We’ve all struggled with wanting to wear cute shoes but ultimately giving in and going for the more comfortable option. To address the age-old dilemma, Julie Brown created Julie Bee’s, a line of American-made footwear designed for the working woman—the one who juggles work, family and friends, yet still wants to look fashionable. After living in D.C. for several years and experiencing political life on the Hill, Julie was that person, and it inspired her to take the leap and create it herself.
Check out her shoes online at myjuliebees.com, or stop by her trunk show to shop and meet Julie and Naples’ own Christina Bower of C.Blau handbags on Feb. 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort, Naples. To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Plus, mention The New Naples at the trunk show and receive $50 off your Julie Bee’s purchase of $200 or more.
Here, Julie shares the inspiration for her shoe line, her staple fashion items and her advice for other women entrepreneurs.
How did Julie Bee’s begin?
Julie Bee’s was born out of the love for American craftsmanship; founded in Atlanta in 2012. I realized I needed a pair of shoes I could wear all day long that could take me from the morning at work all the way to the evening—networking, dinner with friends or out running errands. I wanted to create the 12-hour shoe, not the two-hour shoe.
What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs?
Each day comes with new surprises and challenges. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint at heart; it is a rollercoaster ride on any given day. I had always heard other entrepreneurs speak to the jolts but never fully understood what they meant until I started to experience the journey.
Think long and hard about starting a company, period. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything but this journey not only affects your life; it also affects your friends, your family and your significant other in ways no one can prepare you or them for. I am constantly amazed by my support group and wouldn’t have made it this far without the help from fellow entrepreneurs. (Thank you!)
Discover mentors that have started their own companies and/or accomplished a successful exit. Thriving entrepreneurs have a tremendous amount of invaluable knowledge to share. Finding one or more that would be willing to mentor you along the way will help you attain your goals quicker thus avoiding many missteps firsthand, which saves you, time and money.
What is your staple fashion item for the weekend?
My AG skinny jeans and my Julie Bee’s, of course—I have on my Atlantas!
If you could trade lives for anyone for a day, who would it be? Why?
Melinda Gates. I have always admired the work that the Gates Foundation has done globally. The impact and the lives changed and saved because of their tireless efforts are unfathomable. I was recently reading in Elle that she announced that she is going to be focusing on empowering women and girls for the rest of her life. I’ve always been of the belief, “Empower a girl, and she will change a nation.” Research done while I was in undergrad showed this thinking time after time. I am so pleased to see the Gates Foundation take on this important mission. I would love to walk in Melinda’s shoes for a day and give back in an impactful way.
Next stamp in your passport?
Galapagos, where we will be celebrating my fiancé’s parents’ 70th birthdays! I can’t think of a better place; plus, I get to check something off my bucket list. Double bonus!
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All photos courtesy of Julie Brown