Interview with Taceri CEO: Tamara Richardson-Williams

Tamara Portrait

Tell me about your background. How did you get started with Taceri?

I have always had difficulty finding shoes in my size. I have worn a size 12 shoe since the age of 12, and as a child I dreamt about the day when I would have shoes as pretty as everyone else's. I really did not begin to think about the shoe industry until about nine years ago when the initial thought crossed my mind, and I was curious about either opening a store catering to extended sizes or starting my own shoe line specifically catering to this market.

I had just graduated from law school and was beginning my career at a financial firm on Wall Street. I felt as though I wanted to do something different and I was passionate about providing shoes for women who have traditionally been ignored by the shoe industry.

About four years ago, I began researching the market, and a year after that I met and began meeting with factories in Brazil. During the preliminary stages, I remained at my full-time job while I prepared to launch Taceri. It was very difficult managing both, but I am so happy that I am able to pursue my passion and give the opportunity for women to feel good about themselves.

What is the number one concern for women who need larger shoe sizes?

Women are women. All women want to look and feel good. A woman who wears a size 13 shoe has the same number of events to attend, same number of outfits in her closet, and the same desire to look good as a woman who wears a size 8 shoe. Until recently, the shoe industry lost sight of this, which resulted in limited style options for women who need larger shoe sizes.

Tell me about the styles Taceri offers.

Taceri is a lifestyle line. We offer flats, pumps, mules, sling backs, sandals, wedges and boots in a variety of heel heights. We consider ourselves to be a fashionable shoe line that does follow some of the trends, but also offers classic styles for our customers.

What are the top-sellers right now?

Our flats and wedges are the most popular selling styles right now.

Taceri Flat

Where can Taceri shoes be found?

Taceri.com will show readers exactly where to find their nearest Taceri retailer.

''' Your line makes beautiful, stylish shoes in large sizes. Why do you think the focus with larger shoes has traditionally been on comfort and practicality, rather than style and trendiness?'''

Thank you for the compliment. Honestly, I think that style and trendiness hasn't been a focus in the larger sizes due to misconceptions by companies who were not necessarily in tune to the needs of the women in this market. The smaller sizes make up the largest portion of their sales so this was their focus. Now as I begin to see more women starting their own shoe lines and opening their own shoe stores, they are beginning to focus on this "niche" market.

Many researchers attribute this surge of extended sizes in the marketplace to the growing size of the average women due to sports and diet. I believe that although there is an increasing demand for extended sizes, there has always been a need. I receive at least two to three calls a week from older women (in their 60s and 70s) who wear a size 11 or above, leading me to believe that this problem has always existed.

I must also add that there is a greater expense to make larger sizes, and many companies did not want to incur this expense to make the trendy shoes in the extended sizes. They may have had one flat or lower heeled shoe mold that went up to a size 11 or 12, and they would reuse that style year after year after year and offer it in black, bone, brown and navy.

You listen very well to your customers. How do you get the most of your feedback?

I hate to sound cliche, but we wouldn't be in business without our customers, and our customers are very vocal. They email us, call us and we meet many of them at trade shows, trunk shows and various other events that we attend. Now of course we can't meet every request, but we are trying to make shoes available that our customers want and sizes available that our customers need.

Tell me more about the virtual trunk show. When will that be available?

The Virtual Trunk Show will allow customers to view and pre-purchase shoes prior to each season at a slight discount. We are in the process of updating our website and hope to have the virtual trunk show up and running by the end of the month.

Are there any styles within the Taceri line that keep coming back year after year, because they're so popular with your customers?

We are slightly updating our ballerina flat (Alyssa) and our basic pump (Always). These two styles will be a part of the Taceri line for seasons to come. Of course, we will update the colors and make some slight changes, but overall these two styles are very popular so we want to make sure they are available as long as our customers are asking for them.

Taceri Fur Boot
Interview with Taceri CEO: Tamara Richardson-Williams