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Marilyn Monroe once said “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world” Ain’t it the truth? Girls can never have enough shoes, and every pair of shoes has a love story to tell. So, we talk to Pooja Dhamdhere, Founder and Curator at INTOTO, the shoe company, for our #TuesdayTale.
INTOTO is a result of Pooja’s burning desire to initiate her own entrepreneurial set-up when she was exploring ideas since graduation. She has worked with two Media Publishing Houses at the start of her career, one of which was a leading Fashion Magazine. Two years after that, her love for Fashion only intensified and she was sure about what she wanted to do, and that was to do with building her own Fashion Label. However, she wasn’t sure of the right channel.
Interestingly by this time she knew she had to take her love for shoes to a higher level, and decided on the brand name- INTOTO, even before finalising on what the product would be. “I was sure a brand name has to be three things (thanks to my internship at an advertising agency) affirmative, easy to spell and easy to pronounce. INTOTO means completely or entirely. So the brand would complete one’s look in its entirety. A right pair of shoes does just that. And with the ever expanding e-commerce space I make them accessible to everyone at their finger tips (quite literally) by selling online.”
Her love story with shoes started with a pair of Jimmy Choos she bought from her first salary, and now she owns a zillion shoes herself… Here’s a tete-a-tete with the soul of INTOTO shoes, Pooja-
At what point in your life did you figure out “I want to make shoes”?
Having an ‘un-degree’ in design it is not quite right to call myself a designer. I am more of a Shoe Lover. To be honest it was a well thought out plan than a spur of the moment decision. If I have to pin point on one single occasion then it has to be a movie outing, where I saw a very well-dressed woman wearing awful shoes. She looked beautiful in her outfit but her shoes were a total spoiler. It was then, that I knew I had to channel my intense passion for shoes into my entrepreneurial dream. Months and months of research, designing, team-work and pre-planning has led to the birth of INTOTO.
What are your criteria for well-constructed and well-designed shoes?
I have a different outlook towards designing shoes.
A brand must list down the different occasions where women will wear their shoes, and design them accordingly. To get into a little more in detail the top 3 criteria are material, sole and heel height. All of these have to be designed in a way that they match up to the occasion that they are made for.
Most importantly, today’s urban Indian woman is well read, is a globetrotter and has tastes that match up to international standards. Our styles are aimed at fulfilling their need for just that.
Do you have a shoe motto?
We at INTOTO don’t believe that shoes are just a protective covering for our feet. We believe in the MAGIC of shoes. A right pair of shoes changes your vibe, your walk, your mood, and your confidence level. Whether at work or at play, shoes reflect our personality far more than we realize, and without the right shoes, even the most fabulous outfit remains incomplete.
1) Classic Black Pumps: Your go to shoes when you are unsure of what to wear, they just complement every outfit you wear, be it dresses, skirts, denims or pants. These shouldn’t be more than 3 inches high.
2) Wedges: We asked for comfortable heels and God gave us wedges. If someone lacks height, wedges are their best friends. You can spend an entire day in them without killing yourself.
3) Flats: They are oh-so-comfy and can be paired with jeans, shorts, and dresses. Wear ballerinas when you have to walk a lot and while travelling. The formal Loafers are great for work meetings.
4) Statement Heels: People say life is better when you go 3 inches or higher ;). A woman must have one killer, sexy pair of heels in an attention-grabbing colour, and doused in bling and studs! At a party even if your outfit is simple, your feet will surely grab attention.
5) Pretty Sneakers: On some days, you want to moisturise your feet, pull on your socks, wear comfortable sneakers on jeans and take on the day. Ditch the boring designs and try an experimental, feminine design for a change.