Friday, August 1, 2014

We're Hiring : Retail Store Manager

Our Story
Since 2009, Shoes of Prey has been offering woman (and some men) all around the world, the opportunity to design their own shoes. Our vision is to democratise fashion by creating a world where anyone can be their own designer and get exactly what they want.

In early 2013, we ventured into offline retail, opening our first ever award winning boutique in David Jones, Elizabeth Street. The store has grown incredibly since then and now we are excited to announce that we will be opening our second boutique at Bondi Junction Westfield.

Shoes of Prey Retail Store Manager
We’re looking for two amazing retail store managers who share our passion for retail and delivering incredible customer experiences. We’re offering one full-time position at our David Jones boutique, Elizabeth Street, and one full-time position at our new store at Westfield, Bondi Junction.
We need energetic people who are ready to work hard and help take our company to the next level. You’ll be business savvy with a drive to consistently hit sales targets and beat them. You and your team provide incredible customer service to every single customer, and the store regularly receives testimonials from customers to that effect.

You’ll be working closely with our offline retail manager, Lydia, as well as being responsible for managing your own store team.

Some of the key day-to-day activities:
As a retail store manager in one of our two stores, you’ll be responsible for everything that happens within your store.
  • Achieving sales targets and KPIs
  • Holding regular 1:1s with your team
  • Managing all rostering
  • Implementing marketing initiatives
  • Developing our current processes as well as creating new ones
  • Providing incredible customer service
  • Coaching all staff to achieve their personal KPIs

To be successful in this role and be considered an A-player on the Shoes of Prey team, you’ll be addressing the following:

  1. The Shoes of Prey culture code comes naturally to you. People on the team love spending time with you and are fighting to be able to work closely with you.
  2. Passionately creating happiness is in your approach to everything customer related.
  3. You’ve created, implemented and improved store processes.
  4. The store sales have gone off the chart since you took over and you have been instrumental in helping us continue to grow the offline sector of the business.

What are we looking for?
Your work experience clearly reflects the following:
  • You have at least 1 year managerial experience in a similar environment
  • Passion for retail and customer service
  • Ability to achieve KPIs and aggressive start up sales targets
  • As a manager, you’re an incredible coach and your reports learn a lot from you
  • You have an entrepreneurial spirit
  • You’re organised and able to manage a busy store successfully

The important details
We are currently looking for two retail store managers. One to take over the management of our David Jones Boutique and second to launch and manage the Bondi Junction Store. Who will manage which store will be decided upon after the hires have been made. The position is full time and salary will be based on experience.

How to apply
To apply for this role, please email a cover letter and resume (in PDF format) to joinourteam@shoesofprey.com with the subject line "{YOUR NAME} - RETAIL STORE MANAGER". This is essential as any applications without this will be missed by our email filters.

We can’t wait to hear from you.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Is a tough boss the best boss?

Great article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled "Is a tough boss the best boss?"

My favourite lines:

The respondents were asked what they hated the most at work. Number one on the list by far: lazy and underperforming colleagues. And, making it worse: their boss wasn’t doing anything about it.
Tough leadership is when leaders let employees know exactly where they stand without any timidity or ambiguity.
Tough leadership is when leaders set high standards to which they hold their teams to account.
It’s (tough leadership) most effective when used in short bursts and only when necessary.

via Geetika Marek Guz

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wanted: Director of Engineering, Shoes of Prey


Shoes of Prey is creating software to revolutionise the way affordable luxury products are purchased and manufactured. Our JavaScript 3D shoe configurator allows women to design and customise their very own shoes. Once designed, the shoes are then lovingly crafted on demand and shipped anywhere in the world. This model ensures the customer gets exactly what she wants, and we don’t have to hold any finished stock!


Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 5.40.55 pm.png


Founded by two ex-Googlers and an advertising exec in 2009, the company has experienced very strong growth each year. We’ve been backed by a number of influential silicon-valley investors, raising $3m to date. It’s our view that mass customization, coupled with on-demand production, is the future of retail. With 5 years of success behind us, we’re in the box seat to make this happen and build a billion dollar company. We’d love for you to come and join us!


