Branding Matters

Faryl Morse - Have a Mission Bigger Than Yourself

June 17, 2022 Branding Badass Episode 66
Branding Matters
Faryl Morse - Have a Mission Bigger Than Yourself
Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Faryl Morse, the Founder and CEO of Faryl Robin Shoes - a global independent footwear brand committed to empowering women.

Faryl has been a leader in the footwear industry for more than 20 years. Her passion for empowering women with the best footwear is what fuels her purpose. She believes all women should have access to footwear that makes them feel confident and beautiful regardless of age, identity, ethnicity, size, physical limitations, financial means & fashion sensibility.

I invited Faryl to be a guest on my show to talk about her mission. I wanted to learn how the Faryl Robin Shoe brand came to be. And I was curious to get her POV on her competition, and how they help elevate her brand.

💥 𝑰𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒑 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒃𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔, 𝒆𝒎𝒂𝒊𝒍 𝒎𝒆 𝒂𝒕 𝒋𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅𝒔𝒐𝒏@𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒖𝒎𝒂𝒓𝒌.𝒄𝒐𝒎

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Joelly Goodson :

Hi I'm Joelly your Branding Badass, and welcome to season two of Branding Matters. My guest today is Faryl Morse, the Founder and CEO of Faryl Robbins shoes - a global independent footwear brand committed to empowering women. Faryl has been a leader in the footwear industry for more than 20 years, and her passion for empowering women with the best footwear is what fuels her purpose. She believes all women should have access to footwear that makes them feel competent and beautiful, regardless of age, identity, ethnicity, size, physical limitations, financial means and fashion sensibility. I invited Faryl to be a guest on my show today to talk about her passionate mission. I wanted to learn how the Faryl Robin's shoe brand came to be. And I was really curious to get her point of view on how COVID has impacted her business and what the future of footwear looks like. Farrell, thank you so much for being here today. And welcome to Branding Matters.

Faryl Robbins:

Thank you. I'm honored to be here.

Joelly Goodson :

It's so nice to meet you. Where are you today?

Faryl Robbins:

I'm in New York City.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, yeah, cuz I saw behind your window a beautiful view. Nice building. So your Are you right in Manhattan?

Faryl Robbins:

I'm in the flat iron area of Manhattan. But I'm an I'm a native New Yorker. I grew up in New York City, so

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, very cool. I love New York. My brother lives there actually.

Faryl Robbins:

Oh, cool. Yeah, great city.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, it's a lot of fun, especially in the summer. Okay. So I know you don't have a sister. But I also, because I do my research before I meet with my guests. And I found out that you don't have a sister, but your BFF is like a sister to you. And she's someone that people know. So can we say who she is. And also, I'm curious to know if she wears your shoes?

Faryl Robbins:

So I'm very much a girl's girl. Like I'm a, you know, mom, like I very much have a girl gang. It's a diverse group. And I think who you're referring to is Debra Messing, who is an extraordinary human is one of the most talented actors I've ever seen. She's actually opening a play in New York City this week. And I got to see that in rehearsal. It's called birthday candles. And she literally is on stage for 90 minutes and takes my breath away. Using Yeah, she does my feral rather than she's among others.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, I wish I wish there were others. I was actually curious to know if she ever wore them on the set of Will and Grace like to say a little promotion for you

Faryl Robbins:

know, for never good every once in a while, like, I'll send her a box, and she'll post about it. And then she gets a lot of flack because she so she actually gets a lot of flack because she's so she's such a strong activist, she actually posted in a pair of sandals once, and somebody came back and said, I can't believe you're posting about your new shoes when you know, there's chaos in the world. And her response was, I am supporting my friend who's a female founder, and I love them. But I was It's shocking. Just how vocal. Yeah, especially for somebody who's just fighting for all the right things, I believe,

Joelly Goodson :

you know, that is so shocking, because I'm one of those people I love. You know, nevermind just supporting people, but especially friends. You know, I mean, I'd love to connect people. I'm a connector. So I if I know someone does something and someone needs something, I love bringing them together. And yeah, and same thing, you know, if there's something if I had a friend, and you know, the reason I asked is because when I have friends that have a business where they have something and they want to promote it, I'm like, Here, give it to me send it to me, I'll promote it all over, because I love doing that, because it's a great way to help people. So I'm kind of shocked and little disappointed to hear that actually.

