"Opportunities don't happen. You create them."

-Chris Grosser

How to Start a Shoe Line

Starting a shoe business is exciting and challenging at the same time.
ISM assists both new and established brands in “how to start a shoe line” journey to go through 6 phases of the project.

Checklist on how to start a shoe line

What we need: brand presentation, project goals.

What we deliver: high-level project plan & quotation.

1. Research & Project Analysis

It is the key to figure out the exact type of products you are aiming for, right from the start.  Brand presentation and business plan are vital before starting your shoe business. You may want to get started by doing research by checking our guide on a few essential steps that will help you to know what to expect and what is expected of you throughout the journey.

As the additional step, you may want to book a session with our expert, so we can look into the details of your project, provide feedback and advise the best way to proceed with “how to start a shoe line”. 

2. Design

Turn your creative concepts into professional designs. Prepare sketches, 3D renderings, technical specifications, a materials list etc. These are tangible tools that help translate your ideas into reality while also maximizing good communication with the manufacturer.

At this stage the ISM Design Team provides style interpretations and design proposals based on your ideas, moodboards, objectives and target market.

Or else, use our Design Assistance service, where our in-house design team will help you to create custom shoes & handbag collection by providing style interpretations and handbag & shoe design proposals based on your ideas, moodboards, objectives and target market.

Note: this phase can be skipped if already in possession of professional sketches and detailed tech packs (including materials, shoe components, measurements, etc.)

Pencil case for sketching shoes

What we need: moodboards, style guides.

What we deliver: professional sketches ready for prototyping.

Shoe prototyping when starting a shoe business

What we need: phase-2 outcome, or your tech packs.

What we deliver: physical samples.

3. Product Development

Bring your designs to life. Create prototypes and sample products used as a blueprint for your production order.

Product development is an indispensable step for final production in a shoe business. The process includes material sourcing, shoe last development, heel and sole making, creation of custom moulds for hardware and rubber soles, paper pattern making, embellishments and embroidery creation, 3D relief logos and accessory creation, sample packaging, trial shoe prototype and final sample among many other steps to prepare you for production. A critical and exciting stage of how to start a shoe line successfully.

Samples produced can also be used to show buyers at trade shows and runways, or direct to consumers on your sales channels for pre-order.

4. Production & Packaging

Our core production infrastructure merges traditional know-how and modern set-up to meet top manufacturing standards in a handbag & shoe business.

Our manufacturing infrastructure consists of various specialized facilities for different demands and covers extensive product categories from exquisite runway styles to casual shoes and sneakers for men and women.

Custom packaging is also offered to complete your collection. Find out about packaging options in our FAQ page.

Custom packaging for shoe manufacturing

What we need: sample approval and production order details.

What we deliver: final products, at the factory.

Camera image

What we need: preferred shooting package.

What we deliver: professional digital content of creation of your product (check our IG for references)

5. Marketing your product

A solid marketing strategy and a presentation of your product is an essential aspect to promoting your collection in modern day retail in a handbag & shoe business. We partner with established producers to organise photo shoots and/or video shoots during the production phase as well as for the final product that will help you to create your own “how to start a shoe line” story.

6. Quality Control & Shipping

We provide different QC options as well as partner with established freight forwarders to provide holistic shipping options to complete your order.

ISM takes care of shipment packaging ready for international freight, and assistance on documentation that may be required for Customs clearance process. Shipping destinations cover major locations worldwide. Logistics insurance is also offered as an option.

Globe image

What we need: preferred quality control and shipping option.

What we deliver: products that are quality checked and shipped door-to-door or at nearest port/airport.

Want to start your own shoe or handbag line?

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top

Subscribe to our newsletter

By clicking Subscribe you agree to our Privacy & Cookies Policy

We use cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to our Cookies policy.