Friday, November 13, 2009

Welcome to the Shoes of Prey Team Vanessa!

As mentioned in a previous post we've been interviewing for our first permanent hire to be based in China. We're pleased to say that we've hired Vanessa Iron. Welcome to the team Vanessa!

Vanessa studied English at University. She's worked for 3 different Chinese exporting companies, and the first one involving women's shoes. On her first day on the job she picked up one of our shoes and proceeded to give me a lesson in the different materials that had been used to make this shoe! This is exactly who we need on the team! Vanessa started with us last week and already she's proven she will be very valuable. I had planned to meet with a shipping company based in Shenzhen to discuss shipping prices. At the moment we're using Hong Kong Post and we can get better rates and shave a couple of days off the delivery time using someone else. Vanessa took a look at the website of the shipping company I was going to use and told me there were much better and cheaper companies in Guangzhou. She called a few and she was right. Shipping rates and service levels from the company she suggested in Guangzhou will be much better than with the company I had found.

Here's a brief outline of what will be involved in Vanessa's role:

1. Receiving a daily delivery of shoes from the shoe workshop:
- quality check the shoes completed that day;
- photograph the shoes completed that day;
- package and ship the shoes completed that day.

2. Upload the photographs and sizing information for the completed shoes into our database.

3. Track all our orders to ensure shoes will be delivered on time.

4. Organise our bookkeeping.

5. Liaise with our suppliers as we add more material and design options.

6. Translating for us on our trips to China.

7. Ad hoc tasks like:
- finding a new shipping company to reduce our shipping times and cost.
- if things go well, establish an office in Guangzhou. We've rented a small room to start things off.
- helping us research suppliers for new products we might want to explore.

If we want to retain Vanessa there are a range of things that are important. 2 key one's are:

1. Providing an opportunity for her to grow with the role.
If things go well for Shoes of Prey and any other businesses we might set up, we'll likely need to hire more people in China. We wouldn't necessarily need people with as much experience as Vanessa, so she could potentially manage additional people we hire here giving her a new challenge in her career.

2. Bonus structure.
We want Vanessa's interests to be aligned with the business so her bonus will be based on how many shoes we sell and the bonus will be significant. If we reach our 12 month goals for the business Vanessa will receive an additional 60% of her salary as a bonus, and the bonus is scaled so she's still rewarded if we do well but don't quite reach our goals, and she's rewarded more if we exceed them.

We're very excited and very pleased to have Vanessa join our team.


  1. Yes this is a blog... and congratulations on starting yours... Cool product, the shoes are wicked... neat picture too. Good luck in your endevours