To achieve our goals we have some interesting, mind-bending software engineering problems we need to solve, for example:


  • How can we use machine learning to help customers quickly and easily decide on a particular shoe design?
  • How can we further improve the user experience of our shoe designer and sales process to make it more intuitive, fun and realistic?
  • How can we use prediction algorithms to know how much stock we should order?
  • How can we use mobile computer vision technology to scan our customers’ feet for accurate sizing?
  • How can we use A/B testing to further improve our website?
  • How can we better leverage eCommerce best practices to further improve the shopping experience for our customers and drive sales?
  • How can 3D printing and other on-demand manufacturing methods be integrated into our manufacturing processes to help speed up product development and delivery times to customers?


We are literally inventing a new way to purchase and manufacture goods. Our work is cutting-edge, fast-paced and extremely exciting.

Above: Experimenting with 3D printing our shoes directly from the CAD models. This shoe is life-sized!


As the Director of Engineering, your role will be to manage our software engineering team of six engineers. You will also help set the direction of the team by driving our technical strategy.


To be successful in this role, you'll need to be smashing the following out of the park:


  1. ensuring the engineering team is focused on making the biggest impact they can,
  2. mentoring each of the engineers and giving guidance on how they should attack unfamiliar problems,
  3. ensuring everyone in the company has clarity about what the software engineers are working on, and why,
  4. making a significant contribution to our codebase by ensuring we’re adopting best-practice, and writing meaningful code yourself, and
  5. running regular hackathons to experiment with new technology.


Above: A hologram we hacked together during one of our hackathons.


Your work experience should clearly identify that you have the following traits:


  • An entrepreneurial go-getter.
  • A passion for learning new things and crafting beautiful, easy-to-use products.
  • The ability to think strategically about problems, with a clear focus on ensuring the company’s commercial objectives are met.
  • A brilliant coder who is also a “people-person”. You should be just as happy writing code as you are jumping into a meeting with the board of directors to talk succinctly and confidently about our technical strategy.
  • At least 2 years (and ideally 4+ years) experience successfully managing a team. That means running the team meetings, having regular 1:1s with the engineers, and delivering quarterly performance reviews.
  • Dealing with “growing pains”. Today we’re 50 people and growing. Therefore prior experience at a startup would be beneficial.


You should have significant experience with the following technologies, or their equivalents:
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • Git
  • Amazon EC2
  • Google AppEngine
  • MapReduce
  • SQL


If your skills don’t match exactly, it’s not a deal breaker. If you’re, say, a fantastic Java programmer, then we know you’ll be able to pick up Python quickly. There’s a good argument too that some systems may need to be re-architectured in the future as we scale, so in-depth knowledge of Java/C/C++ would be advantageous.


The following interests/skills are beneficial, but not mandatory:
  • eCommerce
  • User experience design / research
  • AB testing
  • 3D rendering / CAD
  • Machine learning
  • Android / iOS development
  • Computer vision
  • Electrical engineering / robotics


Our engineering team is located in Sydney, Australia. If you’ve never visited Sydney before, you’re in for a treat. Sydney is an absolutely incredible city to live in. We have fantastic weather, beautiful beaches, and a vibrant cultural scene. For remote candidates, we will assist you with relocating including helping you to obtain a working visa.


Your exact package will be tailored to your individual circumstances.


To apply for this role please email a cover letter and CV to joinourteam@shoesofprey.com with the subject line "{YOUR NAME} - DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING". This is essential as any applications without this will be missed by our email filters.

Thanks, we can't wait to hear from you!

My startup failed, and this is what it feels like...

Fantastic, incredibly honest post from 99Dresses founder Nikki Durkin on what it feels like for your startup to fail.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Managing Cash Burn

Fantastic article on Pando Daily titled "After the B Round".

Great insights that don't just apply to startups post Series B.

via Mike Cannon-Brookes

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Innovation at Atlassian

Great video by Dom Price on innovation at Atlassian.

We're still small enough that we have the equivalent of Atlassian's 'ShipIt' program happening organically, maintaining this will be important as we grow and that, combined with Atlassian's values is a great example of how to do it.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What fuels great design

Great post on the importance of user testing and speaking with customers to build well designed products. We're encouraging our head office team to do once a quarter shifts in our David Jones concession store, I've been learning a lot from occasional shifts there.

via Joel Pinkham