Paris with Tanya Heath
“Meet Me in Paris” is s series of interviews with inspiring people who share their Parisian story . Today it’s all about Tanya Heath who shares her story about moving to Paris and creating the world’s first shoe with multiple-height.
Boulevard Saint Germain, next door to famous luxury boutiques and popular cafés (talking here obviously about La Fleur and les Deux Margots), there is a one-of-a-kind shoes shop run by a gorgeous woman, Tanya Health.
When traveling I always compromise on the number of shoes I’m packing. So, when I heard about transforming heels, I couldn’t wait to visit the boutique in Paris and to learn more about the concept of the brand.
A limited collection of shoes but unlimited choice of heels and thus a great amount of different combinations made my shopping experience exciting and complicated at the same time. I spent 2 hours trying to configure my ideal pairs of shoes. Fortunately, Tanya was there to help me to make the right choice and while sharing the story behind the brand.
– Why did you choose Paris to settle down?
– I came for love. First I fell in love with a man and then with the city. I believe for most people its the reverse. You can control so many parameters in your life, what you wear, what you study, your career path but finding the right man seems to be dependent on good luck and the proper alignment of the planets, so when I did, I dropped everything to follow him back to Paris, his home.
– Tell us your story, how did you come up with the idea to create customized shoes brand TANYA HEATH?
– I am a shoe lover and a heel lover but I was frustrated by the shoe industry that could not create footwear that adapted to my busy life (I work with 3 kids and I have a social life). Every day I would walk, drive, ride my scooter or a bike, take the metro, you name it! Carry a computer or a child and all of their stuff. Thursdays and Fridays brought extra complexity because I would meet a friend or my husband after work and often I wanted to look nice but was too tiered to deal with high heels. I desperately needed footwear that could adapt to my constantly changing day. After trying comfort brands, gels, insoles, products designed to re-distribute your weight in high heels, none of which worked, I decided to attack the problem myself and create the world’s first shoe with multiple-height, interchangeable heels so that women like me could live their lives to their fullest.
– Can you tell us where the shoes are produced?
– Yes. The heels and technology both come from my factory near Angiers in France, the Talon Française. The Shoes are made in Portugal. Our leathers are either French, Italian or Spanish.
– Where do you get the inspiration from for your collections?
– I very much look to my clients. We have 3 collection themes. The Power collection are shoes designed to take you to work and beyond. The liberty collection is styled with the esthetic of Parisian Chic, and Seduction is a collection that is for going out, or wedding ceremonies, anything more formal really.
– You’ve been running your business for a few years, what would be your advice to women entrepreneurs who are just starting?
-I guess 2 things. Don’t think that just because its 2018 that anyone will give you their time, their trust, or even like what you do. I have NEVER been funded and in fact only 4% of women led businesses have received any venture funding. (my male competitors who copied us and were funded are now out of business). Its just harder, simply because you are a women, and if your product does not resonate with men it becomes really hard. I would also say I don’t believe you have to do everything for yourself or that you need to be some kind of perfect person. Get a team and go for it!
“After trying comfort brands, gels, insoles, products designed to re-distribute your weight in high heels, none of which worked, I decided to attach the problem myself and create the world’s first shoe with multiple-height”
– Any women that you admire?
-So many and for so long. As a child I really admired Margaret Thatcher. I did not understand her politics because I was too young but I saw her on tv with all of those men, interacting with them, speaking her mind, forcing them to make room for her, her convictions, her politics. Now there are just so many women I admire in so many professions that it would be impossible to name them all!
– What are your favorite spots in Paris?
– I love the Bois de Boulogne. I live nearby and seeing the tress, the lakes, the sunshine and even the Eifle tower peeking through the buildings on my Sunday walks is an integral part of my well-being.
– What would you advise to people who decide to settle down in Paris?
– Go out and make friends with Parisians! They are wonderful people and a real group of supporters.
*Photos, grammar and syntax belong to Tanya Heath