Faryl Robbins:

Yeah, you know, she is really wonderful. I am the New York Chair of the women in the footwear industry. So I'm a big supporter of the women within the footwear industry. Because there there are very few, especially in the C suite. And it's really important that we support each other. And I think, historically speaking, just the patriarchy of the world. And I don't say this isn't as a male bashing statement, because I think men have the same patriarchal boundaries that they have to struggle with. But we historically have fought each other for a seat at the table. And it's time for us to rewrite that narrative that we will not move forward as quickly as we should and deserve to if we are not a supportive community, and that's part of the the goal of this organization. And I was asked to speak once and I asked Deborah to actually speak with me to talk to you about sort of this sisterhood of being too powerful, successful women. In and how we manage it and how we managing being mothers and supporting each other. And it was really cool. So she she is a huge advocate in all things beautiful in my life. And in many respects, she she gifted me that, you know, she taught me the power of, of one individual's voice and the effects that that we can have on the world.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, community over competition, I find you're right, I think because women have always tried so hard to have their own voice that there was always that competitiveness amongst each other. Because it was so scars, right, there was only so many positions available that that's the way we had to get it or so we thought and now I think, you know, you lift each other up and try to be successful together.

Faryl Robbins:

You know, one of the most powerful books I've ever written was written by AB one back, who wrote the book Wolfpack, and it very much talks about how we have felt gratitude for our two seats. If there are two seats or one seat at the table, and really, only as a collective community. Can we demand a larger table and the way dialogue happens at the table, which has historically been very male, and there's power in numbers to do that. And it's really important today, more than ever, yeah, to honor those in marginalized and or diverse communities that we haven't been historically cognizant of.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah. And I think that's a great segue into your rant, right? Fell Robin choose, because I think a lot of what you stand for is all about that equality and women and you know, even something as simple as I remember, when I was researching about you, and you have like women's sizing, it starts at size, or it goes up to size where 11 or 12, or

Faryl Robbins:

1616.

Joelly Goodson :

I mean, you know, I'll just tell you, so my son does drag, and he would always try to find shoes, and he is he's got big feet anyway, I think he's a man's 11 or something. So you would try to get women's shoes. Good luck.

Faryl Robbins:

Not Right. Right. You know, that is that is what inspired it. So oh, okay, I had read, I had read an article about the trans community, and not necessarily dread, but the trans community. And it really is one of the most marginalized communities today that it has the highest suicide rate. It is the most difficult community to find work. I mean, we live in a country where you can't even say gay in Florida, don't even get me started. Yeah, it's absurd and ridiculous. And when Zappos came to me and said, we really want to start a woman run brand, and you've been in the industry for so long, and your work is, is awesome. Because really, what I do is a lot of private development, and I've been around for for quite a while, the conversation I have with them was I want it to be inclusive in every way. I want to be size inclusive, inclusive, because I think all women should be honored. And that includes the women in the trans community. And they were incredibly supportive at a time where it wasn't really discussed. Like it was one of those provocative topics still, and I was like, this is this is how it's gonna work. It's gonna be price inclusive, and it's going to be size inclusive, because I feel like it is my responsibility to honor all women. And I say this in my mission statement, regardless of size, financial means physical limitations, it is our responsibility to make everyone feel like the prettiest girl in the prom, because that is empowerment.

Joelly Goodson :

I love that I had no idea that that was the impetus for you starting your brand. So it was the

Faryl Robbins:

impetus for us going up to the for us it was part of the deal and going in starting the brand. And it was the impetus for the size going up to size 16. Now I have to tell you, I am shocked at how many women consumed federal Robins shoes because they just don't find inclusive sizing in the marketplace. But it really was started with this idea that is our responsibility to honor all women, especially if it's a marginalized community. Yeah, that is overlooked.

Joelly Goodson :

That's Oh, I love that. So I want to back up a little bit. I want to cuz you know, the shoe industry. I mean, I don't know a woman who doesn't love shoes. So it's such an amazing industry. So I just want to back up. So how did you get into the footwear industry to begin with?

Faryl Robbins:

I needed spending money after school that that was independent of asking my parents for money to buy things, and I got my first job in high school. I was a junior in high school, and I literally walked home from high school on 63rd Street to 81st Street, which is where I lived and stopped in every restaurant, every retail store. And Kenneth Cole retail store happened to have been the first to call me back otherwise I'd be baking ice cream today possibly. But I remember, you know within hours of being in that store feeling like it was home to me like somehow I must have been In a cobbler, in my past life, like everything just felt good to me. And I was interested in both the design and I was interested in the business side of it. And I was interested in the sales, and I sent in a late application to fit and I really have never left the industry, it's still is something I feel so passionately about.

