Mike Knapp


The power of brave branding: Australian fashion start-up announced as a finalist for the World Retail Awards

7:25PM | Sunday, 21 July

Australian online fashion start-up Shoes of Prey has been named as a finalist in the World Retail Awards.   Founded by Mike Knapp and married couple Michael and Jodie Fox in 2010, the brand has boomed over the last few years. Shoes of Prey lets users create shoes using its online design tool.   The brand has recently opened its first bricks-and-mortar retail store and is one of six finalists in the Store Design of the Year round.   Jodie Fox told StartupSmart the nomination was recognition of the power of brave brands, and that start-ups shouldn’t shy away from developing a strong and unique brand.   “So long as you are true to expressing who your brand is and providing a valuable experience to your audience, don't be afraid to be bold and make a statement,” she says.   “Start-ups are designed to disturb the space they compete in. It's been a really successful venture for us and we are thrilled to be listed as a finalist.”   Fox says the store was designed to showcase the creative possibilities of the Shoes of Prey brand.   “The store was meticulously designed, from the scent to the soundtrack to the sculptures, to engender an atmosphere of unbridled imagination that invites women to reconsider the way they shop for shoes,” she says.   Managing the rapid growth of Shoes of Prey across multiple areas of the business has been a challenge. Fox says the focus has been on ensuring the customer experience remains strong.   “This involves everything from improving the product, enhancing the website, to messaging our brand and then scaling production to keep up with demand.   “This process now involves the boutique, and while it's a challenge, it's also exciting to be able to bring a product that I love and believe in to more and more women,” Fox says.   Finalists for the World Retail Awards are assessed by a panel of 16 judges, including Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes.   The winners will be announced on August 2.

Eyewear start-up unfazed by sombre industry forecast

3:09AM | Friday, 15 March

Australia’s optometry and optical dispensing industry is expected to grow just 0.4% in 2012-13, according to an IBISWorld report, but online eyewear retailer Sneaking Duck says it isn’t worried.

Google Sudo aiming to drive growth among Aussie start-ups

5:09PM | Wednesday, 9 May

Google is rolling out a new series of networking and tutorial events aimed at growing Australia’s start-up scene and fostering the “enormous talent” of local entrepreneurs.

Getting ideas across the border

11:55PM | Wednesday, 23 November

A trip overseas might not sound like an obvious springboard for business ideas, but the rise of holiday-inspired start-ups certainly suggests a link between jet-setting and entrepreneurialism.

Shoes of Prey founders switch sights to designer glasses market

10:15AM | Monday, 17 October

The founders of online retailer Shoes of Prey have lured a former Google colleague to become CEO of a new start-up that aims to shake-up the Australian eyewear market by offering fashion-led products via the internet.

Shoes of Prey

4:14AM | Friday, 15 April

Shoes of Prey is an online retailer that allows women to design their own shoes, which are handmade and shipped globally.

Flash sales pose threat to smaller operators

2:05AM | Monday, 21 February

Retail giants’ use of ‘flash sales’ to improve their online offers and clear slow-moving stock looks set to pose a threat to smaller online operators.

Exactly what overheads will I save with my online retail shop compared to a bricks and mortar store?

2:51AM | Thursday, 3 February

I’m planning to launch an accessories retail shop. I will almost certainly do this online, but I wanted to know exactly what overheads I’ll save compared to a bricks and mortar store?