‘Why walk in ordinary shoes?’ – how 300 pairs of shoes inspired a new business

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CEO of J’adore D'amour, Mathapelo Pitso.
CEO of J’adore D'amour, Mathapelo Pitso.

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It's no secret – women love shoes.

And what makes more of a statement than a pair of stilettos that can change one’s mood, make an outfit stand out, a woman feel beautiful and sexy, all the while boosting her confidence?

Some might be content with a modest few pairs but for others, their love is an obsession. We speak to founder of J’adore D'amour, which translates from French as I love love, Mathapelo Pitse who most definitely falls into the second category. Her passion for heels goes way beyond the desires of most women.

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“A perfect pair of stilettos is a pair that makes a woman feel beautiful – something she can indulge in and feel happy to take a walk in. A pair that represents her personality, style, and confidence. A pair that has a little sparkle. I mean, why walk in ordinary shoes? Women conquer the world in fabulous shoes, darling!”

After many failed attempts at running businesses, from catering to fashion, Mathapelo suddenly had an Aha! moment. 

“When I looked at my closet, I realised I had 300 pairs of shoes!”

Her impeccable taste always resulted in flattering compliments from friends and strangers alike, so starting her own footwear brand seemed like a brilliant idea.

She started selling ready-made shoes but her passion has taken her on to designing what people wear on their feet.

 “I gravitated to creating shoes that will appeal to other women, but I also I wanted to design something I enjoyed wearing,” she says.

“With all my designs, there is a consistency of my style and obsession for that season. Currently, I am into colour, gold and playful textures such as ostrich feathers, gold zips, heels, beads. Every season I change styles, and this is dependent on what makes me happy or what I am currently into."

And what is her current favourite? 

"Man! It’s so hard to choose a particular shoe because I love all the designs. But if I really have to choose, I would say the ostrich beaded sandal because it represents the South African heritage of bead work and ostrich feathers,” Mathapelo says.

Her brand has been growing over the years, and she reveals she might just surprise everyone and delve into a more casual look. A sneaker lovers alert, perhaps?

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It hasn't been all high heels and champagne. Breaking out a new brand in the market is challenging but she has no regrets, she tells us. 

“Once all the pieces start falling into place, then it is worth it – as you start to see the vision come to life.

"Some of the lows we have had include trying to be resourceful and find funds to start up the business. And then getting sufficient operating funds to run the business, as you wait for the market to warm up to the brand and the products we are selling.

“A high was when we got our first order. But most importantly, when I found the right team, which is an all-girl group by the way, to assist me to build and run the brand. We all have the same vision and hunger.”

Her next step? Mathapelo says her goal is to create a global brand able to compete at international level, one stiletto at a time.

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