Walk awhile in Sheena Edwards’ shoes, as she talks about her new business Lizzie Lou Shoes, which takes flip-flops to a whole new level. This mother of three, designs these high-end shoes after a long day as a stay at home mom, then sells them online and in designer boutiques. Find out how this busy ’95 graduate has come to personify a ‘momtrepreneur.’
By Donna Parker
Sheena Edwards, who received a bachelor’s degree in communication from Trinity in 1995, was out shopping one day with her family when they spotted a really cute pair of flip-flops…for $200. Most people might smile and keep walking, but for Sheena, it was the germination of her business, Lizzie Lou Shoes, which is named after her daughter.
“The actual concept for Lizzie Lou Shoes started in July of 2008. I had been designing jewelry and wanted to do something on the side while caring for my three children. My family and I went to visit family in India where I talked with my cousin who had design and manufacturing experience. We decide to give it a go!” says Sheena.
Lizzie Lou’s website featuring adorable flip-flops adorned with colorful crystals draws clients from all over the world, but Sheena really began the sales process on her home turf of Stone Oak in San Antonio, where a designer boutique, Janie Christine’s, helped her with projecting customer’s sizes and preferences.
“We began with 300 pairs of shoes which are now gone! Since I started in the designer flip-flop market, there is more competition, but our shoes are unique because they’re a design inspiration. I study fashion and color, seeing what’s out there and popular. Generally, I sketch a drawing and e-mail it to India, along with swatches. These colors then are blended with custom crystal, sewn onto the leather uppers of the shoes.”
Sheena says her Trinity professors were instrumental in preparing her for the business world.
“Sammye Johnson, department of communication, was a stickler for rules on public relations and press releases and that really stuck with me,” she laughs. “I worked with William Christ, department of communication, senior year on an internship that was invaluable. Also, my many company internships while a student have served me well. I worked at Halo Distributing, County Line BBQ, San Antonio Museum of Art, and then went into a paid PR position at Destination Southwest.”
Sheena and her husband, Matthew ’94, also a Trinity graduate, met in school in 1993 and were married in the Marguerite B. Parker Chapel on campus in May 1998. Since then, they’ve welcomed Emily, now 10; Lizzie, 7; and Vince, 3.
“The reason I named my company after my middle daughter is because we were on a shopping trip in Bandera, Texas when we ran across the first pair of designer flip-flops. She fell in love with them and wanted to know if they had them in her size!”
This started the mother-daughter business which was launched on Mother’s Day weekend.
“We had always called our daughter Lizzie Lou,” chuckles Sheena. “And, the ‘shoes’ part certainly rhymed! In fact, my kids now even name each pair of shoes (one pair is called Emily Morgan) and the shoes and their names are a real conversation starter.
“I’m determined not to let anything slow me down. We’ve had some glitches, but found a way to fix them and now we’re firmly on our way!”