ShoeCandy by Kara Mac opened in December in Yorktown, but town resident Kara Mac, whose married last name is Schwartz, had been working on the project for three years out of her home.
Mac, who co-owns ShoeCandy with California resident Ann Merin, said recently she “picked, packed and shipped from home. I traveled the country for two-and-one-half years to get proof of concept on my invention (by customers).”
Mac said her new facility includes not only a retail boutique, it also houses an office, warehouse and a pick, pack and ship facility. “I don’t have regular 10 to 6 hours six days a week like a retail establishment,” she said.
Mac’s invention is interchangeable accessories for the shoes the company sells, including heel covers. “It has a permanent heel, but we can remove the heel cover and swap it out,” Mac explained. Women’s shoes can also be customized through the company’s changeable sandal and shoe straps.
“Basically, every shoe, sandal (and) boot in our whole collection has interchangeable components that can be completely swapped out, so two shoes could become 25 pairs,” Mac said. “It’s basically up to the customer to choose what works for her. We have very conservative customers who go with neutrals and then we have those women who have to have bling and we have lots and lots of bling. But you can get both.” (Mac defined bling as decorations stones such as rhinestones.)
Prior to starting her own business, Mac worked in New York City as an apparel design director and had several individual pairs of shoes in her office. “I had my workwear during the day and then I’d bling it up for the evening, “she said.
Mac said she decided to create her own business because, “I just thought I had something really unique and different that didn’t exist.”
She said 60 percent of her customers purchase at her store, with the rest buying from the company Web site.
“My business partner came up with the name ShoeCandy because, in her words, she felt like a kid in a candy store when she was exposed to all the shoes with all of the accessories,” Mac noted.
Mac said ShoeCandy will host a series of speakers, independent designers and craftspeople who will present programs from April through June for local women. “It’s all part of a giveback,” she said. “Because when I was just starting out people would let me go into their spaces.”
ShoeCandy is also partnering with Rita’s Italian Ice, who will allow a different charitable organization to sell its produces for their fund-raiser outside of the store, Mac said.
ShoeCandy by Kara Mac is located at 315 Kear St.in Yorktown. Because store operating hours vary, call 1-855-SHU-GIRL. E-mails can be sent to Support@ShoeCandy.shoes. Visit: https://karamac.com. ShoeCandy is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.