Image supplied: Caroline McCulloch from FRANKiE4 Footwear
Introducing designer Caroline McCulloch from FRANKiE4 Footwear who has been saving soles since 2011. As a Podiatrist and Physiotherapist she has built a shoe empire that is taking over the world one step at a time. We had the chance to sit down with her to discuss her latest collection, what's next and the best part of working at FRANKiE4 (it involves dogs!).
You’ve recently launched your AW19 Collection, can you tell me about the inspiration behind the range?
CM: The inspiration behind the AW19 range was to create a good variety of ‘go-to’ work, travel and play options. Preppy brogues and monk strap styles, cool kicks, modern boots and edgy colour updates on the core favourites. I feel it’s a range for everyone, and all with the comfort and support features our customers expect.
Do you have a favourite shoe from each collection? If so, which one from the latest range has a special place in your heart and why?
CM: I can’t deny that I have favourites! It’s always the ones I keep reaching for during the development stage of a range. In our new winter range, I love the MiM sneaker and the GABBi brogue. The RACH boot was also a style I wear tested longer then I needed too!
Image supplied: GABBi Soft Clay, $229.95
FRANKiE4 was launched in 2011 with only 200 pairs of shoes to hit the market, now you’ve built an international empire with 2019 seeing you land new stockists in The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. What has been the secret to your success?
CM: I suppose it’s because I have a true passion for footwear and foot health, the ability to listen to my customers, no ego, lots of hard work, a few tears along the way and no short cuts.
Not only do you have raving reviews online, a cult following and a track record of selling 27 shoes per minute during peak periods, but you’ve also managed to give back. In 2018 FRANKiE4 raised $75,744.50 for Brainchild Foundation. Do you have goals to beat that record in 2019?
CM: We want to raise 100K for Brainchild this year. Our socks are good quality, so I feel confident we can.
We were also raising funds for Buy a Bale for farmers this past summer season. We raised over 11K. Rather than stop, I decided we will keep using our nail polishes to continue to raise funds for them. It’s also an important cause for me, we have to look after our farmers.
Image supplied: TESSA Black, $219.95
You’re a qualified Podiatrist and Physiotherapist, and from the outside looking in, FRANKiE4 HQ looks like a dream place to work. How has building a team culture and maintaining a creative environment impacted your design processes?
CM: Having excellent people on the team gives me the time and space to focus on the product. I credit my team always, I couldn’t do this without them, so they deserve a beautiful space to work in (plus they can bring their dog to work!).
You’d be working on your Summer 2019 collection, can you reveal any details about what we could expect for the new range and when will it land in stores?
CM: Our stockists have recently viewed the SS19 range and it has been received really well by them. The stockists’ feedback is generally a reflection on how the general public will receive it so it’s always a sigh of relief when my sales girls give me that good feedback. SS19 sees lots of new styles, more colour, some bling even..... there’s something for everyone.
What’s next for you and FRANKiE4?
CM: We are releasing something different and new for FRANKiE4 around July/August this year, and I’m confident our customers will love it. So many soles to save… Watch this space!
To shop the FRANKiE4 collection visit their website.