Bello celebrating personal empowerment with footwear designer Jenn Roth from KiraKira Couture and we talked about her brand.

Q: Take us back to the beginning. How did your trip to Japan inspire you to chase KiraKira?

Jenn Roth: Shoes changed my life. I’ve always loved them, but it wasn’t until I got the question “what’s your name again?” that my life path would be altered forever. It all started when I went to a networking event one night. Normally these events are the worst, but this night was particularly good. I met this group of people and we were really vibing, but when we got to saying our goodbyes they all looked at me and asked “what’s your name again?” My heart sank. We had just been besties for the last three hours and not one person remembered my name. I felt completely invisible. I immediately thought that if I was wearing a pair of J shaped heels, they would have remembered my name. I wanted to be memorable. I came home and started searching for J-shaped heels! Researching customized footwear that showcase your name, initials, or your message. I wanted shoes to be remembered by… and nothing existed. So I decided to build the shoes myself. I started taking apart heels – literally sawing heels off of hundreds of pairs of shoes! I studied heel construction and set out to create a custom design that also provided extra comfort through arch and heel support. Granted, I ultimately decided to launch my line with “F” and “U” instead of “J”, but we’ll get there!Then a few years ago, my husband and I were traveling in Japan and we visited Harajuku, which is known for its colorful fashion and culture. It was there that I came across the word kirakira which means bling bling or shiny and glittery. I love anything that shines and sparkles (glitter was one of my wedding colors and yes, it is a color!) and the term stuck with me ever since.  Once I made the decision to start this brand, the name choice was obvious!

Q: How did you get KiraKira off the ground?

Jenn Roth: After creating my KiraKira Couture prototypes, I met with every manufacturer that would take a meeting with me (mostly owned by men) but no one took KiraKira Couture’s unique heel design seriously at first. I had a patented design that provided a more comfortable heel option by offering extra support for the arch and heel of your foot, but no one wanted to change the construction of how a high heel shoe was made.I was met with constant rejection and it certainly took a toll on my spirits. Eventually I met a manufacturer whose wife happened to be at the office that day. She agreed to try the shoe on and within seconds she was convincing her husband that this was a shoe he needed to make!As a fashion outsider, what I didn’t know turned out to be my greatest asset. Not knowing the way things “should” be done allowed me to be innovative, and disruptive, and break the status quo. And I was able to invent something new in the process!

Q:Do you have prior experience running your own business? 

Jenn Roth: With limited business experience, no background in fashion and not a single contact in the industry, it was extremely challenging trying to make this dream a reality. From constantly hearing the word “no” to quite literally not knowing what my next step should be at so many points in the process, I had to rely on maintaining my fiercely undaunted state of mind, trusting my instincts and believing in the value and benefit my product brought to women. I am incredibly proud that I was able to manifest this dream into reality! Now everyone in the world will have a chance to say something unique through the message of their footwear.

Q: How do you balance being a mom with the glitz and the glam?

Jenn Roth: I have been a fashionista since the womb – it’s in my blood! Balancing being a mom with the glitz and the glam is definitely not easy, but if you are passionate about something you make it work. My son is my greatest joy and KiraKira Couture is my other baby! It certainly also  helps that the shoes are comfortable so I can wear them at play dates and then on a red carpet later that night!

Q: What makes KiraKira shoes “the perfect boot?”

Jenn Roth: The goal of the shoe line is to make every woman sparkle and be memorable, both literally and figuratively. However, if a shoe isn’t comfortable, you aren’t going to wear them very often. I mean, how many pairs of shoes do you own that never make it out of your closet?  You love them but you can’t wear them, yet you can’t not have them. All we want is for women to love their shoes and be able to wear them! We want you to always sparkle, so our innovation comes via our patented and uniquely constructed heel design that provides amazing support and comfort.

Q: How are your shoes vessels of motivation and inspiration for your customers?

Jenn Roth: When I look at my 3 year old son, I think “he is so undaunted.” He is confident in what he wants to say and never hesitates voicing his opinions. This is an incredible gift. I know as he gets older there will be more and more opportunities to diminish his spirit and discount his voice, and I don’t want that to happen to him. One of my earliest goals with this brand was to create something memorable. As I began developing the F.U. Fiercely Undaunted line, I discovered that I also found my voice through that process. Shoes are my superpower.

I use my shoes as an anchor, as my superhero cape, I put them on and they help me feel more confident and powerful and strong. No matter the challenge, I can achieve anything as long as I take that first step. I want to share my power with the world. Being unapologetically ourselves is our unique gift to the world and wearing the F.U. Fiercely Undaunted shoes will always remind you to celebrate that fact.

Q: What does it mean to be a KiraKira woman?

Jenn Roth: The KiraKira woman is beautiful, confident, and fearless! This is a state of mind, and bringing out that side of women inspires me and my designs. To me, there are three main things you need when stepping out in the world and going for what you want, boldness (red), sophistication (Black) and sparkle, so I felt strongly that this would be the perfect trio to launch the brand.

Q: What has been the greatest highlight of KiraKira’s growth story? 

Jenn Roth: For one individual that I know who is currently battling cancer, she puts on her F. U. Fiercely Undaunted shoes while getting chemotherapy as a reminder to kick cancer’s ass. In honor of her, and my incredible mother-in-law, and the many women I know who have been affected by breast cancer, we are going to be expanding the line with a pink Fiercely Undaunted shoe and will donate a portion of the sales towards breast cancer research. 

Q: How long have you been designing custom shoes?

Jenn Roth: Designing, creating, and patenting our unique shoe designs have been years in the making! Now celebrating KiraKira Couture’s launch 5 years later blows my mind because I never expected that one simple thought from a moment in time would lead us to where we are today. 

Q: Can you hint at what KiraKira’s future holds?

Jenn Roth: In the year ahead we will also have a few new colors we will be showcasing as well as a new design completely unique to the marketplace!


Instagram @kirakiracouture