Ten years go so fast....

Author: Natasha Barber   Date Posted:23 September 2015 

It’s been ten years since our children’s shoe company SKEANIE was born and the time has just flown. 

From small beginnings and a small amount of savings invested, we have now grown into a successful Australian business. This is something of which we are very proud of and it’s taken a great deal of work – success does take dedication and many late nights, but when it happens it is incredibly satisfying! 

What I love most is when we get feedback and stories from our customers about their families and how they are using our products – particularly the shoes. Comments like: “These shoes [infant SNUGs] were perfect for my 10 month old in the cold winter months last year. They lasted the whole season despite the thorough toe work-out due to the fact that she was still crawling.”   This tells me we are not only giving customers what they need they are enjoying the outcomes with their children.

What makes me even happier is when I hear from parents with children having difficulties walking or have sensory processing disorders and that SKEANIE shoes were the ones they responded best in and liked to wear. I also love it when parents send me photos of their children sleeping in their SKEANIE shoes because they don't want to take them off at bedtime! It’s the ultimate satisfaction.

When I decided to start SKEANIE my goal was not only to produce high quality, lightweight, comfortable footwear for babies and toddlers, it was to educate help parents and carers on foot health and how important it is to look after growing feet.  So being engaged with customers, parents and professionals is very important.  These stories and feedback not only tell us what we are doing right, they give us ideas to further develop products and adapt to needs.

All new shoes now have a special guide approved by the Australian Podiatry Association (NSW&ACT) to ensure parents and our customers have all the facts – this is part of our ongoing commitment as we are Associate Partners of the Association.

A key objective of these blogs will be to not only share information on children’s foot and general health, but to further engage and build relationships – so this is another opportunity to get your input – so please feel free to ask any questions or make comment below. 

As we move forward I will share more customer and professional stories with you as well as tips and facts on feet and footwear that we have learned from the experts on our journey.

Although SKEANIE is ten years old our baby sleeping bag range uh-oh! started earlier in 1994. SKEANIE only arrived when I had my first child and feet became a top focus.  I had found some great pre-walker shoes while travelling in Denmark which had lovely soft soles that my child loved.  It was on return to Australia when I couldn’t find anything similar to replace them that I decided to start the SKEANIE brand of shoes for babies to toddlers.

Foot development is so important for our children and their first shoes need to allow the feet to develop and move naturally, whilst being protected.  We did a great deal of research and consulted with designers, podiatrists, suppliers and manufacturers around the world to ensure the designs are beneficial to foot development. 

When you start a family you want to get the best for your kids but basic information about foot development can be overlooked.  For example did you know that your children’s feet and gait keep developing from birth to 18?  This is because the feet are made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, facia and 26 bones with a baby’s foot containing more cartilage than bone.  It is only over time that these will fuse and harden into adult bone. It’s a lot to think about.

For me as a parent ensuring my children have the best shoes while they grow was imperative and now my mission is to supply those shoes not just to my children but to other parents and kids. 

I am a busy working on SKEANIE and raising my children, but I love what I do and have an amazing partner both in work and life plus staff who are like extended family. We work as a team. The words I live by are imagine, believe, achieve – and those around me also help me to do this.

But I always remember that inspiration and new ideas comes from our customers, the public and those in the profession so if you have a shoe need that’s not being met, or a question you need answered just let us know.

Until next time….

Natasha x

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