Monday, August 19, 2013

We're Hiring: Editor & Social Media Manager

Shoes of Prey is a global online (& recently offline) retail brand that allows women (including Prime Ministers and Carly Rae Jepsen) to design their own shoes which we handmake and deliver to them. We’re changing the way women shop for shoes and we’re on track to become a significant international retailer over the next 5 years. We have won and been nominated for many awards, including the ORIA award for Most Innovative Online Retailer, 2012 and 2013. We also recently won the ARA award for Kogan Australian Online Retailer of the Year 2013.

As our business continues to grow, we’re looking to hire an Editor & Social Media Manager to join our growing team! We’re looking for a creative thinker and skilled copywriter, with a passion for shopping and style, who can effectively represent our brand through online and social channels

Some of the key day to day activities: Owning campaign strategy and development Overseeing campaign execution, including directing photographers and designers Developing content ideas to suit EDMS, blog, social media and website Assisting with PR strategy Social media community management across all platforms

To be killing it in this role and considered an A Player on the Shoes of Prey team, here are the 5 key things you’ll have achieved after 12 months in this role:
1. You not only live and breathe Shoes of Prey’s culture and values, you’ve contributed to growing and developing them. People on the team enjoy spending time with you and are fighting to be able to work closely with you.
2. You leveraged our audience across all channels to achieve greater conversions, click-throughs and shares than ever before
3. You developed and owned campaign strategy and have developed a detailed plan 3 months in advance for our content plan
4. You will be able to execute all written touchpoints of the brand (blog, social media, press releases, website content) with personality appropriate to that platform and in a timely manner
5. You will have mastered the Shoes of Prey tone of voice

Your work experience clearly identifies that you have the following traits:

  • Excellent written and verbal English
  • Strong interest in fashion, shoes and online shopping, and general understanding of business and technology
  • Capacity to meet tight deadlines on short notice
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ability to work with limited supervision
  • A positive attitude and hunger to learn
  • Able to write according to SEO best practice
  • Experience with MailChimp, Photoshop and HTML would be helpful

The total salary package for this role will be based on experience, and will include super, bonus and stock options. As with all roles at Shoes of Prey, lunch + snacks + shoes are of course included! The role will report into the Chief Marketing Officer, will have 1 direct report and will be based in our Sydney HQ.

If you think you have what it takes to please email your resume and short cover letter outlining why you would like to become part of the Shoes of Prey journey to Please make the subject line "NAME - EDITOR", this is essential as any applications without this will be missed by our email filters.

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

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happy Customers

Our Customer Happiness Team do an amazing job with customer support at Shoes of Prey. It can be a tough job because they tend to deal mostly with customers who have issues of some kind - they might ask for a special request with their order, they require their shoes to be remade in another size or perhaps their shoes are running late because our factory is a little behind on orders. However the team almost always manage to turn around an unhappy customer and impress them enough that they go away wanting to spread the word about Shoes of Prey.

Last quarter the team received 229 emails from customers so happy that they emailed in congratulating us on our service. That's pretty impressive for a customer happiness team of 7. These emails are fun to receive and we share them amongst the team. We asked one recent customer Erin if we could share her email on our blog:

Dear Shoes of Prey,

I received my shoes today and felt I had to send you a note. I'm absolutely and completely in love with them!

I really just wanted to take a moment to thank you so much for providing this service, and conducting it so well. I enjoyed the entire design process: receiving the photo of my finished shoe via email, the fact that the stated price as you're building is, in fact, the entire amount you will be billed (taxes, shipping and fees included), and finally receiving the much anticipated pair of shoes in a lovely package, complete with helpful accessories that were a welcome surprise.

I will admit that I did have some trouble with DHL and the delivery (their in-house communication is sorely lacking), but was lucky enough to accept the delivery while I was still at the office. My entire marketing division (populated primarily by women) knew that these shoes were on their way, and were awaiting the arrival anxiously. Several have designed shoes for themselves via your website and were contemplating purchasing, but wanted to wait until I got mine so that they could judge the quality and experience from my journey through the process. Everyone flocked to my desk during what can only be described as the 'Opening Ceremony', and 'ooh'-ed and 'aah'-ed as each layer of packaging was revealed (the paper, bow, accessories and shoe-bag). The shoes themselves are absolutely wonderful, and more comfortable than I could have possibly hoped a 4 1/2" heeled shoe could be. I know this, because I was enjoined to try them on immediately and model them for the crowd.

You have certainly earned a number of fans in Toronto, and I have been singing your praises and bragging about my new shoes to anyone and everyone who would listen. I will definitely be coming back to order more shoes through the site, and I believe that at least half (and this is a conservative estimate) of my office will as well......not to mention a few of my friends outside work.

Thank you once again. I hope you continue to grow, and provide this amazing service to women around the world.

Erin Dwyer.

It's incredibly rewarding to receive emails like this. Well done and thanks to Dione, Lucy, Anna, Marcela, Brigette, Lydia and Sam on all their great work!

Monday, August 12, 2013

We're Hiring: Junior Graphic Designer

Shoes of Prey is a global, multi-channel fashion brand that enables shoppers to design their own shoes online. We’re changing the face of online retail and we’re on track to become a significant market player over the next five years.

In 2013, we’ve been named the Australian Online Retailer of the Year (ARAs) and have been nominated for Most Innovative Online Retailer (ORIAs).

We’ve also shown at New York and Australian fashion weeks in collaboration with Romance Was Born, Carla Zampatti, Mandy Coon, Gretchen Jones & Jonathan Simkhai.


