Shoes, shoes, shoes: definitely one of our biggest obsessions.Â Hundreds of pairs, never enough. But if trends come and go, what about those pieces we wish to keep forever? Someone might have figured it all out, atÂ least when it comes to ourÂ chaussures preferee.
A little exercise: think of the most beautiful pair of high heeled shoes you own and how much you adore them.
Now, think of the pair which used to be your most favourite and no longer is.
What happened to it? Sure, it might have been overshadowed by a trendier, newer, more comfortable pair – fashion knows no mercy, we all know that – but in most cases, we bet that finding a replacement was not the main reason for the dismissal of the pair.
Truth is, leather gets scratched and suede gets stained, but most of all heels get ruined. Badly. The heel of any shoe is probably the most abused part of it all, constantly busy getting stuck into something, sometimes even falling out after a particularly tragical bump in the road, literally.
Sounds pretty sad, right? Well it is, because if you still loved a certain pair and the only reason for not wearing anymore lied in the fact that the paths of life eventually had the best on the poor overworked heel it would just be a shame. How many more seasons could these shoes happily survive if it wasn’t for a scratched heel?
Hold on, what if we told you that someone found a solution for that?
What if from now on you’d be able to keep your most beloved – lucky? – shoes for pretty much as long as you wished?
What if that someone who came up with one of the most innovative – but simple at the same time – products ever was a man, precisely, a Swedish man?
This is the true story of how Carl Wedlin – engineer in the field of plastic – one day got irremediably sick of his wife moaning about the heels of her favourite shoes being ruined once again.
So Carl began to think and the result of his thinking was CITYHEELSâ˘: a protective membrane for high heels which – after its launch in 2013 – is now sold worldwide.
High standards and innovation are at the very core of Carl’s business, as he aims to provide the highest quality product on the market to serve the purpose of saving endangered heels. We chatted with Carl about his idea and what’s in store for CITYHEELSâ˘ in the future.
What did you first think of it when the idea for an innovative product such as CITYHEELSâ˘ came to you?
I knew that I needed to find a solution which by combining good protection and great aesthetics would haveÂ made a lot of womenâs lives easier. Before City Heels, all the available solutions for heel protections were either notÂ efficient or ugly, hence not suitable for permanent use.
Did you create CITYHEELSâ˘ thinking only about practical utility or also because of an interest in fashion you might have?
CITYHEELSâ˘ is the mere outcome from me being a problem solver and an entrepreneur. I’ve always been thriving from product development and wanted to build a business around it.
Tell us about the steps that brought you from the idea to the actual product.
It was not an easy road that brought us to develop the right formula for the CITYHEELSâ˘film.
I initially evaluated other approaches such as the use of shrink tube technology, but that idea was simply not good enough.Â The most important thing for me was notÂ just developing a product, I wanted to develop the best product. Today, I am confident to say thatÂ CITYHEELSâ˘ is the only heel protectionÂ that does the job, due to ourÂ engineered filmÂ made ofÂ several layers of different materials, each with peculiarÂ characteristics. We may have been a littleÂ humble in our marketing so far, but we are working on it now and you’ll soon be able to see how itâs possible to scrape Louboutins, Pradas, Manolos etc. against concrete, steel etc. safely if using CITYHEELSâ˘.
Are there different kinds of City Heels, depending on what heel they need to be applied to?
In the beginning, CITYHEELSâ˘ were available in four different sizes but we decided to make one size fitting all most popular heels, with adjustableÂ side wings. We are currently working at more sizes, shapes, thickness and even colours which we plan to diversify in the future.
My personal experience with sticky things has been pretty bad so far. Which makes me wonder: would CITYHEELSâ˘ stick to the heel no matter what material it was made of?
A common question we are asked is: Can CITYHEELSâ˘ be taken off?Â People tend to be more concerned about the film sticking too much rather than not sticking at all to the heel surface. When I started to research forÂ CITYHEELSâ˘ I was aware of the importance ofÂ not affecting the heels surface whenÂ removing it from the shoe. At the time, I was actually recovering from a bone marrow transplant due to Leukemia and my skin was extremelyÂ sensitive. I even needed to haveÂ special compound forming a layer between my skin and any bandage as to protectÂ my skin. This experience provided the knowledge I then applied toÂ the preparation wipe that comes with CITYHEELSâ˘ in order to create that same layer between the film and the heel. This assuresÂ a safe removal of the without any residue.
We Right now City Heels is a revolutionary product sold around the world through its online store. Would you ever imagine your product to be so successful?
We are very happy for all women using CITYHEELSâ˘ and we’ve been pleased to witness its popularity, especially within countries were high heels is a part of most women’sÂ everyday life such asÂ Italy and Mexico. Germany is an upcoming market for us too as Germans are known for taking well care of their possessions.
Your company is currently based in Stockholm. Do you see it moving anywhere else in the future?
CITYHEELSâ˘ is an entirely Swedish operation including everything from manufacturing, logistics and sales. we have no intention to move for now,Â although during the long freezing Winters I do sometimes dream about moving somewhereÂ nice and warm!
When you founded City Heels, did you have a particular customer in mind? Tell us about this woman.
CITYHEELSâ˘ are for all smart women who enjoy wearingÂ high heels and who’d like to protect their favourite ones – but not only –Â from being ruined by a simple miss-step. OurÂ goal is to make CITYHEELSâ˘ the obvious choice for everyone to keep their shoes intact and not only to those extra precious customers.
What is that made you the proudest of your business so far?
I feel very satisfied because of the value that CITYHEELSâ˘ brings to itâs users. There is something beautiful in being able to change peopleâs lives for the better, starting from small details. Shoes are emotional objects for many women and therefor itÂ hurts themÂ when they get ruined, no matter the price tag.
Last but not least: did your wife stop complaining about her heels getting ruined?
Now, she actually craves more high heels because she knowâs that she can wear them happily without worries!
Visit City Heels’ Official Website here.
Original Illustration by Jessie Gardiner.