Charmone began in 2005 as one of the first high-end women’s shoe collections made in Italy using only vegan and eco-friendly materials. Our goal was to create a brand that stood for something, build a company that we wanted to work for, and have a ton of fun doing it.
2005-2008 were some of the most magical and exciting years of our lives, with significant retail and press coverage, celebrity clients, international fashion shows, a license deal and countless trips to Italy. It was the most fun we had ever had at work, and it never felt like work.
2008-2010 saw almost the exact reverse of that success, with nearly all of our retailers going out of business, many Italian factories closing down, our license deal disappearing in the wake of that firm’s bankruptcy, and the collapse of the “accessible luxury” market as we know it. Not to mention massive debt and massive life changes all happening at the same time.
The years since got us thinking about some big questions that we’ll explore in our upcoming book:
How did we create such magic in the beginning, and how do we capture that again?
Why does “failure”, particularly on a commercial/financial level, feel so personal…and why doesn’t anyone talk about it?
How did our friendship survive- and actually thrive- during intense financial and emotional stress, and what lessons can we pass on to help other women work better together?
Why is it impossible to go back to corporate life once you’ve had your own business- and why does corporate life have to suck so bad?
What is it about Italians that makes them the absolute authority on making beautiful things?