As our business grows, we’re seeking a Junior Graphic Designer to join the team. Working at our Surry Hills office under the direction of our Editor, we’re looking for a creative thinker with a passion for fashion and design who can translate creative concepts into effective marketing.


We’re looking for someone with formal design qualifications and preferably one year experience. The right candidate will possess in-depth knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop) and HTML.

  • Execute creative briefs for digital projects - eDMs, banners, social media & competitions

  • Adhere to and develop the Shoes of Prey visual brand identity

  • Manage the internal image library

  • Layout and manage print executions

  • Brief freelancers and photographers

  • Retouch studio, street-style and product photography

  • Illustration and fashion sketching skills desirable


To be killing it in this role and considered an "A Player" on the Shoes of Prey team, here are the four key things you’ll have achieved after 12 months:

  1. You not only live and breathe Shoes of Prey’s culture and values, you’ve contributed to growing and developing them. People on the team enjoy spending time with you and are fighting to be able to work closely with you.

  2. You’ll know the server and image assets like the back of your hand and you’re able to navigate swiftly to current and historic assets in order to build on them for future executions.

  3. You’ll have added your own harmonious innovations to the Shoes of Prey graphic guidelines.

  4. You’ll be given a new visual asset and know exactly where and how it can be best utilised graphically to further the Shoes of Prey brand - whether that’s in an eDM, a homepage panel, a Facebook post or Instagram snap

  • Passion for fashion, footwear, online shopping and personal style

  • Capacity to meet tight deadlines on short notice

  • Attention to detail and accuracy

  • Ability to work with limited supervision

  • A positive attitude and hunger to learn


The total salary package for this will be based on experience and include super, bonus and stock options. As with all roles at Shoes of Prey, lunch + snacks + shoes are of course included.


If you have what it takes, please email your resume, cover letter and portfolio to Please make the subject line "NAME - JUNIOR DESIGNER", this is essential as any applications without this will be missed by our email filters.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mass Customisation Going Mainstream

Last year Google spent $12.5b buying the mobile phone company Motorola. This year they're launching a mass customised phone! You can see a demo of their mass customisation software in the video embedded below.

We're big believers at Shoes of Prey in the trend that people want personalised products. It's fantastic to see companies like Google/Motorola picking up on the same trends and launching mass customised products.

via Brendan Forster

Friday, August 2, 2013

Students - Learn to Code - NCSS Challenge starting 5 August

Australia needs more software engineers. I blogged this video a while back but it's worth embedding here again:

A group of passionate software engineers and educators have put together a company called Grok Learning and on Monday 5 August launch the National Computer Science School Challenge for 2013.

In their own words:

the NCSS Challenge: an online programming competition for high school students that teaches students to code, while they compete. This year for the first time the Challenge is open to international enrolments as well.

The NCSS Challenge runs for five weeks, starting next Monday 5th August, and is entirely online. This means that students can participate even if they have no previous programming experience, and no programming teacher at their school. We provide interactive notes to introduce the content, challenge problems to test and reinforce learning, forums where students can help each other and connect with other students, and access to volunteer tutors who provide support and encouragement through the site. The problems are automatically marked by our system, so students receive immediate feedback on their progress.

Through the NCSS Challenge we are trying to help bridge the gap between our current curriculum and the technologies curriculum we would like to see in schools.

If you know a school student (or teacher) who would benefit from this, please encourage them to give it a go, and check out their website:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How to negotiate with VCs

Here's a fantastic article from Harvard Business Review titled, "How to Negotiate with VCs".

I can relate to a number of these points in our Series A negotiations and the time since.

You can build trust more easily when the other party is vulnerable.
A standard part of a Series A term sheet is a ratchet clause. The ratchet clause protects an investor by 'ratcheting up' their equity stake automatically if the business raises additional money in the future at a valuation lower than the current round. This ratcheting comes at the expense of the founders and prior investors. There are different types of ratchet clause, some benefit new investors at the expense of founders more than others. Bill Bartee was leading the negotiations from the side of our Series A investors and the term sheet he provided had a ratchet clause in it. This was my first time negotiating a ratchet clause and they're quite complex. I thought I'd worked out an alternate ratchet clause that would be more favourable to Mike, Jodie and I as founders of Shoes of Prey so I went to Bill with this alternate clause to negotiate moving to it. Bill listened to the details of my new clause and then very politely pointed out that what I was proposing was actually worse for Mike, Jodie and I than the clause he'd originally proposed. He was right! Not only was he very polite about pointing this out, but he saved me from negotiating a worse result for Mike, Jodie and I, a result that would have been better for Bill! In doing that Bill earned a huge level of trust from me which has carried over through our working relationship.

Transparency is often less costly than you fear.
My example here doesn't specifically apply to negotiating with VCs but it applies to communicating with investors ongoing. We've had times where things haven't gone to plan and I've gone into a board meeting feeling like our investors would have good cause to be frustrated and angry with me for not achieving what we said we would. On the contrary, by being completely open and transparent in these situations our investors have gone out of their way to point out that things not going to plan is normal at a startup - after all, if it was easy to build a large business selling custom women's shoes others would have done it before. They've then banded together with us to come up with solutions to help solve the problems, leading to better results. I've also had a couple of investors tell me that they really appreciate the level of transparency and it means they trust us more and feel they don't need to drill into what we say or ask for supporting material when they might otherwise.

Hat tip to Laura McKenzie for recommending the article. Laura is the CEO of Scale Partners, a new group based in Melbourne designed to help investors and entrepreneurial women connect.