As fans, buying (or crying about not having money for) merchandise is one of our favourite activities. On TDF, we’ve made a couple of recaps on the best and cheapest places to buy merch (1, 2). But we couldn’t help but notice that there was a lack of shoes from these places.
That’s why we’ve interviewed Jessica, creator and admin of FanShoes, to find out a bit more about their business and how they view merchandise.
Q: When it comes to merch, we’re used to seeing tees, jewelry… How did the idea of creating fandom shoes originate?
A: I’ve always been a bit of a fangirl, I have a number of fandom tattoos (including a Doctor Who half sleeve). I own all sorts of fandom goodies from necklaces and braceletes to shirts, hoodies and my very own “Jayne hat” but I was aware of this huge gaping hole in the market for high quality fandom shoes. Sure there were hudnreds of options for hand-painted converse and trainers but it wasalmost impossible to find shoes tha you could wear every day without having to worry aobut damaging the artwork or even with some places, designs that actually looked like the characters they were meant to! I spent a long time researching how I could fill the gap in the market and realised that the best course fo action was to start off doing hand-painted designs but always have the intention of progressing onto printed designs. I made sure to always keep my prices low, meaning that I was working til 4am for as little as £1.50 an hour. But as FanShoes gathered followers, I got closer and closer to being able to develop how I awnted to. It took 18 months of hard work but finally I had the ability to do the high quality designs that I’d dreamt of. And of course my first pair were the Doctor Who pair I’d been searching for nearlyl 2 years!
Q: We’ve noticed you’ve recently added tees, jumpers, scarvers… Are you gonna keep expanding your products or do you want to focus on shoes?
A: I’m hoping to keep expanding FanShoes offering high quality shirts, hoodies, scarves and other goodies. FanShoes’ main focus will always be the shoes but it’s nice to be able to offer our customers options as well as in the near future the opportunity to be able to purchase full sets such as matching shoes, shirts and hoodies all purchased together for a single price.
Q: What kind of news and updates will receive those who subscribe to your newsletter?
A: Subscribing to the FanShoes newsletter is an amazing idea and you should definitely do it! It’s the first place we go to tell customers about new products, competitions and discount codes. Some of our discount codes are only announced by newsletter so if you don’t subscribe you’re almost guaranteed to miss out!
Q: What are your next plans for the business? Any special offers or events in the future?
A: At the moment I’m just enjoying FanShoes as it is, adding new stock and interacting with customers both on Twitter and on Facebook. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of growth in the futuer and maybe even you’ll be seeing FanShoes on the feet of all your favourite celebrities! But, for now, FanShoes is happy. I’m happy and our customers are happy. I think it’s important to enjoy what you do and not to push beyond your own limitations. I’m a single mum so for the time being it’s nice being able to balance FanShoes and being a parent.
SOME COOL FACTS ON FANSHOES:
FanShoes’ first ever customer is now a member of FanShoes staff
Their first pair of handpainted converse was made for Rick Worthy (he’s still not had them though, they’re being hold hostage – he knows why)
FanShoes fans are called “Shoenatics”
All the FanShoes staff have Twitter names (#ShoeMistress, #ShoeSlave, #ShoeDoodle and#ShoeMinion).
If you get a customs charge for your order they’ll pay you back for it!
FanShoes staff are actively encouraged to marathon TV shows and films
The FanShoes logo was designed by one of their customers after they received their order
FanShoes was nearly called ‘Megica Grays’. “For absolutely no reason at all”
Make sure to subscribe to their newsletter on their website and follow them on Twitter for their latest news and products!