Joyfolie began, as many companies do, with the simplest of intentions; which is to say, it did not begin as a company at all. At the time, I was an adjunct English professor when, to pass the time on a road trip, I handmade a pair of booties for my then infant daughter. It was such fun that I made several, and, under the prompting of a friend, posted them on Etsy. Those first few pairs were made from scraps of fabric, bits of lace and reclaimed trim from around the house. I am so humbled by those earliest pairs of shoes, because I didn’t have the faintest idea how to sew nor the slightest sense of business acumen. Regardless, my very first wholesale order was from a celebrity, and in a matter of weeks I had inquiries from distributorships. With a penchant for the creative and not so much the methodical, my aspiration for manufacturing began nearly from inception, fueled by large order inquiries in just a handful of weeks.
The journey into manufacturing, though, was a long and slow one.
With no industry connections, we initially produced soft-soled shoes by a small team, handmade entirely in the US. My daughter grew, and the shoes changed to accommodate her needs: from booties, to soft sole, and eventually to firm-soled shoes when we produced our first line in summer of 2011-two long years and many sleepless nights later.
Since then, so much has changed, but also stayed the same. Joyfolie is about beautiful textures, unique finishes, and careful details that come together in a pair of feminine shoes or a lovely piece of clothing designed to delight. Whether it’s flowered peep toes, velvet high-low dresses, ruffled t-straps, or stylish distressed denim our aim is to create nonpareil clothing and shoes that make gals of all ages feel pampered and special. Our girl’s occasion shoes are carefully packaged in decorative draw boxes with styled photography, presenting them as little pieces of art. When I began this business as a hobby, I often made little clips out of scraps and tucked them into orders with hand written notes, as an expression of my thanks to loyal customers who enabled me to make a vocation out of something I loved so much. As Joyfolie has grown, all our girl’s occasion shoes include an extra clip, in that same expression of gratitude. The Joyfolie brand has since expanded to include not only girl’s shoes and boots but also an apparel line with my daughter’s namesake - Mia Joy.
Now, the company has grown: Our social media has toppled a half million in combined reach.We sell to fortune-500 companies and have worked with well-known retailers like Gap Inc, Anthroplogie, SAKS, and hundreds of boutiques nationwide. Our shoes have been on the red carpet, worn by celebrities, and featured in People, Good Morning America, Women’s Wear Daily, Brides, Pregnancy & Newborn, the Knot, and hundreds of bloggers and influencers. Yet, despite that growth, we remain small, with the core of our team made of an intimate group of wonderful women, who care as passionately about this business as I do.
Joyfolie, pronounced “joyfully” is derived from the French word “folie,” meaning frenzy/madness, for the joyful, irrational way in which we love our children.