Life Outside The Box - Ruthie Davis excerpt

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I first interviewed Ruthie Davis through Skype for a feature article in Raine Magazine - NYC. One of her luxury shoes detailed with glamorous spikes was featured on the cover that issue - a stunning tribute to her talent.

Right from the start it was clear this luxury shoe designer was intelligent, focused, extremely passionate about her business, worked hard, loved her life and embraced a very positive outlook.  I was instantly a fan. It was a true thrill to be invited to her studio to meet her in person when I visited New York a few years ago.

Davis' is not only a talented designer, she is also a skilled entrepreneur. She understands the importance of creating "the hook" and uses it to full advantage; she knows success depends on building and working with a strong team; she has a real talent for scouting new trends and incorporating them in unique ways - or as she says it "putting the sizzle on the steak"; and she embraces a positive attitude that her goals can absolutely be achieved. What a great role model for young women entering the world of business today!

Designer, entrepreneur, mentor, athlete..............the list goes on. Welcome to this excerpt from the chapter on Ruthie Davis in Life Outside the Box.

Excerpt from Chapter One - Ruthie Davis................................

"After working with Reebok, UGG, and Tommy Hilfiger, it was time to execute a concept Davis had for her own luxury brand, which she describes, as “Imagine if … a Manolo Blahnik and a Nike had a baby.” Impassioned by this hook, Davis left Tommy Hilfiger to work feverishly for a launch in 2006.

'I didn't spend a lot of time talking about what I was going to do. I just built the shoes. Playing off my love of futuristic and modern sports shoes, I created a wedge made out of titanium. It was very techie, like Mac’s PowerBook G4. Then there were these really cool graphite heels. I don’t have the energy to do something that has been done already. From the very first collection, people were drawn to my shoes because they are unique. For the launch, I chose a gallery in West Chelsea where we hung all the shoes as though they were art. At that point, rather than worrying about who was going to buy my shoes, I just wanted to see something tangible.'

Despite all her time in the shoe industry, Davis had little experience in how to market high-end luxury. There was no obvious road map to follow and while she knew the luxury accounts she wanted to sell it to, the designer wasn't sure how to reach them. But she had done her homework and knew how to use her dad’s all-important hook to best advantage. Davis hired a PR company. She sent packets with photos and a cover letter to people; she placed samples in beautiful little bags and took them on cold calls; and she even loitered in stores befriending the sales clerks until the manager came in. Along the way, a deep conviction that the business was going to be a success carried her through the initial stages. Doubt didn’t enter the picture.

'To be honest, there never was a light-bulb moment where I thought, ‘This will be a success.’ I just had faith that my years of experience in the industry, my commitment to work very hard, and my willingness to learn and grow from my mistakes all gave me a good chance to make it work. My confidence comes from the fact that I am a woman. I know what women want on their feet. This gives me great trust in my design instincts.'”

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Update November 2016 - It's been twenty months since the launch of Life Outside the Box and I find myself immersed in the process of writing book two in this series. Where does the time go?

The journey for me of writing Life Outside the Box  was extraordinarily difficult—terrible self-doubt was a constant companion. What a relief that reader response and industry reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. It has affirmed for me that the timing was right and continues to be right to share with readers the different ways people choose to live their lives. People are bombarded as never before with societal expectations. We need to be reminded the journey we are on is ours alone. There is no one right path to follow; there is no one correct way to live—we are each extraordinary in our own way.

Be sure and keep your eye out for Life Outside the Box #2, tentatively due for release in the Spring 2017. I can't wait to share ten new and amazing stories with you.