Joelly Goodson :

So you were there, and you're selling shoes like that, Oh, my God,

Faryl Robbins:

I was I was selling shoes for Kenneth Cole. Yeah, during like the Reagan time period, for 9% Commission, like I had more money in my pocket, you know, I would work on weekends, or certain days after school, and then it just, I just started to go in. I mean, I spent my senior cut day selling shoes, and I loved it. It was just, it was great.

Joelly Goodson :

And so then how did you go from that? I mean, did you work yourself up with? Did you work your way up in that company with Kenneth Cole? Or did you go off and start your own? Like, how did you get into so I

Faryl Robbins:

sent in a late application to fit, which ended up to right, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and I started in there buying and marketing program. And then, you know, continued, they had just started their accessories design program, it was brand new. And I shifted into that so that I can learn pattern making and very specific aspects of the accessories world. And from there, I and I had always worked, you know, like, I never gave up my job because of the freedoms that is afforded me as a young adult. So I was working somebody at school actually, one of the professors at school, who's a very famous shoe industry man got me a job with a with the largest shoe company in the country. At that point, it was called USU. And they sent me to Italy, to learn patternmaking in this program called our Sutaria, which still exists and is still an amazing program for footwear. Wow. And I really especially. Yeah, it was it was extraordinary. So I was really fortunate. I worked really hard and created opportunities for myself. But I also ended up in really good places, and really good times. And that really was a turning point for me, because it really differentiated me from other shoe designers in the states that really, at that period in time, we knew how to make pretty pictures issues, but we weren't taught how to make shoes. So that hands on experience was really important for me.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, I bet. Like, you know, they say a lot of times founders, when they start or when they hire new people, they make them go through all the different jobs in the company. So they learn from the ground up. So there's no aspect of the job that they don't know, right. So that's the best way that they can run their business.

Faryl Robbins:

It's interesting, because I really have done everything in the shoe industry. So I went from our Sutaria. And then I worked in design, and I worked in PR marketing, and I was the worst customer service sales rep aerosoles has ever had to this day. And then I was a buyer for the Alto group in Canada, which is pretty awesome. And the benefit of that, although while it's incredible that I could start a company by myself, and really do just about every thing required from start to finish. But the real benefit was learning what I was passionate about, what were my weaknesses, that I was going to have to hire for and around what my strengths were, and what type of company I wanted to have when we go back to the concept of branding and creating your mission statement, which I think all companies should have. And I think it should be bigger than themselves. So that we're all fighting for a cause that is larger than ourselves. And it feral Robin, it is about empowerment, inclusive empowerment. And we really use choose to do that.

Joelly Goodson :

What inspired you to say, Okay, I'm going to go off back in this industry that is I'm assuming extremely competitive, I'm going to start my own shoe brand. What inspired you to do that? And then you talk about your mission all the time, like, how did that come into play when creating the feral Robin brand?

Faryl Robbins:

Great questions. So I think I always knew I would have my own company one day, when I went to fit. I used to write all of my papers on feral Robin as the company that would be the example I would use. And where does the name come from? My first name is Farrell and my middle name is Robin here, because

Joelly Goodson :

when I was doing my research, I knew I was like, wait a minute, that's not her last name. And then I was like,

Faryl Robbins:

oh, no, and it's better else gets more complicated because I, you know, went through a pretty nasty divorce. And I'm like, wow, we need to discuss publicly how changing a name is so much more impactful than we ever realized. Caught between a married name and my historical name and I've never been known professionally for 20 years as one name and I'm like, I'm at a loss. Yeah.

Joelly Goodson :

You know what, when I this is totally tangent, but my name is very unique like yours. It's true. only. And then when I same thing got married, changed my name then got divorced. And same thing with you, I'm actually still going through it a lot of the same challenges, whatever. So I've just decided for now and I'm just going to be Jolie. And that's me. And I don't have to worry about any of that. Well, it's,

Faryl Robbins:

it's really interesting because truth be told, I don't feel like my married name any longer. But I've been known professionally by my married name for 20 years, and there will be an impact. It's a little formerly known as and and it's also like, it's a bit of an identity crisis. What do I feel like? And there are days I actually respond with a different name. It's interesting, which, you know, unfortunate that I use my middle name, I guess, because I started before I got married.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, anyway, sorry, I didn't mean to go on that tangent. But I guess what you were saying so. So continue on. So then you so you were you always knew you were gonna have

