About this project
- We're officially a Kickstarter "Project We Love!"
- On April 13th we were featured on PopSugar!
- On April 21st Entrepreneur.com did a whole video on the campaign!
Just like no two woman have the same hair, skin tone or body type, feet come in a variety of widths and sizes. So why are we forced to compromise when it comes to shoes? Why must we "size up" because no half size is available or buy additional products like inserts or liners to make shoes "fit" or sacrifice style just to buy shoes from a brand that caters to "special" widths or pay obscene amounts of money for shoes that are unique and comfortable?
NicoNine empowers women with choices in footwear. No longer do we need to compromise style over comfort and fit. Or pay tons for quality shoes.
With NicoNine you'll find:
- Modern designs with a twist in flat to low-heeled shoes
- Styles available in half sizes, 5-13, in narrow, medium and wide widths
- Shoes made to order, by hand, in Brooklyn, NY
- A brand that supports fellow women entrepreneurs who employ immigrant women with meaningful work at a living wage
- Prices reflect high quality materials and labor based in New York City.
I hope you'll join me and my vision. Thanks for your support!!
Below is my very first design, now available for order!
What makes a pair of shoes the pair you want to wear everyday? It has a lot to do with the style but the components you don't see - but feel with your feet - are really what make all the difference.
The Athena is a modern take on the bootie. This shoe is inspired by its namesake, the Greek goddess, a strong, powerful woman known to fight for just causes. I take this symbolism to mean a woman who is edgy, complex, versatile but, most of all, true to herself.
For more pictures visit the Lookbook page.
Once the Kickstarter is funded, backers will receive an email asking for color and size choices. The email survey will include a size chart and measuring best practices, so you can know which size fits you.
The Athena is available for $239, which includes a custom NicoNine BAGGU bag to pack the shoe within and and free shipping within the US.
If the Athena isn't for you, but you still want to support this cause, with a $30 commitment you'll get a permanent Thank You on the NicoNine website and the BAGGU.
Launch Special - Thanks to all you early supporters who took advantage of the first 24 hours only discount!!
Once the KickStarter campaign is over, I'll be emailing a survey to all backers, asking for the size/width and color of your choosing.
The Brooklyn Shoe Factory focuses on small-batch manufacturing. All the work takes place right here, in Brooklyn, New York, and I'm so proud to be partnering with this great facility and team.
Keiko Hirosue is the founder of the Brooklyn Shoe Space, a co-working space for footwear designers, shoemakers and leather workers. With fellow member and teacher, Rebecca Heykes, the two seasoned shoe designers and makers launched BKSF to support other designers and makers.
AMERICAN made shoes, right in our own back yard is no longer a dream. The factory hires and trains talent through a non-profit organization called CEEDS, which employs immigrant women, and provides them with meaningful work and fair wages.
Fun fact, creating a single pair of the Athena takes around 20 hours and takes about 20 individual steps.
NicoNine was created by me, Nicole Shwirtz, to bring choices to women's footwear. A Brooklyn-based digital marketing expert, I left the corporate world to raise a family and pursue my passion for shoemaking.
Now, after years of study and experimentation, at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology and the Brooklyn Shoe Space, I'm ready and excited to be offering my first shoes for sale through KickStarter, a bootie I call The Athena.
This is just the start and I plan on offering additional styles for future seasons, so stay tuned! I hope you'll support my vision of choice in footwear - affordable, stylish and comfortable flat and low-heeled shoes for women in a large variety of sizes and widths.
For a more detailed version of My Story, please visit www.NicoNine.com!
Risks and challenges
Because all shoes are made to order, in the half-size and width of your choice, I don't hold any inventory. I also don't store any of the materials that go into producing each shoe. I will purchase all the materials once the KickStarter is completed and I know exact quantities and sizes (based on the email survey backers get at the end of the campaign). I've already done all of the due diligence with each vendor that will be used for this production and can place orders as soon as we have the surveys completed.
I've allotted two full months for the sourcing phase, June - July. This is not just because I'm due with my 2nd baby in mid-June, but to give the factory ample time to receive EVERYTHING. That means all of the lasts, leather, insoles, outsoles, zippers, cushioning, heel counters, toe puffs -- everything will be ordered with a few weeks buffer so production can begin in August, as planned. The facility and staff are already set up and ready to work, so there shouldn't be any delays there. This lets shipping begin September 1st!
Ultimately, I believe I've taken into account enough time for backer surveys, material ordering and actual production, but there may be delays beyond my control. In the event of any delays, obviously my backers will be the first to know!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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