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Bellevue's Heelarious gives babies their own high heels
Along with babies first blanket, first haircut, and first tooth, comes a new cherished keepsake.
Babies first high heel.
A Bellevue-based company, Heelarious, has introduced a soft set of crib booties designed to look like high heels. The crib shoes, made in sizes 0 to six months, are not meant for walking and will “collapse” if little ones put weight on them. On heelarious.com, creators Britta Bacon and Hayden Porter describe “her first high heels” as “extremely funny, completely soft, fully functional high-heel crib shoes for babies.”
The novelty booties come in six colors: hot pink patent, black patent, hot pink satin, black satin, zebra satin, and leopard satin print.
The leopard print satin shoe is named after Porter’s daughter, Brooke, and the zebra satin print is named after Bacon’s daughter, Kayla. The two daughters are 10 months apart and great friends just like design partners and friends, Bacon and Porter.
Since the companies official launch 11 weeks ago, Heelarious has grabbed the attention of Hollywood celebrity moms and has become the latest “must-have” in the UK. The creators of Heelarious stumbled upon a simple idea, added a dash of creativity, took a chance, and are now laughing all the way to the bank.
Reporter: Where did the idea for “babies first heels” come from?
Bacon: Hayden was trying to get me into high heels and I did not own any. I had worn heels to dances but I was not a heel girl. I was driving my daughter to her fourth birthday and I was thinking about when she was a baby. Hayden’s high heel shoe obsession crossed my mind and I thought that would have been so funny to have brought Kayla to a party when she was a baby in high heels. I thought that would have been hilarious. And then I thought, oh my gosh, Heelarious.
Reporter: Once you had the idea, what was your next step?
Bacon: The idea was all I thought about at the party and I came home and looked Online to see if the domain name was available. I called Hayden and designed a logo and e-mailed it to her, and in late January 2006, I started working with a lawyer to secure a patent and trademark. I got Hayden on board with me and last May I was like, OK, I’m doing it.
Porter: I thought it was a brilliant idea when she told me about it. After this many years of working together, I thought this has got to be the idea that we go for. This was a really good partnership to go into.
Reporter: How did the two of you meet?
Bacon: We’ve known each other since middle school and we’ve always been creative together. We’ve been through our ups and downs together, the good and the bad and we continue to want to work together. We were both stay at home mom’s and now we have stay at home dads!
Porter: Prior to Heelarious, we have done event planning and arts and craft projects as a hobby. I owned my own card company. Whether business or personal, we were constantly doing art projects together, which has brought us to where we are today.
Reporter: How long did the process take from concept to finished product?
Bacon: When World Key Services, a local production company, came back with the first prototype we knew we were onto something. They basically made it possible for us to feel comfortable about taking the risk of moving forward with the product. It went through probably 15 or 20 stages before we were happy with it. We did a lot of custom fabrics and designed the packaging. It all needed to be on the upper, high-end level of crib shoes, right down to the packaging.
Reporter: The product has become huge overseas. Where are some of the places babies are sporting the booties?
Bacon: We have reps covering almost every state and in every territory of Canada. Our product has reached the Netherlands, UK, Rome, France, and Italy. The shoes have appeared in the pages of Vogue Japan and we’re now working with South Africa and the Middle East.
Porter: Going International just sort of happened. To have Europe recognize the company is so flattering to me.
Reporter: What’s your response to the negative criticism Heelarious has received?
Bacon: We’ve had our fair share of both positive and negative criticism. My response to that is this is not a product for everyone. People have issues with camouflage for boys or toy soldiers. Any product on the market will have criticism. This is supposed to be a keepsake, it’s suppose to be funny. It’s the parents responsibility, like any other product, to figure out where and when it’s appropriate.
Porter: It’s soft and squishy and it’s not going to hurt anybody. People aren’t researching the product, they assume they are hard heels and wearing them will be harmful. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s more about the novelty of owning her first pair of heels.
Reporter: I hear Heelarious has a huge celebrity following.
Bacon: Our product has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, Entertainment Tonight, and Online in People magazine’s Celebrity Baby Blog. We recently sent some to LA for the baby shower gift bags for Lisa Marie Presley hosted by Pink. Now, we are getting ready to send samples that will be part of the swag bags that will be given to the nominees at this year’s Emmys.
Reporter: What’s the price and where are they available?
Porter: They sell for $35 a pair. They can be ordered from our site (www.heelarios.com) and places like Escapade in Issaquah (317 NW Gilman Blvd. # 33) and Frivolous Salon, a hair salon in Bellevue (11000 Northeast 10th Street).
Lindsay Larin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get all the Heelarious buzz visit www.heelarious.com.