Faryl Robbins:

your lawyers knew what I was gonna do in 2001. Prior right prior to 911, it really felt like a really good time for me. So at that point, in time, all women's shoes looked like they were made for corporate American women who had to look kinda like men in their dress, you know, you wore suits, or you wear business suits, or it wasn't about, you know, it was never supposed to you didn't, you weren't feminine, or independent. There was no room, you know, it's not like today where half my offices have been jeans or one day, they came from a rave in the morning, and they were where they they celebrate that, you know, it was like brown pumps were all over the marketplace, or there was the junior market, let's say Steve Madden, it was really made for young teens. So if you went to school and you graduated, your only two options were the same shoes you had been wearing when you were 15, or corporate American men assumed women in the workforce needed to be wearing and it was really an opportunistic time to bring creativity back into footwear. And going back to my education, I knew how to make shoes. So I knew that that design and price did not need to be mutually exclusive, that we could make really cool product for the right price. And that was the goal sort of celebrate our independence, for lack of a better way to put it. And that's but but it's not just about putting on a shoe that you can get from point A to C and you want to look good. There is something incredibly empowering about footwear vary. And I say this all the time. Very similar to what lingerie is like, nobody sees it. Nobody unless you unless you choose to show them. It is something that you put on and makes you feel a certain way whether it's powerful or sexy or put together well. And there's something about that feeling that makes you feel stronger. And it's the same with footwear. Like I think no matter what you're wearing, you can change your shoe and it has a totally different look. I eat a wet I think

Joelly Goodson :

shoes make the outfit. I'm not kidding like I'm one of those people when I was at a party last weekend you know in Canada when there's snow on the ground people are very mindful of not wearing shoes in people's homes right so I have my little shoe bag and I bring my shoes because we How can you wear an outfit and put you know effort effort and time from your everything and then not have the shoes to me they finished it outfit so I

Faryl Robbins:

I've seen your mood and your personality. Oh my god for years have been wearing dresses with the army boots. And it's not for any other reason. And I'm like the grinder girl like I could live and die by pro statement. You know, it's and it's my personality. Yeah. And I think all women should honor their personality and this dress that most people would wear with a heel and or evening shoe on like, don't tell me how to wear it. Yeah, Army good. Yeah. And that I think is what's changing in the fashion industry more than ever has before it is this mixing of the obvious to create a personal style that I don't think women felt secure enough to share in the past. You know, there was a vulnerability to not fitting in or looking like everybody else in the room that I think we are starting to shed and I love that. Yeah,

Joelly Goodson :

I love that too. No, absolutely. I mean, there used to be where they had to match and now you know I always say like, you don't want to be matchy matchy like that's what's gonna make that stand out. I agree with you. It's the personality

Faryl Robbins:

but unless you want to be matchy matchy because then if you want to be matchy matchy, but that's who you are free and and honestly matchy matchy on a 17 year old makes a very different statement than matchy matchy honor on a 75 year old because you know so Ubu like you do you that's what this is about. But again, going back to like I think historically Speaking women were, you know, we wanted to go pick up our kids and look like every other mother at pitha. Or we wanted to go into a meeting and look like everybody else and not stand out as creative beings. And I think that that, thankfully has changed. It's a really cool time.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, it must be you talked about inclusivity. And, and empowerment. And those are really strong words. What are the things is Ferrell, Robin doing? What are other things are you doing to make your brand differentiate it from all the I don't, I don't even know how many other footwear brands are out there. I don't even know if I could count there's a lot

Faryl Robbins:

most of them are owned by a much smaller amount of, of companies who have multiple brands, I think that we are about what feels right for us. And that's, that's probably a little bit different. You know, when I think about branding, I think about being true, to doing the right thing by us. And honoring that. So it's not that we're the cool girl brand, we just happen to be cool. Because we are cool. And we are not like the inclusive brand. We are inclusive, we wake up with a desire to make the world a better place. I certainly do. And all of these things that historically, I would walk into the CEO conference and talk to, you know, doing the right thing, or being transparent or treating the the our partners overseas and the workforce in a kinder way rather than policing them. I used to watch them and roll their eyes. And it took me a really long time to not be afraid of that. Yeah. And what's fascinating is, I think our brand is about honor and respect and inclusivity and doing the right things for the right reasons, and treating our partners that way. And, and demanding that they treat us that way. We're not interested in having transactional relationships, either with the retailers that we work with, and or the producers that we produce with our factory base. And that's our brand. Again, most 95% of what we do doesn't have the name Ferrell Robin on it. So our reputation is what a brand is that it's your right. And our reputation within the shoe industry is you know, I laugh all the time, because I have seen my partners do extraordinary things for us. And we will do the same in return. And when I watch companies that are more bottom line oriented, come in to shake up that relationship a little bit or threaten that relationship. I have seen these partners say, no, no, no, we've been doing this a long time together. And no, thank you. We're not going after the shiny object. And we've done the same to try to be supportive, and that is our brand.

