business interview: julie über entspannte antwerpener, zaghafte frauen und vegane schuhträume
Ihr liebt Schuhe?
Bis vor ein paar Jahren hatte ich mit Schuhwerk wenig am Hut. #littledidiknow 🙂 Nun bin ich davon überzeugt, dass ein guter Schuh ein Kunstwerk ist: Was die Verarbeitung, die Bequemlichkeit und natürlich die Optik angeht.
Wer also Schuhe liebt, für den liegt das Paradies nicht nur in Italien, Portugal oder Spanien – nein, von Frankfurt aus ist es nur ein Katzensprung, dann bin ich am Ziel meiner Schuhträume angekommen: in Antwerpen.
Die Trendsetter aus der kreativen Stadt mit nur rund 550.000 Einwohnern haben gestern schon im Laden, was bei uns zwei Jahre später nach Deutschland kommt. Eine Schuhliebhaberin wie ich kann da schon mal vertrocknen. Oder sie entdeckt ihre kleinen, versteckten Läden in Belgien, um sich neue Inspiration für die Füße zu besorgen.
Heute stelle ich euch daher meinen liebsten Schuhladen Antwerpens vor. Diese grünen Sandalen habe ich online bei Julie entdeckt.
Wir hatten uns über Instagram kennengelernt, wo ich von der Stadt an der Schelde nach jedem Besuch schwelge. So ging das eine ganze Weile bis wir uns bei meinem letzten Besuch in Antwerpen vor ein paar Wochen endlich mal persönlich getroffen haben: „Bequeme Boots und coole Schuhe“.
Ich liebe Julies Humor und ihr inspirierendes Stilgefühl. Kelly und Julie haben sich auch schon kennengelernt. Eine Katzenbesitzerin, die auch Hunde mag, muss ein besonderer Mensch sein.:)
Das Interview habe ich mit Julie auf Englisch geführt, denn es verstehen mehr Leserinnen als umgekehrt auf Deutsch.
1. Please introduce yourself to my readers
Hi! My name is Julie Foubert, I was born in Antwerp in 1990, and I’m in a serious relationship with
my boyfriend and my shoes. Yup, footwear is a BIG part of my life. In February 2016 I opened a women’s shoe store, „Myrthis„.
2. Dries van Noten comes from a family of self-employed people. How about you? Did you have any footsteps to follow when you decided to venture out on your own or does everyone in Antwerp carry the business gene? 🙂
My dad is a self-employed architect, but it’s my aunt who was really in the fashion biz: for 40 years, she successfully ran her own clothing store. She was known for her avant-garde, progressive collections. Clothes from small, up-and-coming brands that you couldn’t find anywhere else in the
city or even the country.
I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, too. It’s hard work, but the creative freedom you get in return is priceless. And it’s true that Antwerp is a city of entrepreneurs. There are constantly new stores, restaurants, bars, etc. appearing. Sometimes I can’t keep up!
|credit: Julie Foubert; Antwerp Cathedral city center
3. I mean you know how much I love shoes. Still gotta ask: why shoes?
To me, shoes are the base of every outfit. A beautiful, handmade pair of shoes that you can rely on… I find it almost touching. They’re essential and they take you places. My favorite brands are modern and contemporary, yet maintain their own very unique style. I dream of having my own one day.
It would have to be vegan, though, and free of poisonous products such as chrome. I really believe that is the future (and I am adding more high quality non-leather brands to the Myrthis collection as we speak). I would love to design quality avant-garde footwear. Not easy, but it must be very rewarding.
4a. What does it take to be successful?
Difficult question, because I don’t consider myself successful yet — ask me again in ten years, hopefully I can give you a great answer then! But I know this: you have to put your heart and soul into it. I love the constant challenge to do better, to make sure that the next collection is always more amazing than the previous one. Don’t be satisfied too soon and don’t settle for ‚good enough‘.
Be critical of yourself — but don’t be too severe, either. You have to be your own best friend at the
same time. Making mistakes is part of the process. Oh, and one more thing that I’ve learned the hard way: stay true to your brand. There will always be people who don’t like your stuff, but that’s okay. In the beginning, that would kinda hurt me, but now I just shrug, smile, and move on.
You don’t want to be mainstream, right? So focus on the people who choose to shop at your store because they love what it has to offer. It’s all that matters.
4b. What makes a good sales person?
I think a good sales person senses the right level of guidance that each customer wants and needs. Everyone is different: some people know exactly what they’re looking for (or they want to browse on their own first), others prefer a little more help. You have to be a friendly and patient advisor. And don’t be pushy: that is a deal-breaker.
I don’t want people to feel like they have to buy something — that would be terrible. Since Myrthis is a small boutique, my approach will always be quite personal. It’s nice to make jokes with my customers, fostering a relaxed atmosphere. And I always keep in mind their name, favorite
styles, even shoe size. That comes naturally because I truly enjoy getting to know them.
5. What is your favorite trend for fall/winter?
Definitely khaki and forest green. Beautiful, warm shades and so easy to combine. Fall/winter colors don’t have to be restricted to black, brown and grey. Also: crepe soles. Comfy, sturdy yet feminine, and: super silent! You can sneak up on people without them even noticing!
A last trend I absolutely love: ankle boots with laces instead of zippers. It just looks so good, especially underneath a calf-length skirt or rolled up trousers.
6. Who is your typical customer?
Women who are willing to think out of the box and not afraid to try new things. Like you, Sabina! You know, I often see women who want to try something different, such as platform soles, but are held back because they’re scared of attracting too much attention to themselves.
It makes me super happy when I can convince them to just go for it. My motto is: wear what YOU like! Not what your husband or your friends like. Fashion is one of the few ways through which we can really express our personality and style. It would be a shame not to use it.
7. What is it like living in such a creative hub as Antwerp?
Hehe, maybe I’m not the best person to ask. I have been working like crazy for the past eighteen months, so most evenings I throw myself on the couch instead of checking out new hotspots!
But, even though Antwerp has its downsides (the traffic – help, the public transport – double help)
8. What is your must-see tip for visitors?
The view on Antwerp from the left bank! „Myrthis“ is on the left bank of the river Schelde, called „Linkeroever“, and it’s a seriously underrated location. Most tourists don’t even know about it, and I wish that would change, because Antwerp is more than the traditional city centre and the
9. Eating out?
There are so many great places to eat in Antwerp, but I’d go on forever so I’ll just name my two absolute favorites: „Butcher’s Coffee“ for brunch and -of course- great coffee, „Yam Thai“ for dinner. Delicious food and friendly service!
10. Apart from shopping shoes at your store where should women go to while visiting Antwerp?
Just hundred meters from my store are Emeraude women’s clothing and Amaryllis lingerie. They both have very tempting collections! Then, you can take the metro to the right bank, or walk there through the pedestrian tunnel.
Once you’re in the city center, skip the big chains at Meir (Sabina: Antwerp’s main shopping street) and go to Kammenstraat instead, a side street of Nationalestraat in the fashion district. What you will find there is a mix of alternative brand stores and lovely small boutiques.
When you’re tired of shopping (I hear that’s possible), check out the Fashion Museum or go
Dank je wel schatje!
Now go check out the latest trends, coolest and most comfortable footwear at Julie’s store. Btw: Her shipping service within Europe ist FREE and she is super quick!!! USE DISCOUNT CODE: OCEANBLUE15
What kind of shoes do you like this season? Where do you check out trends? With oceanblue love