We are thrilled to introduce you to Ally Shoes in this Q&A interview with their Founder and CEO, Samantha Dong! We recently discovered Ally Shoes, and are loving them. *Use code ALISON40 for the $40 off first pair of heels
We absolutely love your shoes! Can you explain how this brand came about?
Ally Shoes was born out of my own personal frustration with uncomfortable and painful heels. Having worked as a management consultant in the past, I became accustomed to wearing heels regularly. However, after sustaining a foot injury, I found it difficult to find dress shoes that not only looked good but felt good as well. This inspired me to team up with designer Sara Jaramillo and podiatric surgeon Dr. Roxann Clarke to create a line of heels that are both stylish and comfortable. We wanted to offer women a solution to the discomfort and pain that often comes with wearing high heels, and we’re proud to say that our patented design and ergonomic support structure have been scientifically engineered to alleviate pain.
Shoes can be such a complicated issue for women, especially around comfort, as well as size and width options. How have you tackled these two common problem areas?
At ALLY Shoes, we understand that comfort and fit are essential factors in making shoes that women can feel confident wearing all day long. We tackled these common problem areas by re-engineering the statement heel with a patented design. Our shoes are handcrafted with premium lambskin leather and a technical stretchy lining, padded with our patented ergonomic insole to fix weight distribution.
We offer micro-sizing with size US 4.5-12 in half sizes and four different widths (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide), providing a custom-fitted experience while maintaining affordability. We also created a true nude in a variety of shades to help every woman feel represented.
To ensure the best fit, we implemented an on-demand made-to-order process for most of our styles and offer an optional fitting process that allows customers to try on samples for fit before we start production. With this approach, we are able to offer the best fit with way more size options than a traditional brand, while reducing waste in the production process.
Congratulations on being chosen for “She’s Next In Fashion” by Visa, and by Forbes on their Next 1000 List! Were you surprised, and how has this affected your business?
To be honest, we were pleasantly surprised to receive such recognition from Visa and Forbes. While we knew that we had a great product and team, it’s always gratifying to be recognized by industry leaders and experts. Being chosen for both the She’s Next In Fashion by Visa and Forbes’ Next 1000 List has given us an incredible platform to share our brand story and mission with a wider audience, and has helped us to connect with new customers and partners. It has also given us a sense of validation and motivation to continue pushing forward and growing our business.
Can you give us a few tips on weathering the storm as a female business owner?
As a business owner, burnout can be a real challenge. One of the things that has helped me is surrounding myself with a supportive community of other female entrepreneurs. Every entrepreneur has their unique challenges, but having a community and a support system makes it easier to brainstorm solutions, share resources, and sometimes just have someone to commiserate with. We’re part of Luminary, a co-working space and community that’s designed to help women connect, collaborate, and thrive. I’m also a member of the Female Founder Collective and IFundWomen, which provide valuable resources, mentorship, and support for women-owned businesses.
How often do you introduce new shoe styles?
At ALLY Shoes, we prioritize quality and design over quantity and fast fashion trends. We introduce a few new color options every year, but we take our time when developing new styles. For example, it took us two years of research and development before introducing our first Little Black Heel Pump, and we recently launched our first Boot collection after a long period of development and testing. We believe in creating timeless and classic styles that our customers can wear for years to come.
What’s coming next for you and your brand?
We are always looking to evolve and improve our offerings, and in the near future, we will be introducing new colors for our popular cap toe collection, as well as expanding our new boot collection. Additionally, we have really enjoyed having the in-person interactions at our showroom in New York. We are planning to open our second showroom location in Chicago later this year, which will provide a unique opportunity for customers to try on our shoes and experience the comfort and quality firsthand.
Which shoe is your personal favorite (is that like asking which is your favorite child, impossible?!
It’s hard to choose just one favorite, but if I had to, I would say the Black Leather Classic Pump. It’s the first style we launched, and for a reason. It’s such a versatile and timeless shoe that I can wear with anything. However, I also tend to wear our most recent launches quite a bit. It’s always exciting to wear something new and see how it resonates with our customers.
It’s incredibly difficult to find stylish shoes that are comfortable, and comfortable shoes that are stylish! We are so excited to know about Ally, where can people find you and your beautiful shoes?
Our website *Use code ALISON40 for the $40 off first pair of heels
Discover & shop our favorite Ally Shoes styles:
Alison + Delia