Joelly Goodson :

And you know, when I'm listening to sale that and you you start off by saying you know, we do what we do, we don't do what everybody else does. But I think what I hear and it's obvious in your mission is you don't dictate to the consumer to buy this product because it's cool. You hear what is missing out in marketplace at the consumer needs, for example, sigh 16 shoes, and you're like, Okay, I hear you, and I'm here for you. And I'm going to give you what you've been asking for that no one else is offering. That's what I that's what

Faryl Robbins:

we're gonna do. We're gonna give it to you, but we're gonna advocate for Yes, exactly the retailers in mind. And it's hard work. It's a fine combination between doing extensive research and analytical data and trend forecasting. And like I said, I just got off a plane in Europe to see what's happening there versus here.

Joelly Goodson :

So why do you do that? Why do you have a private label portion of your business as well as developing your own brand? Like what like why wouldn't you just go out and promote that Farrell, Robin brand? And then how do you juggle both?

Faryl Robbins:

You know, it's such a great question. So I started as a private development company or a trading company when I first started because I didn't have the money to start a brand it is really costly. The business math is entirely different. So the way we work is we design for other retailers, they purchase it they take ownership. When the shoes leave the port in whatever country of production we're working in, and the financial risk is mitigated to the payment terms. When you have your own brand. You are paying designers to design for a specific brand. You are then producing for this brand you then have to sell the brand so you need to Salesforce and you need to attend trade shows and put people on the road to sell your brand promote, promote, promote, right or get you know, you want to give visibility, you then have to you sell it and all of these costs go on top of your shoe. And then you have to pay for your goods 120 days before you ever get paid. And I couldn't afford to do that. I just couldn't. So the idea was, I will work as a private development company. And when I'm ready, I'll fund the brand. And it wasn't something that I was particularly interested in. It's something we fell into, because we used to show these trade shows, and so many retailers came up to essence said, we want to buy this, that we ultimately became a brand. And we were for a couple of years. And we did very well. But I don't at the time. So think, you know, eight years ago, now, nine years ago, now, I didn't have faith in the brick and mortar system. So we were in Nordstrom, and we were in Bloomingdale's, and we were in independence. And I would walk into a Nordstrom on a Saturday, and then I would work in Bloomingdale's, the next Saturday and an entirely different state. And they were almost interchangeable. And I would go on the floor and you would see the same sort of shoe of the season, whatever it would be by five different brands. So if you ask for the Madden version of it, and they didn't have it, they would bring you out the Jessica Simpson version or that somebody else's version. And it was

Joelly Goodson :

on the shoe sorry. So would your so when people go into let's say a Nordstrom and they would bring out a fell Robin shoe by Nordstrom.

Faryl Robbins:

At one point when we did launch that brand, it was Farrell, Robin, okay, we did launch the brand and sell it to retailers. And I didn't like the math. And I didn't like the you know, when you work with major department stores or many stores, the math is marketing margins. Okay, so

Joelly Goodson :

then where are you today? So now are you just working with private labels and you're not you don't have your own brand. Okay.

Faryl Robbins:

So because of that Bose, we reintroduce the feral Robin label thoroughbred feral Robin. Yeah, that's the only retailer that we're working with today. Because it is this partnership. And I want to really give credit to Zappos as a retailer because they're cool. And their missions is very similar to ours and sort of doing the right thing. And well, they have a great story

Joelly Goodson :

to, you know, I like to talk about a brand and you know, what they've accomplished and how they go about everything. It's pretty remarkable. There's,

Faryl Robbins:

there are a couple of really great stories about Zappos. But one of the things that they did that blew my mind was somebody would work for six months, and then they would go in then and offer them 5000 7000 To leave. And their theory on that was if you're not happy in a way that that $7,000 or that 5000, whatever that number was, is more enticing to you, we'd rather get you out sooner than later. And it sort of was a cleanse for the culture. So anybody that was didn't really fit in, was like, Hey, thanks for the money. See you later. And those who were like, this is more than money. For me. This is like my way of life would remain. You know, they were the first community that that their interview questions was, how lucky are you? Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, you said, I think that's so true. I think culture is so important. And I think that same thing for employees. Now we're living in a world where employees want more out of the culture that they're working for.

