Hi, Tanya, can you introduce yourself?
I am a Canadian French dual national. My husband works in the UK but I am based out of Paris because my shoes and heels are all made in France and I want to be close to our factories.
Before launching Tanya Heath Paris, I had to travel a lot for work and I found that in addition to traveling with a lot of clothes, I had to bring quite a few pairs of shoes back and forth each week. While my male colleagues could get by with a suit and 1 pair of shoes I would have to check my luggage in and when we arrived at our destination, everyone would have to wait for my bags to be delivered.
It seemed that my travel was more complex and certainly heavier. This is part of the reason that I dreamed of an adjustable shoe with changing heels, so like the guys I could travel with just one pair.
What is the idea beyond Tanya Heath?
Tanya Heath Paris provides multi height shoes with removable heels so that a woman can leave the house with only one pair of shoes and adapt them throughout the day as her needs and desires change. That is the practical part of what we do but it goes beyond that.
With the simple click of a heel you can not only play with heel height but also heel color and heel style. We are constantly surprised by the creative combinations that our clients come up with so in essence we offer instant in-store shoe personalization. Now thanks to our website its also instant on-line personalization.
Can you describe the spirit of your changing heels brand shoes?
We find that women are basically the same as always but our needs have evolved and we pack so many more diverse activities into a busy day. The 3 core values at Tanya Heath Paris are Power, Liberty and Seduction. In turn these values have become design themes; Power is for the office and beyond. Liberty is Paris inspired casual chick and Seduction is to take you not only for a night on the town, but back home again in comfort.
Do you travel a lot to grow your business?
I travel approximately two to three times a month. It could be for the opening of a new store in a new city or country, for a meeting with a potential partner or back and forth from one of the factories where my products are made.
What is your favourite city for doing business?
I love Toronto and Montreal. That can sound boring coming from a Canadian, but I have traveled a lot in my life (more than 65 different countries) so now I'm more interested in connecting with friends than adventure. Now I am looking for authenticity and a slice of local life.
What was your most atypical travel?
Southern Ethiopia where I stayed in a hut with the Mursi tribe. In order to cook we had to collect water in a puddle. It took quite a while before I was hungry enough to eat, but I survived.
Do you have a funny business trip memory to tell us?
Four years ago, I was invited to a TV show in Canada. I was a bit jet lagged and I left for my morning workout without a change of clothes. So I had to go to the televised interview in workout gear. Not great when you are launching a fashion brand.
My advice is: Don't over plan your travel and go beyond the guide book.