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Meet Suzi Fuller and Blair Isom of MODERN+SOUL in Park Cities

Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzi Fuller and Blair Isom.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Suzi and Blair. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Blair and I met in Yoga Teacher Training earning our teaching certificates. A friendship was formed over our mutual love of yoga, fashion, raising kids and having FUN in the process. In a discussion of how to amp up our Athleisure footwear to something that could take us from a power flow, to lunch with friends, to dinner date with hubbies, we came across a traditional Moroccan shoe, the babouche, which was just what we were searching for. We found a contact that connected us with artisans in Morocco and we ordered a couple of samples. After tweaking the design to make it a bit more sleek and fitted to the foot, we wore our samples to yoga, errands and dinner dates and found them to be not only versatile but also amazingly comfortable! We were hooked! Shortly thereafter, we made our first “big order”, which consisted of about 20 pairs and offered them to our friends who had been asking where they could get them. In just a couple weeks, we had sold our “big order” and we’re ready to take it to the next level. Morocco has a huge leather industry and large tanneries where we source our leather. We moved on from leather in simple solids to incorporate many different designs our mules, including snake prints, croc and lizard textures, as well as metallics. It’s been a very cool experience to have a creative avenue where we can grow a business based on something we wholeheartedly believe in and love, with lots of learning around every corner.

Has it been a smooth road?
We have been very fortunate along the way and through connections we have made, many doors of opportunity have opened for us. That’s not to say we haven’t had our share of challenges… for example, in working with artisans that are so far away, occasionally we have dealt with language barriers or even cultural differences, that can delay or effect production. We look at challenging situations such as this, as opportunities to learn about the lifestyles and values of our artisans and go into each day, with an open mind and flexible attitude. We are grateful for every opportunity we are given and keep our outlook positive above all else. We have found that by releasing expectations and appreciating each opportunity we keep things moving and progressing along and move through challenges as they are presented.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the MODERN+SOUL story. Tell us more about the business.
MODERN+SOUL is a footwear line featuring a traditional Moroccan shoe with a modern twist. Using time honored techniques passed down through generations, our slippers are handmade by local artisans in the city of Fez, also known as the “soul” of Morocco. Every pair is made with soft, supple leather that molds to the shape of the foot as it is worn. Not only our our slides comfortable, they are also incredibly versatile and can be worn with anything from denim, to athleisure, to skirts and dresses.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
We hope to continue to grow and make improvements to the product we already love so much, including different styles, heels, materials, etc. We are always looking to improve and be our own best critic. We have recently begun offering our product to retailers in the wholesale capacity and hope to continue to grow this avenue of sales and reaching more consumers.