Former food chemist Angel-Lee Grignon, has turned her love for stylish sandals into a viable business that provides trendy and elegant footwear tailored to the requirements of the discerning customer.
Angé Sandals are readily identifiable by their trademark straps that are made from polyester rope. As it stands, there are three product lines – the Azra, Venus and the Gisele.
Grignon, in explaining the genesis of the business shared that
“it started as a personal need and it morphed into meeting the needs of potential and actual clients”.
She spoke to having a number of challenges in the preliminary stages that all stemmed from having insufficient knowledge. This was soon rectified once she took a few online courses that taught her the “foot science”.
Grignon got her first real hands-on experience when she accompanied her mother to a shoemaker after church one day.
She took advantage of the opportunity to tap into his vast knowledge gained from years of experience in the field, noting that the shoemaker readily responded to her questions.
With that encounter, coupled with the classes she took, she jumped into the deep end and made the first pair of sandals under her brand in August of 2019, which was when she officially launched the business.
She added that her business has seen much growth despite COVID-19 Pandemic with numerous requests and orders pouring in.
With a little over a year as an entrepreneur, the Angé Sandals boss has participated in two major Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) tradeshows, Christmas in July and an e-Chrismus marketplace in 2020.
Grignon, in sharing her vision for the business, says that over the next year, she is looking to expand on the company’s client base in parishes throughout Jamaica and countries within the Caribbean, where it currently serves.
“In the next five years, Angé Sandals should be supplying under brand Jamaica to countries worldwide. In the next 10 years, Angé should be on par with the popular and successful footwear brands,”
Grignon says she also plans to host a showcase series encouraging collaborative effort and partnership among entrepreneurs in fashion and footwear.
This is in response to a call by Marketing Service Manager at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Janine Taylor, for gift and craft entrepreneurs to collaborate for maximum business out-turns.