Flipflops that change to suit your mood: we chat to Terri from Chameleon
What’s nice about running the Fashion & Style Directory is that we get to meet and work with so many interesting and creative designers, retailers and labels – and sometimes they’re just based up the road!
One such business is Chameleon Swap-Top Flip Flops, which is run by Terri-Louise Rae – and she’s located right here in Gateshead, like we are.
So, we caught up with Terri to hear more about where her inspiration for Chameleon came from, and why girls are going mad for flipflops that tick the comfort, style AND capsule wardrobe boxes. We reckon our Michelle had better get a pair in for her trip to Ibiza next month!
Hello Terri! We love your Chameleon flipflops, and are sure our readers will too. Where did you get the inspiration from?
Thanks Graham! I just got started with the Chameleon brand last year, so it is really new, but I made a pair of my own customisable flipflops about seven years ago. They were made from Primark flipflops and I wore them to death.
I always said it would make a fab business because they are so very versatile. Instead of packing lots of different shoes in your suitcase when travelling, you can just pack one pair of soles and as many different colour laces as you want to match your outfits – saving room and weight.
Shoes and toiletries are always my weakness when I go on holiday, so it’s nice not to be charged for excess luggage!
Yes, we’ve all been there. So it took you a while to take the plunge and launch your own flipflop business?
Yes! After talking about it for so many years, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and invested my savings.
The flipflops have come a LONG way from that first pair I made by hand!
We know that wearing fabulous footwear sometimes comes at a price! But your Chameleons are designed to be really comfortable, right?
Yes, the soles are made from foam which is super-comfy, with a rubber sole for great grip.
The laces are made from silky lycra, meaning they stretch to fit and they don’t give you blisters – both of which work well for me, as my feet swell up when I’m on holiday and I get blisters in between my toes from ‘normal’ flipflops.
You can also get them wet and they will dry off fine, and the laces are machine washable. The soles come with handy loops, enabling you to thread the laces through and keep changing them.
Sounds great, Terri! So where can people buy their Chameleons from?
Just head over to the online store at chameleonswaptops.co.uk! They are available in sizes 2-8 and cost £15.99, which includes soles, two different colour pairs of laces, and a ring or buckle to decorate.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to how to tie the laces, and I consider myself pretty creative, but my customers have come up with some really inventive ways that I would never have imagined myself.
Some of the best have come from people who felt a bit hesitant about designing their own shoes, but there are no right or wrong ways to tie them. You can also order extra accessories – like beads – to really make them your own.
Brilliant! So who do you see as your Chameleon customer, Terri?
It’s really important to me that they aren’t just for one particular group or ‘type’ of women. Chameleons are quality, stylish and affordable footwear for all ages, sizes and backgrounds.
Chameleons can be bright and blingy or chic and understated – you can find your own personal style all in one place. Every woman can have easy-to-make footwear that is unique to her. Chameleons are all about fun, fashion and creativity, and are called Chameleon because they change colour to suit your mood – just like a chameleon lizard.
That sounds good to us – we always love the idea of women being able to create and embrace completely their own style. So, how are things going with Chameleon so far? You must be getting great feedback!
I won’t lie, it has been the hardest thing I have ever done!
I have had to learn about importing, accounting, Photoshop, web design, social media, marketing and all the other hundreds of aspects of running a business. There have been times I was so stressed I thought I was going to have a heart attack!
I still have a long way to go, as a nationwide-known brand is not born overnight, but I really believe in what I am doing and the feedback I have had so far has been fantastic.
We wish you all the best, Terri! Our readers can also find you on social media, right?