Who is Stacey?
Stacey is the Founder and Chief Warrior of VEERAH (@veerahoffical), an e-commerce startup that crafts luxury shoes merging comfort, compassion, and chic.
What is your background?
Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, I came to the U.S. alone when I was 15 to attend boarding School in Culver, Indiana. After that, I went to Boston University for college. Following college I moved to NYC and worked at Coach Inc. HQ with various roles in International Sales, Merchandise Planning and Material Management. I loved my time in NYC, but decided to get my MBA at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After my MBA, I wanted to be part of the growth taking place in Asia and also to be closer to my family in Taiwan, so I moved to Shanghai for a few different startup gigs. Eventually, I landed a role with The Estee Lauder Companies in Hong Kong for its Asia Pacific business. Nearly 3 years ago, I left corporate America and began work on my own women’s footwear venture – VEERAH – and moved back to NYC.
How long has “Veerah” been on the market?
While I began to work on the line in 2014, VEERAH was officially launched in October 2016. I definitely underestimated the amount of work and time that is required to build products and a brand from scratch!
What’s the drive behind the Line? Why design vegan shoes and accessories?
As a socially and environmentally conscious woman, I felt that there had to be a way to find a balance between style and conscience. I didn’t want to sacrifice style for a plant-based lifestyle and I also never wanted to hurt any life for the sake of beauty – but that doesn’t mean that looking and feeling good is any less important. I came up with the name VEERAH when I was practicing “Virabhadrasana”, the warrior pose in yoga. It is the perfect name to represent our drive to recognize the warrior spirit within all of us and to serve women who balance strength and femininity everyday.
At VEERAH, we are inspired by women. Our shoes are made for warriors. I created VEERAH to merge style, quality, compassion and functionality for women today (who we refer to as #VEERAHwarriors). I am so excited about what we have developed and I hope that VEERAH fills that void for so many women out there who are looking for a better way to align their closets with their values. We promise that all VEERAH warriors can always “Do Good. Look Incredible.”
How did you come up with the idea?
I love shoes, but I was frustrated by the lack of options in the marketplace to serve modern women’s fast-paced, dynamic, and conscientious lifestyles. I was traveling a lot for work, but it was difficult to travel with a carry-on and with just one or two pairs of heels for all the events that I needed to attend. Further, I couldn’t find comfortable designer heels! I found many women shared similar problems, so I decided to solve that by creating VEERAH, the first and only luxury shoe company that delivers high fashion, high function, and high impact. Our shoes are classic silhouettes that come with removable accessories for multiple looks. Crafted innovatively, VEERAH’s custom soles are supportive, comfortable, and flexible. Lastly, all of these premium materials are eco-conscious and 100% cruelty-free!
What is your creative process?
A lot of my creative process is to think about what modern women do want – beauty, comfort and sustainability. A lot is based on my gut feeling and customer feedback. Then, I think about the story that I want to communicate to ensure each collection is coherent. I like to start with a classic silhouette and from there work on what women need – from cushioning for increased comfort to the removable accessories that add fun and flair to our shoes.
Where is your point of fabrication?
They are made in China by an excellent manufacturer. I love the partners that we are working with. I spend a significant amount of time in the factory working directly with the managers and workers to ensure that they understand our vision and quality standard.
Any point of distribution in other countries?
We are selling online exclusively and shipping worldwide.
Do you think that “Veerah” can be labeled as humanitarian?
That’s certainly our goal! We are a Public Benefit Corporation, which is a legal entity that defines its goals based on positive impacts on society, community, and the environment. A big part of our company’s ethos is giving back and we are currently partnered with She’s The First, an incredible organization supporting girls’ education. We have also created our “1-10-100” battle plan”. This means that we donate at least 1% of our proceeds to social impact causes, 10 hours are paid to our employees per month to volunteer or take self-improvement courses, and for every 100 feedback forms we receive we will support a full year of a girls’ education with She’s the First. We aim to grow together and give back!
Is there a new collection in projection?
Yes! We are launching a new style in mid July with a super fun and flirty removable fringe. We will introduce a brand new material that has not yet been used in any women’s shoe brand in the fall. Stay tuned!