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Summer is right around the corner and oftentimes in New York City that means sticky, hot weather. A true fashion hub, women in the city want to show off their impeccable fashion and minimize their suffering.

In a city that prides itself on over-the-top fashion choices, a lot of women choose fashion over function but I spoke to a woman who doesn’t believe women have to choose between the two.

Saya Fukuda is a shoe designer who hails from the East and resides in New York City. I spoke to her about her designer sandal brand, Sand by Saya, and what’s next for her company, the women of New York, and the world.  

What is Sand by Saya?

We are a luxury sandal brand for New York City women who seek fashion and comfort from a shoe. Our sandals are all hand made and made-to-order in New York City.



What was the inspiration?

Women in New York City want to be chic and comfortable at the same time. Most women in the city walk—a hard feat in five-inch heels! We created comfortable and fashionable flat sandals for them to slip into in the morning or keep in their bag to change into throughout the day.

All of our sandals are named after neighborhoods in the city: West Village, High Line and Central Park. Every pair is inspired by New York City scenery and culture.

What is the manufacturing process?

Our collections are carried in several department stores, including Enzyme Shoe Lab, Harry’s Shoes and Barney’s New York in Japan. Orders are placed with our motifs factory, which makes the hand-beaded embellishments on the shoes. Then we assemble the sandals in our Midtown studio located in the heart of the fashion district. After that we ship the shoes out.

When an order is placed online we ship it out within three days.



How many designs do you have?

Our women’s collection includes 18 different motifs with four color variations and our children’s line has six styles and three colors to choose from. We also have 30 different styles of accessories ranging from brooches to necklaces to hair bands.

What do you struggle with as an entrepreneur?

Every time I get an offer from investors it feels like they want to claim the majority of my sales. Often their offers are vague and complicated so I have to comb over the proposal with my lawyer, researching the specific questions to ask to ensure both sides are getting the best deal. I have yet to get an offer from an angel investor so I am also pressured to give up a lot of creative control, which I am unwilling to do.

My business still needs to grow and my sales are small. The costs are too high so I can’t order large amounts of inventory yet, but I remain optimistic that as I gain exposure my sales will grow.

What's next for your company? 

My goal is to obtain the budget for trade shows and connect with international buyers. We want Sand by Saya in every beach town on every pair of feet!



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