Posted on September 12 2019
ALLY: What motivates you?
Samantha Dong: I love the process of creating something new and useful, that benefits a lot of people. It’s a joy to lead a mission-driven brand and to experience customer reactions when they first step into our shoes. Our customers are real women who love heels and style, but also appreciate comfort. They inspire us as they take on the world and stride through life in our shoes. They are the inspiration behind our upcoming marketing campaign highlighting real women – our customers and their powerful stories. ALLY is never just about the shoes - we want to be the brand that represents the qualities of a modern woman - beautiful, strong, and uncompromising.
ALLY: What has been the biggest business obstacle you've had to overcome?
Samantha Dong: It hasn’t been easy starting Ally Shoes with no experience in footwear and aiming to solve a problem that has existed in women’s shoes for so long. It was actually helpful that I didn’t come from the footwear industry because it empowered me to ask the obvious questions, challenge the status quo, and push to figure out how to make heels fit better.
I couldn’t build this brand alone and it wasn’t easy to assemble the right team, but we did. I partnered with two leading women experts in the space Dr. Roxann Clarke, a podiatric surgeon, and Sara Jaramillo, an accomplished footwear designer. We involved real women every step of the way, from designing, sampling, to real-life wear tests. With their feedback and support, we successfully re-engineered the statement heel with long-lasting comfort. Overcoming the challenges led to our innovative, patent pending design.
ALLY: Tell us Sam, what's your favorite quote?
Samantha Dong: "You are capable of more than you know" - E.O. Wilson