly became aware that I needed an expert in the industry to teach me the fundamentals of shoe manufacturing.
This is how I found Rachel. I asked for a day off work drove down to Bangalow and spent the day learning how to make a pair of shoes. Her methods and machinery were traditional, and it would still take me 8 hours to make one pair of shoes. Unfortunately, because of the quick turnaround of the fashion industry I knew I would not be able to run the business and manufacture the shoes.
So, began the googling. Every evening I would be researching and emailing manufacturing companies and many mornings I would wake up to an email "Thank you for contact us, unfortunately your MOQ are too small for us to consider". For some reason this felt like a slap in the face. Although, through the rejection I was persistent and I found independent factories based in Portugal, India, Philippines and China that were happy to work with a start-up.
As the sampling begun, the communications barrier arose and having spec sheets became a necessity. Drawing away to make sure every detail was perfect the samples would arrive. Some were floppy and obscure shape, others had incorrect logos and the colour was all wrong.
It took 12 months of sampling to develop our conscious creations, but that was only the first step. It was now time to build the brand. Taking my experience from other start-ups, I built the website, created recycled branding, designed EDM's and cleared all content from my personal Instagram page.
Some people thought I was being drastic taking my personal life off of
Instagram. However, I didn't see it that way. I wanted the Lost Sols brand to be a mixture of sustainable education, trans-seasonal styles and my life (with all the blooper that come with it). I didn't want to sit on a platform and push product every day. I want to make people smile, brighten up the world, design footwear that can reduce our carbon footprint and protect the planet.
Meet me on our Youtube channel to learn more about Lost Sols.