Inspired by the toddling steps of her son, Sandra Wilson started Robeez out of her basement and favorite brand of footwear of Mamas and kids was born.
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What was your big dream?
My big dream was to find balance between family life and career. After having my son, Robert, I found myself heavily considering career options. I wanted flexibility so that I could work around my son’s and my family’s schedules. I saw a home-based business as the best way to achieve balance while still earning a modest income.
How did you accomplish it?
It all came down to timing. While I was on maternity leave, I was given notice that my job was being downsized. Rather than take another position within the company and return to work full-time, I decided to seize this opportunity to spend as much time with him as possible and start my home-based business. My company, Robeez Footwear, would start shortly after in the basement of my home.
Where did you find inspiration to get started?
I was a new mom completely immersed in the world of baby products so it was only natural that my son inspire my business idea. Around this time, Robert was learning to walk. As he toddled around in traditional hard-soled shoes, I noticed that his movements were awkward. The shoes looked clunky and heavy on his feet and he would trip over the toes of the shoes as he walked. Of course, I realized that toddler steps were awkward, but I thought he may be able to balance himself better with a thinner, lighter weight sole that would allow him to feel the floor. I created a pair of soft-soled leather shoes that would allow him to feel the ground for balance. I named the shoes Robeez, after my son.
What motivated you to keep going?
As Robeez grew, I would meet moms who thanked me for creating these shoes. That always left me speechless. I would say it was the amazing feedback I received that kept me going. I thought Robeez shoes were great, but when I heard it from others, I knew I had done the right thing.
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What's your next Big Dream?
My next big dream is on-going. I look forward to seeing Robert grow up: finishing high school, going on to university, traveling the world. I can’t wait to see what he makes of himself. And, of course, some more traveling would be great too!
When you were 5 what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child, you look up to your mom. My mom wanted me to be a nurse, so when I was five I wanted to be a nurse.
What about when you were 15?
I think my career choice at this age was fairly typical for a teen. I wanted to do something exciting like a police officer. I definitely was not going to have a desk job! ;) As my son nears 15, I wonder if his career choice now will be anything close to what he ends up doing.
Now, what do you want to be when you grow up?
A world class athlete. Well maybe not world class. How about just an athlete? I have been a runner for a number of years. One day, I would love to complete a marathon or maybe even a triathlon. And I’d love to become a better skier and slalom down the slopes with ease.
What book is on your night stand?
I just finished reading Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb. It’s about a British woman growing up in Ethiopia as a Muslim. It’s a great read!
What's your Guilty Pleasure? (Grey's Anatomy, Peppermint Mocha Lattes)
Two words: red wine. I love nothing more than sitting down with family and close friends for long chats over a glass of red wine.
What song moves you?
I love a wide variety of music but two of my favorite artists are Paul McCartney and Elton John.