A perfect pair!

  • ‘Paired’ on filling the gap for handmade shoes

By Venessa Anthony

Paired, a social media-based handmade shoe business, has given new meaning to comfort. The founder has always been a massive footwear fanatic, so she had always been interested in the latest trends. She observed that it is sometimes difficult to find unique designs in Sri Lanka, and upon observing this gap in the market – particularly online – pushed her to introduce her own reliable brand.

Paired was conceived as a result of her desire to achieve self-actualisation and her passion for fashion. She wanted to take on this challenge as a new mother and focus her attention on something she had created totally on her own, something her child would be proud of one day.

She’s also picky about product quality: “I’m quite aware of how quality influences purchase decisions. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on something that isn’t reliable, thus I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on it.”

All designs for Paired are created by herself, after which, she explained that a sample is made according to her size and worn for a few days to test the product’s comfort and quality. “If the product meets the necessary standards, the design will be introduced to the market. And when I curate a design, I make sure it’s a unique design.” Upon seeing an overwhelming request for a customisable option, Paired has finally decided to accept requests from their customers for custom orders.

Quality, comfort, and style are three things Paired doesn’t compromise on. Explaining the process behind making a shoe, she told us that first, they ensure that the material is sourced from the best suppliers, after careful vetting. “Our goal is to make sure that our customers get their money’s worth when they purchase from us,” she commented, adding that at Paired, they are building a community that they hope will be able to rely solely on Paired for their casual footwear needs.

Paired follows sustainable practices throughout its production process. “All our materials, such as our non-slip grip soles, are carefully sourced from international suppliers, with special attention to whether vegan practices are followed during the production of the material (such as through prohibiting the use of leather),” she added.

All of the footwear in Paired are handmade with love and handcrafted to detail. Even the photoshoot they have for our products is done with a lot of effort, from the props to bring out the aesthetic in a picture, a lot of creativity and planning is done for the day by herself, in order to bring out the best aesthetic in the picture. She commented: “I feel that’s what makes us stand out and makes us a unique footwear brand in Sri Lanka.”  Every cut, paste, and stitch to assemble a shoe is all handmade by their very talented and experienced team, to ensure that quality and comfort are in equal measures. Additionally, she also sees to it that their staff is treated well and fairly, thus ensuring that they do want to put in their hard work into a perfect product.

Talking about some of the challenges she faced as the founder of Paired, she named the unpredictable travel restrictions as the major obstacle. “The continuous travel restrictions proved to be a major challenge because deliveries were delayed at times, which sometimes led to customer dissatisfaction. Sales were also sometimes affected because of – what we believe were – public economic difficulties.”

In the future, they hope to develop their footwear range and also hope to expand their shipping worldwide so that they could reach more countries, especially as interest has been expressed from potential foreign customers.

Instagram: @paired._