In the first of our series of Meet the Shu Da Team interviews, we caught up with Jenny, who has given us the inside scoop into life as a Footwear Account Manager at Shu Da. We were eager to learn about the upcoming footwear trends this season, and have a nosey into the nitty gritty of her job role, gaining an insight into the wonderful works of Shu Da’s super comfortable slippers!
How did your journey start into footwear and working at Shu Da?
I started working at Shu Da after I graduated from Brighton University in 2017, with a degree in Textile Design. I had previously studied textiles through secondary school and college and it’s something I found myself excelling in. I have always had a big love for textiles, and I have been utilizing my passion through the design processes at Shu Da ever since.
During my studies I worked in Paris at a textile design studio. I loved Paris, the food and the fashion… everything about it was so lovely! A typical day would include weaving materials and working on colour and jacquard design developments which I loved. I later worked in New York for a fabrics supplier who sold fabrics to high end designers across Manhattan. It was an amazing time to be living in central Manhattan, I loved it!
What does it take to design a successful slipper collection?
It takes a dedicated team of enthusiastic individuals with a keen eye for comfort and detail. At Shu Da, teamwork is a big element, it’s always an open discussion in the office as we find ourselves bouncing ideas off each other. Most of our team have come from a retail background so have that knowledge of what a customer really wants from their footwear.
What does a typical day in the life of a Footwear Account Manager look like?
No day is ever the same! That is definitely part of the excitement of the role, a day in the office can range from design development through to merchandising and shipments, to product packaging and labelling. It depends on the time of the year as well - right now is the busiest season but also one of the most exciting times! I enjoy watching the product development, seeing it evolve from a concept to a product ready to purchase online, and seeing how cosy and squishy the slippers turn out is so satisfying!
How important is sustainability to Shu Da customers?
Sustainable products are the future and our customers have realised that we have to take action now. It’s nice to feel that our customers are coming on the sustainable journey with us to find new technologies to make our collections even more sustainable than the last. I am trying to be conscious myself and buy less from the high street, and buy more from independent sustainable brands; this seems to be what our customers want too!
How would you describe Shu Da as a brand, in three words?
Comfortable, sustainable and durable.
What is your favourite Shu Da slipper and why?
It’s going to have to be the Helena Mule Slipper in Grey! It’s such a classic design and one of our bestselling slippers with our customers! I love the feel of the wool upper as it’s so lovely and soft, with the added bonus that the cosy lining is made from 100% recycled polyester.
Can you give us a sneak peak of what is in store for the future of Shu Da?
More sustainability through research and development and also the expansion into more outdoor footwear because the ladies trainers have gone down a real treat! We also have had a lot of our customers asking when we are creating a men’s trainer range, so that is certainly one to look out for.
Are there any upcoming footwear trends you can share with us?
We have definitely seen a big boots comeback, so watch this space! It’s that time of year again when people are looking for something that’s quite substantial.
We are continuing to see lots of greys and nice chunky cable knit in slipper trends, as well as lots of lovely neutral beiges and soft tones.
What is the best part about your job?
Seeing a product you have developed from start to finish being available to buy online, it’s a great feeling knowing you were on that journey and can see the product come to life. The best part of the slippers are the fabrics used and all the components that go into making it - it’s a great challenge and incorporates that element of textiles that I really love!
What have you learnt whilst working at Shu Da?
How important teamwork is! As a team we have over 100 years of slipper expertise between us and we all work very closely together. Having our own brand has allowed us to explore sustainability through fabric and component development and it’s so exciting to watch the brand grow and develop into something great.