Kara Mac is a Shoe Designer and Creator of Kara Mac Shoes. She studied fashion design at FIT and spent her professional life as an apparel designer, specializing in knitwear, working for brands including Ralph Lauren and Talbots. Her specialty was as a Knitwear Technologist where she worked on the machinery to play with sweater and knit designs. She has been around the world in her career in factories from Hong Kong to Korea to Turkey to Pakistan. After 25 years, she realized it was time to apply her skills and experience to solving a problem that she, and many women, experience every day: “I have a million things to do today and I need a shoe that can work in all those circumstances.” Kara Mac Shoes was launched in 2015. The result is a revolutionary shoe system that customizes many styles of shoes and creates a lighter footprint and a positive environmental impact by decreasing the amount of shoes that end up in landfills. “Our shoes are unique because the heels are permanently attached to the shoe, but they have swappable heel covers and straps that can be customized for any outfit and is referred to as “Candy”. Kara’s innovation has disrupted the shoe industry!
The dream was to design fashionable and comfortable footwear for women on the go. Kara set out to design a shoe that she wanted to own. One that is super comfortable, could morph from one look to another and be customized for each outfit. A lucky encounter with one of the Shark Tank investors resulted in them telling her that the idea could be huge. That faith gave her the final encouragement to leave her corporate career and dedicate herself full-time to build the company. She researched patents to see if the idea had ever been done. There was nothing for the injectable molds that she had developed. The provisional patent was received 1/2014 and the patent granted in 4/2017 with a stronger one to follow a year later. They started promoting the collection with House Parties, followed quickly by showcasing at Women’s Conferences across the US and introducing KaraMac.com. The collection has grown to include Boots, Pumps, Slippers and Sandals and has been sold at Macy’s, Zulily and specialty shops.
“Becoming an entrepreneur in your 40’s is not for the fainthearted”, says Kara. She has participated in QVC’s Product Discovery Event, HSN’s American Dream Academy, CNBC Power Pitch, Project Entrepreneur and the UPS Export Challenge. Kara has been able to learn from each experience and adapt the feedback into her business model.
Kara is a wife, mom of two young men and a dog mom to Bridget and Bernadette (aka Bernie), two beautiful Portuguese Water Dogs. She is a lifelong New Yorker and went to the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. While working in the fashion industry, designing apparel, she commuted into the city and changed her shoes at least two, if not three times a day. One for walking and one for the office and sometimes one for an evening event. While traveling for business and pleasure, Kara never wanted to check her luggage but the shoes forced her to. Her innovative solution now allows her to pack a shoe or two and a small bag of candy to have the perfect shoe for every outfit.
One of Kara’s favorite quotes is from Kathryn Hepburn, "If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun". She can relate to this because; although she lives and breathes Classic, she is a sucker for a Twist. A twist in words, fashion, daily grind, mom’s life, family, legacy and everything else she personally answers to on a daily basis. Have you seen the skull heels? Organic and Classic are two words she lives by. Organic in social media and classic in style. She loves trends and plans to always add them to her collection of ever-growing accessories, but she likes to keep her shoe styles classic, so they almost never go out of style.
Kara was excited and humbled to align with Dress for Success® as part of the 2020 initiatives. For every shoe purchased, she will supply footwear for women who are getting ready to go back into the workforce. She is so grateful to her network of women and her “gaggle of girlfriends” and want to share the love. She also teaches Illustrator to high school students to mentor them in their fashion careers.
If Kara has rare time off, you’ll find her on the Cape, enjoying family, the beach and lobster bakes.
Please reach out to Kara at KaraMacShoes@gmail.com for retail inquiries, press opportunities or licensing collaborations. Thank you.