We are delighted to announce Sophie McLellan (Class of 2001) and Skobi Shoes as proud Supporters of "The Isabel Bauer OGA Bursary".
Sophie (left) with her family.
Skobi was born out of the pure frustration with the current offering of school shoes in the Australian Market. Somerville Old Girl, Sophie McLellan (Class of 2001), founder of Skobi Shoes, discusses the inception of Skobi and how she has built her business from the ground up.
“Skobi wasn’t created overnight. In fact, Skobi was about 4 or 5 years in the making before we even had a single prototype in our hands. My husband Jason (Paediatric Podiatrist) and myself, also a Podiatrist, have owned a Paediatric Podiatry Clinic (Little Big Feet) for over a decade. The clinic doubles as a children’s footwear outlet which is open to the public; and provides us with a great avenue to test and trial many brands in the market. Over time we noticed a significant decline in great options in the school-shoe space. This is obviously pretty worrisome for us, as Pods, because the most important shoe for any child, is the one that they spend upwards of 8hrs each day in.”
So how did the idea grow to become Skobi?
“We spent several years researching, designing, and exploring production options for Skobi. Essentially, we wanted to produce a great quality range, that would cover the needs of all kids. It needed to be entirely inclusive and grow with our customers. We knew we couldn’t just produce one great shoe and rest on our laurels. We’ve been those parents seeking the ever-elusive brown school shoe. We’ve worked with kids who can’t bare the thought of putting shoes on their feet. We’ve seen plenty of ten-year olds whose fine motor skills prevent them from tying laces. We also appreciate that there’s a bunch of kids who destroy every shoe you put on them. So the range had to be all encompassing. We included sensory options for sensitive kids, robust options for the kids who are harder on their shoes, Velcro options in larger sizes and so on.”
Fast forward a couple of years and Skobi launches to the Australian and NZ market in Jan 2018.
“We’ve now had three successful Back to School seasons behind us, and we’re proud to say we’re growing year upon year. We’re proud to say we now supply over 80 retailers across Australia and NZ. Obviously 2020 is looking quite different now, and like all businesses we’ve felt the effects of Covid; so we’re constantly looking for ways to stay relevant and attainable to our Skobi customers. This season (BTS ’21) we’re excited to be launching 2 new certified Vegan school shoes, and we’ve also worked with factories to ensure we have been able to achieve great prices so that we can pass that onto our customers.
Skobi is personal to us – it’s more or less our third child! It has always been our intention to give back to the communities and schools that have in many respects provided us with this great opportunity to become the brand we are today.”
Skobi is a proud Supporter of the Isabel Bauer OGA Bursary offering all Somerville OGA families 10% off any Skobi purchase and a $5 give back to the Bursary on each pair purchased. Simply visit www.skobishoes.com.au and add the code "SOMERVILLECONNECT" at checkout.
Sophie and Jason's store "Little Big Feet" (https://www.littlebigfeet.com.au/) is located at 661 Oxley Road Corinda. Bookings are essential for all Podiatry appointments. You can walk-in anytime for footwear fittings however they suggest calling/emailing to discuss quieter periods in the month of January. Skobi shoes are also stocked in select Athletes Foot stores however the OGA discount is only available for online purchasing via www.skobishoes.com.au.
If you or your Business are interested in Sponsorship options available please email at email@example.com.
TO DONATE TO THE ISABEL BAUER OGA BURSARY CLICK HERE.