5 minutes with Michelle Noordink- CEO and Designer for Conf3ss
Michelle is a designer, blogger and a massive fan of all things fashion.
She is the founder of a unique label of interchangeable products that offer woman the joy of designing their perfect look. Whether it be shoes, handbags or jewellery.
We asked the questions you want to know.
How did you come up with the idea of interchangeable shoes?
I often got frustrated when choosing an outfit that I didn't have the right colour shoes to match. I found that I kept buying the same style of shoe in different colours. It was one day at a ladies charity lunch when I realised that most of the women were wearing the same classic style shoe that I wore but in different colours and heels. That was when I had one of those light bulb moments.
Can you talk us through the design process from vision to product?
So the day I got home from the lunch I immediately designed my idea. Because I had graphic design skills I was able to create a realistic graphic interpretation of what the shoes were to look like. The idea was so clear to me that it came alive to be almost exactly what I envisioned that day. Once I designed the idea and put it out there to see what people thought, I shopped around for manufacturers to make it. I went through 3 different manufacturer trying to get the concept right. The biggest challenge was how to get the toe straps to stay on the shoe. I wanted it to click on with magnets but this proved very difficult. It was quite technical to do. I had to get magnets customised to a certain shape, size and strength to work. The first prototype was made with just magnets but they did not hold enough. We then decided to add press studs on the ends with magnets in the middle but these didn't stay on properly. I went through six different prototypes before getting it right. I also tried a few different variations on how the T-bar was to go on the shoe as well. When I finally got the prototypes I was happy with after nearly a year and a half, we went to production.
When was Conf3ss born?
I launched Conf3ss at the end of 2014, 2 1/2 years ago but that was after a 1 1/2 of design and development.
Who are some of your favourite Australian Designers?
Lisa Brown, Is a local Gold Coast designer. I love her whimsical designs with gorgeous natural fabrics.
Samantha Wills, Beautiful accessories to make the outfit pop.
Maurie & Eve. Sexy for their clean casual styles.
What is your own style?
I like to keep it simple, classic, quality fabrics and minimalist and comfortable if possible.
What shoe is your favourite style in your shoe collection?
My favourite shoe at the moment is the new low wedge. I have been wearing the prototype for the last 6 months. I have received so much fantastic feedback. Women are very excited about this style. It is so comfortable but also give a bit of height. It is coming out in the next few weeks and I think it will be very popular.
Where do you like to travel and why?
I have 2 types of holidays I love to take, which I alternate each year.
To relax and regroup I like to go to Bali where I love to eat out, get massages, shop and I can just switch off.
The alternate years I like to go on adventurous holidays to places in Europe or places I haven't travelled to before. It's great to experience new cultures. I love to grow and be inspired.
Do you have any new projects on the horizon?
Yes, we have lots of exciting things in the making. I have more shoe designs, straps designs, jewellery and we are just about to release a beautiful bag collection with interchangeable straps.
Where do you see Conf3ss in 5 years?
We started as an international online business. However in 5 years time we would love to expand into stores all around the world. We would also love to have an internationally recognised brand and a big collection of unique products.