Interviews

Her Jamaican Sandals Broke the Internet – An Interview with Shoe Designer, Juliet Morgan

Meet The Woman Who's Sandals Broke the Net

This week we have a conversation with Juliet Morgan from Shoan’s Collections. Juliet grew up in the country, Hatfield Manchester, with her mother (who was a housewife) and her four brothers. She attended Manchester High School and then went on to business college. After which, she was employed in the corporate world for a number of years. However, Juliet never felt that the corporate world suited her personality, hence she opened her first boutique selling imported garments. With the garments that were not sold, she started making secondary products.

What is Shoan’s Collections?

Shoan’s Collections is predominantly a footwear manufacturing company. However, we also manufacture handbags as well as other clothing or wearable accessories. We are based in Kingston Jamaica, where we have  a Manufacturing facility as well as a retail outlet where we process both local and international orders.

Which sandal design broke the Internet?

Photo Source: Juliet Morgan

Photo Source: Juliet Morgan

This particular design is a unique registered Jamaican themed design. When it went ‘viral’ there was a significant increase in the demand for it. As a result, we are also planning to manufacture surplus for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Were you surprised?

I was somewhat alarmed as I have had this design on the market for a while and interest was a bit low keyed. So with the sudden increase in demand, after it went viral, I was pleasantly alarmed indeed.

Which factors do you consider when designing sandals?

There are a number of factors I always consider when designing for Shoan’s Collections. My criteria are:

  • Comfort
  • Age appropriate designs
  • Correct sizing ‘true size
  • Appearance
  • Colours suited to design
  • Durability
  • Test of time styles
Photo Source: Juliet Morgan

Photo Source: Juliet Morgan

Who would you like to see in your designs?

  • Michelle Obama
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Iyanla Vanzant
  • Rihanna
  • Lisa Hanna

Who are your favorite designers?

  • Gianvito Rossi
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Manolo Blahnik

When did you become interested in designing shoes?

I believe in my teens, if not from birth, as I grew up around a sewing machine. Having four brothers and no sisters I wasn’t welcomed around my brothers’ mechanical hobbies of fixing cars and other things like bird shooting with catapults, spinning gigs, playing marbles and such. Instead, I was encouraged to stay indoors, do chores and other stuff that related to little girls. Here, I found interest in ruining mom’s prized sheet sets to hone my skill. This is where I fell in love with fashion. Fast forward some years to when I operated the boutique, I began making handbags from unsold garments, then I decided to make matching sandals, and that was the birth of Shoan’s Collections sandals.

Photo Source: Juliet Morgan

Photo Source: Juliet Morgan

What are some of your upcoming projects?

  • Manufacturing sufficient sandals of the ‘viral’ style for the Rio Olympics. This task had to be treated as a project due to the quantities, plus the challenges of transportation and and distribution.
  • Creating a website for the company.
  • I also donate footwear, particularly school shoes, to needy children. I want to expand the project to include other companies, specifically those whose products I use (e.g. glue manufacturing companies).
  • Writing a book on this journey – It has been extremely rough, yet because of sheer determination it I am finally able to reap some benefits.

Do you have any tips for anyone aspiring to enter the industry?

Pay attention to the quality of the products and the tools used in production.

What Philosophies do you live by?

  • If you are blessed with a talent and there is some way to give of it (from it) you ought to.
  • Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
Photo Source: Juliet Morgan

Photo Source: Juliet Morgan

What are some strange things you do?

Pout my mouth when I’m deep in thought.

What phrase do you like to use?

“Which is right!” & “I reckon…”

Is there anyone you would like to thank?

As well as sticktoitiveness and determination, I would like to publicly thank my mom who first taught me about sewing. For the exceptional support I have had from my two loving brothers Howard and Patrick Morgan, who have sacrificed almost their all to see me get this project and passion off the ground. I am Eternally grateful and thankful and I never skip a beat to let them know how much I appreciate them. Also thank you Jamaicans.com for identifying me and offering this truly fantastic opportunity!!!

Follow Shoan’s Collections at @Shoans_Collections on Instagram and on Facebook.

About the author

Brittany Murphy