Behind the Booth with Bachelor Shoes
Behind the Booth with Bachelor Shoes
Launched in Feb. 2014, Bachelor Shoes is new to the scene, but has enjoyed tremendous momentum during the startup phase. After they spoke about a void in the marketplace for a high-end line of handcrafted slippers and shoes, co-founders Christian Robles (CEO) and Umberto Cabarrocas (CFO) decided to design and produce their own line, Bachelor Shoes.
Robles and Cabarrocas are now based in Houston. Robles is from Monterrey, N.L. in Mexico, where he graduated from college in 2004 with a business marketing degree. He then began working at his own marketing company. Cabarrocas is from Barcelona, Spain and is currently a student in Texas. He will be graduating in May with an international business degree.
As soon as they decided to develop a shoe line, Robles and Cabarrocas took it on full throttle. They now have a successful proof of concept with direct to consumer sales that gives them confidence to move into the retail arena. FN PLATFORM in February 2015 will be Bachelor Shoes' first trade show.
Global from the Get-Go
With roots in Spain, Cabarrocas found a shoe manufacturer there that was the right match for Bachelor Shoes. Getting through the manufacturing phase is often the most difficult part for many brands. Cabarrocas says:
It’s tough to find a supplier who won't compromise quality. We also work with manufacturers in several different countries now, including Portugal, China, Mexico and Italy. We look forward to adding accessories to our product line.
Bachelor Shoes started the brand with an initial order of 44 pairs of slippers and quickly went from three to 40 different designs that have been sold to customers in 76 countries.
We are able to build the brand fast and efficiently with our complementary skills. We pay close attention to all details, with a strong focus on supply chain and global marketing. We are confident in our suppliers and are building long-lasting relationships in order to create a power brand.
Both Robles and Cabarrocas design the products and have worked out a system where they collaborate, modify and come to final decisions on design, materials and color as a team. They currently have seven employees and look for people who will share their vision and passion. Cabarrocas says:
As a global brand, we know we have to be accessible 24/7, and we make the effort with constant focus on customer service and engagement. We have a simple and streamlined company structure, which includes accounting, marketing, supply chain and customer service. The key for us is working more than most people are willing to work. We enjoy it because we love what we do.
Designing Their Brand
In addition to creating high quality shoes, Robles and Cabarrocas wanted to build a brand with a message. They chose the name “Bachelor” because they feel that it’s an incredible time in a man’s life. In addition to being fun, they want their shoes to convey an empowering and positive feeling. Hence, their motto: "If one day I look down, it will only be to admire my Bachelor Shoes.”
The line has shoes that run the fashion gamut from casual to formal. Bachelor Shoes combine designs from Mexico, Spain and other cultures. Robles adds, “We have a shoe for every occasion and every age. Our brand allows our customer to choose their own style. We offer the design and quality.” The shoes range in price from $195 to $700.
Bachelor Shoes has added some extensions with watches and socks. Robles says:
Our customers began asking for socks, and there are many places around the globe where people prefer that you leave your shoes at the door. So we designed the same shoe designs on nice socks. If your shoes have to be off, having nice socks is the next best thing.
With Robles’ experience in marketing, he immediately created their social platforms and began engaging online through contestsand collaborations with bloggers and celebrities. Bachelor Shoes’ following has built up nicely with over 1 million people following across all platforms. Robles says:
We like Instagram best for our customer base. It is interactive, free, and our customers provide great feedback there. We read all social media comments one by one and cultivate online relationships with our customers.
Ready and Excited for MAGIC
Bachelor Shoes has been selling online only, so they could not be more excited about making their debut to the retail fashion industry at FN PLATFORM this February. Cabarrocas says:
It’s a great opportunity and we are ready. We can now offer retailers security with the success of our baseline product, a secure supply chain and social reach. We are expecting to thrive at MAGIC, make connections and go to the next level. FN PLATFORM will be a great place to meet retailers in person and show our products to people in the US and globally.
After the show, Robles and Cabarrocas plan on utilizing their social platforms to assist in keeping their customers aware of which retailers will be carrying the line.
Robles and Cabarrocas say that they are living their motto; always being positive and uplifting and doing what they love. Robles adds, “We knew this would be great from our very first discussion.”