Faryl Robbins:

Absolutely. And what I love about that story is he did it his way. Like if if he had gone out, if he was a public company and said, I'm gonna give my employees X amount of money to leave, there's no board of directors in the world. Said you crazy? Absolutely. Yeah, so So there was that. And I and I say that all the time about federal Robin, there's this huge advantage of being privately owned. And that is, we don't live by a p&l. We can play an infinite game, we can have an infinite mindset, we could say our mission is to do this, and there are going to be quarters that in order to do the right thing affects the bottom line. And there are going to be quarters that are amazing. And if we stick by the goal of wanting to leave a legacy, and we don't have a board of directors coming in and saying absolutely not. It gives us a freedom to do the right thing to make better product to put more into our product. By taking on those added costs that get put into brands. We can give more for the same and less money, the different the overhead, the inventory costs, the human resources of the sales force, it just goes into the shoe instead of going into to face it doesn't benefit the consumer. Yeah,

Joelly Goodson :

exactly. And, you know, I've had quite a few conversations with people and talked a lot about obviously how COVID has affected business and certain things that have accelerated technology being another one of them and E commerce is a great example of how I think the pandemic really accelerated shot shopping online, right? Ecommerce has exploded since COVID. And I think this is just the beginning of something a, that was already going to happen anyway. And it just came at accelerated rate because of COVID. But now moving forward, there's a lot of businesses and brands that are continuing with that model. And if they even taken that money that they used to spend, like you had mentioned in other ways, and putting it back into not only the product, but into the consumer, and making sure that because there's more competition now than ever before. So you talk about how you're going to differentiate yourself and really make that connection with the consumer and your brand, make it even stronger,

Faryl Robbins:

right COVID made us a better company, like we are a company today than we were before. I agree that people's focus on digital increased. But I think more importantly, our creativity returned, like, I remember thinking, you know, we don't want to come back doing things the same way we did, we want to be even better. And we, again, because we're a non inventory business. And because we could work really closely and try to protect our retailers and do it the right way. You know, we didn't lay anybody off. We didn't furlough anybody, we committed to our team. And we didn't want a team that was afraid of job loss of this really stressful time to begin with. And we made that commitment. And we invested in technology, because we want to be a more sustainable company. Because we do want to mitigate risk, because we want to be a smarter company, because we want to be a leaner company, you know, that drive to be the best that we can be. So I think COVID was enlightening for many different reasons, and empowering for many different reasons. And I think if it is an anything for us, as a society, I think we are cognizant, and aware of things that we weren't in the past.

Joelly Goodson :

I love that, well, I really love talking to you, you know, with everything that you've learned and experience and all your success, what would be, let's say your three top tips or advice that you would give someone who is looking at starting a business and creating a brand. Love what

Faryl Robbins:

you do, because it is going to be much harder, there are going to be days that you do not want to wake up in the morning because it is hard. Like it gets hard, no matter how much you love it. So if you're not fully committed, and you're not passionate about this, it again, you won't have the stamina. So love what you do, because life is hard life throws curveballs at us, things get complicated, and that love will get you sort of that passion will get you to the next level. Don't compete with anybody but yourself. If you spend a tremendous amount of time perceiving the other businesses in your field, as competitors with you know, versus let's say, healthy inspiration, than you get, you know, you'll have a much greater chance to succeed and be creative. Like be, there is no one way to do things and get scrappy, you will be called on to get scrappy and dirty and get stuck in the weeds. And there are going to be days that are hard, and just figure out how to make things done. And and I would actually say that I wouldn't, it was actually really important. And I don't know why I didn't start with this, I wouldn't be successful today, if some amazing people didn't believe in me. And more importantly, the people that I work with, weren't extraordinary, and weren't really, I trust them. You know, we trust each other with our lives, because frankly, whether our kids go to school or not, is dependent upon the success of the organization. And, and I believe in them. And you're not always going to get everything right. But But surround yourself with people that you trust and are good at what they do. And that can change. You know, you get to change that at different points in time. But I think the most important thing is have a mission that's bigger than you don't start your business to make X amount of money by a certain year. Because I think all really true, honest businesses come from a desire to do something greater than one person in it.

Joelly Goodson :

And making money. They have a purpose beyond just the bar. Yeah. Because, you know, yeah, I agree. Well, that's all really great advice. I love that. But I want to go back to the competition thing that you said that stuck out to me and I'll tell you why. Because what I've said to people is know who your top three competitors are and find out what they do and then find the loophole and for me for your brand. I think that was amongst inclusivity and everything else was that those sizing and how you want the shoe to fit are all women. What do you say though, that that is sort of your competitive edge that all the other brands don't or maybe they do now but when you started to do that, is that important when you're trying to differentiate yourself? I mean, you're not competing directly with them. But you kind of are in a sense for the, for your audience, right? And for their attention. What do you think about that

Faryl Robbins:

