It was one of the most popular posts on HeavenHasHeels.com, and I think for all creatives voicing a new idea is fraught with anxiety. It can be the beginning and end of a new business. Here, Editor-In-Chief Angela Gilltrap talks about her experience in this month's edition of Heaven Has Heels magazine.
A new idea is fragile. Like a lit match, it can be distinguished with one sneer, one comment, one thoughtless remark. Three years ago, I had a crazy idea. Frustrated with the world of traditional publishing, I wanted to create a platform where designers could tell their story—regardless of their advertising budget. I wanted to create a community of like-minded individuals who were interested in the process, not simply the result. I wanted to collaborate with amazing people whose talents—in my opinion—did not get the attention they deserved.
I remember the exact moment I first voiced this crazy idea to my bestie and fellow fashion editor, Casey Kettleson. We were on the balcony of Lagos Jewelry, the sun setting over Manhattan, complimentary glass of champagne in hand. “I think I want to do another footwear magazine,” I said, knots in my stomach beginning to form as I voiced my crazy idea out loud for the first time.
“Of course you do,” she said, without missing a beat. I held my breath and voiced my next crazy idea.
“I want to launch it in time for Fashion Week. This Fashion Week, so, in three weeks’ time,” I held my breath.
She paused and turned to look at me, smiling. “Of course you do.”
I laughed. “This is crazy, right?”
“Yes, but if anyone can do it, it’s you. So what’s it called, this magazine of yours?”
“Heaven Has Heels,” I answered.
As the sun set over the Fashion District of Manhattan, we made our first toast to what would become the most successful Online footwear and accessory consumer publication in the world. Since then, I’ve worked with hundreds of designers, writers, photographers and stylists to produce this little piece of accessory history you’re reading now. I’ve had the privilege of traveling the world to meet with extraordinary people in ordinary places. In some ways, it feels as if it was only yesterday. In others, I can’t remember a time when this was not a part of my daily existence.
Recently, I found myself on the other end of someone’s crazy idea. A PR friend had decided to take the leap and open her own firm. “This is crazy, isn’t it?” she asked. “I knew when I did this I had to talk to you. How do you not freak out everyday?”
I smiled. “What makes you think I don’t?”
The fact is, whenever we choose to take the road less traveled, there is a sense of dread, mixed with anticipation; nervousness combined with excitement. It’s this combination which pushes us through the doubt, fear and exhaustion to try to create something we believe in; something we feel brings value to the lives’ of others in whatever small way that may be.
Will a footwear magazine solve the world’s problems? No. But this industry creates hundreds and thousands of jobs, and puts food on the table of millions of hard working people. The footwear and fashion industry is full of creative and diligent people who courageously share their vision so that we may express ourselves by the clothes we wear, and the accessories we pass onto the generations to come.
As we raise a glass here at Heaven Has Heels HQ to three years of fun, frustration and fabulous footwear, I would encourage you all to voice that crazy idea. Let it take shape. Regardless of the outcome, always remember that this world was built upon crazy ideas. Why should they not be yours?