NORWALK, Conn. -- Devyn Taylor has always had a passion for shoes.
So, when her corporate fashion industry job started getting to her thanks to a four-hour daily commute into Manhattan, along with some health issues (she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013), the Norwalk resident figured something had to give.
Inspiration struck shopping for her son's birthday about a week after she left her job. Disappointed she couldn't find cool shoes that weren't the adult downsized version of an overpriced Nike, Addidas or Jordan, she thought to herself: "I wish I could have my own shoe line."
That's when it hit her. She did production and sourcing in the fashion industry for the past eight years. Why not try this?
"I had never designed anything in my life but my head was racing with ideas and visions," said Taylor.
"I emailed a factory that I worked with in the past and asked if he would be interested in doing some development for a kids shoe line."
She sent him ideas and pictures to reference mood boards and gave him the direction of what she wanted. Eight weeks later, she had her first pictures of samples -- and they were exactly what she was looking for.
That was October 2016. Now, not even a year later Taylor's online company, Dezzys Footwear, has sold 20,000 pairs of shoes and is hoping for a shot at SharkTank (she's made the first round of cuts).
Her tag line is "Children's fashion forward footwear where we keep your children looking fashionable but still letting them be a kid."
Taylor is guided, she said, by the memory of her best friend Sheree who unfortunately took her life a year ago thanks to extreme postpartum depression.
It's why the mom of three is passionate about having her company help women and children around the world that are suffering from domestic violence, depression, and poverty.
"We want to be a brand that gives back and show hope to people all over the world," stressed Taylor.
Her first event will be at Norwalk's Malta House on Tuesday, Sept. 19 where she will donate 40 pairs of shoes to those children living in the shelter.
"It's not much but it's a start," said Taylor. "This is an important part of our mission and I hope to be doing more of these in the future."
Go to www.dezzysfootwear.com/ for more information
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