I look at brands or individuals that I compete with as worthy adversaries, we don't do. Again, my company is built on this sort of integrity and desire to empower the world, which actually is what differentiates us more than anything else, because within five minutes, any one of my competitors can get out there and create an extended shoe line. What differentiates us is the heart and the motivation that we're doing it with, you know, we're not doing it for the $5 We're doing it because we believe in it. And we can be very financially successful doing that I want to empower somebody who's working in a restaurant and serving other people, so that she can feed her children at home and, you know, makes just enough money to get by, you know, nothing actually makes me more happy than knowing that her shoes aren't going to be blisters on the back of her feet, that she can afford both to feed her children and look good and feel good when she wakes up every day. And that makes me as happy as anything that we can put, you know, like, we love doing shoes for kids with disabilities that can't bend over and put their feet in. And it's not necessarily easy money, because it costs more or putting more more value into the shoes cost more extended sizes cost this much more, because the amortization is different. But it's important work. And that is what differentiates us. And when I look at what other people are doing, and they're doing well, like, oh, you know, oh, man, I can't believe I didn't think of that. Or wow, I wish I had done that. But it inspires me. It's not like, shit he wanted I lost. Oh, yeah. Wow, I wish I was that smart. And wish I had thought of that. But it's we're not the same. We do things differently. You know, isn't that healthy

Joelly Goodson :

competition, though, like, I don't mean it in a negative way. In the sense, I

Faryl Robbins:

think it is. They are at the it is healthy, sort of adversaries. But they're also people, when I look at my competition, they are all incredibly successful, for all different reasons. And I can tell you that I wouldn't choose the way they go about being successful. Many of the times, it's when they do a product that I respect and admire if they come up with a concept, that's really cool. But the workings of the business, I think is uniquely ours, and are and the reason we do things goes back to that. Listen, I started a company in my living room in a studio apartment and was in pajamas, three quarters of the day. It's blood, sweat and tears. And I have made incredible sacrifices. And I've cried, I've let you know, I've done all of that. I mean, it was hard. It was really, really hard. But my success and my happiness. It doesn't it it is not dependent upon the like the failures and our successes of my competition. It is really, that I am so blessed to to be able to do things the way that we want to do it. And I know what my competition is doing. I know what they think I know what they the choices that they make. I mean, I am very aware of my surroundings. But I would much rather sort of step back and say, Man, that was a good idea. I wish I had come up with it. What's next? Yeah, because if I try to do it their way, then I'm only just copying like the iOS, we use the term in the office. I'd rather be the fisherman than the fish

Joelly Goodson :

for sure. Any every industry has competition. I mean, there's 1,000,000,000,001 podcasts out there. You know, I work in the promo world I have. I'm friends with a lot of my I call them competitors. But other people, my industry, I look up to them. We respect each other. I've had some of them on my podcast, I think that's what keeps the economy going is you have that friendly competition, and I'm all for community over competition. I guess what I was when you talked about competing with yourself, I just thought that was an interesting thing. Because we are competing in a time and you know, I call it especially online digital saturation, where everybody's online, and everybody's sharing and building their brand, but

Faryl Robbins:

I want to be the best. That is the fire that burns within my belly. And I want to make the smartest shoes and I want to, you know, be as sustainable as possible. And I want to be considered a really good business partner like those are really important to me. So that drives me and that's what I mean by by I compete with myself. Like I want to come up with that idea. Before one of let's say my competitor There's just Yeah, but I am also in, like, it fuels my

Joelly Goodson :

fire. I'm very much like that too, in that respect as far as my own personal accomplishments I so in that respect when it comes to accomplishments, I compete with myself like, it doesn't matter how how ratings are for anybody else, or how anyone else a sales or whatever, it's all about what I did yesterday, can I do better tomorrow? So I get that point of view for sure.

Faryl Robbins:

But I, if I competed with my competitors, then I never would have done things my way, I would have emulated the way they do things, and just try to do better. And that's not my way. Like we do what we do better than anybody else, because it's our way. Well, I'm

Joelly Goodson :

just gonna say that's exactly. You know, I love that you said that. And we could probably end on that note, as far as talking about branding, and why branding matters, because that is exactly what it is. So when I said you know who your top three competitors are, I just use this as an analogy or an example. Find out, see what they're doing, see what they're doing with their brands, see what they're doing in social media, see their business, and then what they're not doing, like, well, there's zigging, you want to zag because that is where you're going to take the lead and be the best version of you. And people are gonna want to do business with you and fall in love with your brand. Because if you're not doing what everyone else over here is doing. You're doing what your mission is to do. That's what I

Faryl Robbins:

was out of debt. Yeah. No, no, I agree with you. We do things differently. But I have to tell you, my competitors really inspire me. Yeah, they're smart. They're good at what they do. They do differently. But they are

Joelly Goodson :

as they should. I think that's great. Yeah. Before we go, it made me think of something you said earlier about you don't wish any ill on any of your competitors. I learned recently the difference between envy and Josie. Do you know what it

Faryl Robbins:

is? Tell me yours. And I will? Well, I may not get it rushing in. And Jealousy has a mal intent, correct?

