Haley Pavone had the opportunity to present her company, Pashion Footwear, in season 12 of ‘Shark Tank.’ Hoping to get the Sharks interested in an investment, Haley showcased how her design allowed a shoe to change from heels to flats effortlessly. This interesting product sure got us curious to know more about the company. Here is what we learned about Pashion Footwear.
Pashion Footwear: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
Pashion Footwear gets its name through a play on the words “passion” and “fashion.” Those were precisely the motivators that helped Haley design convertible heels. Being fashion-conscious, Haley loved wearing heels wherever she went. A student of the Polytechnic State University in California, Haley once went to a college party sporting her heels. Yet, the high heels made it impossible for her to dance without pain, so she took them off and danced barefoot. But that eventually led her to get hurt when another woman stepped on her foot with her stilettos. It was during her recovery from the injury that the idea of convertible heels clicked inside her head.
Haley wanted to find out how much traction her idea would get with industry professionals. Hence, she presented her design at Cal Poly’s Elevator Pitch Competition. Her idea was widely praised, and she ended up bagging both first and second prizes in the competition. Determined to start her own company and sell her revolutionary product, Haley set to making the prototype.
The prototype went through a host of changes before she was satisfied with the results. The final product was a high-heeled shoe that can change into flats in a few seconds, owing to detachable heels. The heel attaches to the shoe using the Stelo support system, which Haley invented herself. Usage is effortless as the wearer can attach or detach the heel from the shoe based on what the situation demands. The sole is made from a polyurethane material which gives the wearer extra comfort.
After her prototype won $15,000 at a competition, Haley used that money to launch her company in 2016, while still a student at university. She has designed various shoes for different styles, from bridal and occasionwear to casual and formal, to increase her customer base. Pashion Footwear comes with accessories, including heel caps and multiple heels compatible with the Stelo support system.
Pashion Footwear: Where Are They Now?
When it came to funding for her company, Haley managed to raise $420,000 through Crunchbase, before going on to raise $1.7 million through different investors in two years. Once Haley started marketing her shoes as the practical choice in fashion, her customer base started growing. The shoes were a hit with the public, and in the year after she graduated college, her company grew massively in sales.
Even the COVID-19 pandemic could not put a dampener on her sales though her orders were delayed by a few months. The company also kept releasing new shoe designs, heel designs, color varieties, and innovative heel types throughout 2020. The biggest problem that Haley faced was the return rate. Shoes kept getting returned because of sizing issues which in turn brought down the revenue earned from sales. Furthermore, Haley was conducting her entire business online and had no presence in brick-and-mortar stores.
When Haley appeared on ‘Shark Tank,’ she told the Sharks that her negative cash flow per month was massive, and her company was being driven to the ground. Unfortunately, even after tons of discussion and negotiations, Pashion Footwear could not secure a deal from the Tank. After her unsuccessful ‘Shark Tank’ journey, Haley did not give up hope and instead held another round of fundraisers for the company. Appearing on the reality show gave Haley and her business a much-needed boost, and Pashion Footwear raised around 1.5 million dollars in 2020 (post-filming), successfully managing to stay in business.
In 2021, Haley overhauled the look of her website and gave it a classier vibe. She is also planning on releasing more heel options and shoe designs in the near future. Pashion Footwear shoes start from $140 and go all the way up to $200 for an embroidered pair. Heel caps and Stelo support kits are also available at $10 and $15, respectively. The heel kits start from $25 but can cost you $50 for a pair of high-end ones. Currently, Pashion Footwear is available exclusively through its own website, which offers free shipping within the US for orders over $75.
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