Joelly Goodson :

Well, I verbatim I didn't sorry, I didn't hear everything that you said. You got cut out repeat that. That's what

Faryl Robbins:

I said. And v is desiring sort of having a desire and jealous is this sort of now it should be for me, or I wish it was good. Yeah.

Joelly Goodson :

Kind of, yeah. It's sort of the same analogy in the sense that envy is, you know, for example, you look at your daughter, and oh, I'm so envious. You got to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, or I'm so envious on my son, you know, he's going to travel the world, and it's envy, but it's also like excited for them and happy for them and celebrating them. We're jealousy is like a person, like, you know, let's say fell Robins and you know, she just did these great shoes and did super well, I wish you would die or you know, that's jealousy. And then that's why they say when they talk about the seven sins, and you know, envy is one of them. It's actually really not it's actually jealousy. But envy is not necessarily a bad thing. Because like you said, it kind of inspires you and you celebrate someone where you go, or if you see a friend who's in Greece, and you're like, Oh, they're in Greece are so lucky, I can't wait to go to Greece, it looks beautiful. So it just, I just want to say the time has flown by it's, I feel like we can sit and go and have a coffee or a drink and talk about a lot of different I would love that we're

Faryl Robbins:

in Canada. So I

Joelly Goodson :

I'm originally from Montreal, but I'm living in Calgary now at West. So have you ever been out here?

Faryl Robbins:

You know, once, like years ago, and I was able to group it. It's it's yeah, it's far. It's beautiful. Yeah, it's

Joelly Goodson :

nice. It's cool. But it's getting nicer now, but it is far. But I do come to New York because my like I said to my brother lives there. So I tried to get out there. So maybe we should make a point next time I'm there. His office is on actually in the Empire State Building. That's where his office was close. Yeah.

Faryl Robbins:

I would love that.

Joelly Goodson :

That would be so fun. Maybe I bring my son we can like connect them. My son's age like, Oh, totally. I'm so it's so nice to meet you and to talk with you. And I love the way this conversation really just took on a life of its own. And that's what it's all about, you know,

Faryl Robbins:

so but I do.

Joelly Goodson :

I totally I'm really happy to have you here. And I want to if people want to learn more about your brand, I mean, where can they find your shoes? Where can they find you? Are you on social media?

Faryl Robbins:

I answer. I'm on LinkedIn. I know we have, you know, Instagram for Farrell, Robin, I post a lot on LinkedIn which which is really where I talk mostly about our mission statement. And like how we run things that actually does differentiate us, I think a lot of ways. And we have a website, which is www dot Farol robbing.com farylrobin.com. And anybody can reach out through any of these forms of media. And I have to say it is much harder for me to keep up with LinkedIn. Because I get so many messages and I it's harder for me to get through LinkedIn. But I promise you that I really try. I promise.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh on LinkedIn, how can they find you though? It's not under fro Robin

Faryl Robbins:

Farrell worse, right? Mo RSE.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, I learned that when I was trying to find you

Faryl Robbins:

really funny because I didn't even realize that and sometimes my textbook is found guilty. Yeah, yeah. So Robin and my, my name is Belle Morse. And that's I can change

Joelly Goodson :

it. M O R S E, is

Faryl Robbins:

it spelt? Yep. As in Morse code,

Joelly Goodson :

Morse code. Okay, great. Well, great. Well, I'm following you. And I love what you're doing for all women and fashion and everything. It's just been such a pleasure getting to meet you. So any closing words? Great. Say goodbye. Yeah.

Faryl Robbins:

I love the conversation. Now. We're connected. Now we're friends now against each other and ask for whatever you want.

Joelly Goodson :

Awesome. That's great. All right. Well enjoy the rest of your day. And we will definitely be in touch and I will talk to you soon. Okay,

Faryl Robbins:

thank you. Okay,

Joelly Goodson :

bye. There you have it. Thank you so much for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed the conversation and learned a few things to help you with your own branding. This show is a work in progress, so please remember to rate and review on whatever platform you listen to podcasts. And if you want your audience to fall in love with your friend, send me a private message and I would love to help you out as well. You can find me on social under, you guessed it, Branding_Badass. Branding Matters was produced, edited and hosted by Joelly Goodson - also me. So thanks again and until next time, here's to all you badasses out there!