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by Amy Bertrand

How did you get started making bows for shoes? I’d been doing children’s clothing for the past 22 years, coordinating girls outfits from 18 months to size 8 with the matching bows, socks and doll outfits. I started it in 1989 in West County Mall in a kiosk and then moved on to craft fairs, so I traveled the Midwest. Every spring I always wanted to add flip-flops to match but never wanted to carry a whole line of shoes. So I came up with the idea of a removable bow in 2008. At the time, there was nothing out there like this, so I started the patent process for Chambeez (it’s currently patent pending). Then I realized it was a much bigger market. So I played around with it and came up with this removable bow that can be used for flip-flops, Crocs, sandals, tennis shoes and even as a ponytail holder.

How much are your bows? They range from $15 to $25.

Are you still doing the clothing line? It’s called Young Traditions and has been in the St. Louis area for many years. I have a lot of loyal customers, so I am still making the clothing. But I’m not sure how many I’ll be making this fall, because I’ll be so busy with the Chambeez.

Who wears your bows? You know, I sell a lot to kids; tweens are a great age group as well as college kids. I see the whole range, so that’s really good. I get a lot of wedding parties buying them. They wear them on the shoes for the wedding then they change to flip-flops for the reception and keep the bow. It’s like a little charm for your shoe. I also have the Mizzou license because every girl on campus wears flip-flops. We have lots of school colors the girls like to wear, too. I wear them every day myself. I just get Old Navy flip-flops and dress them up.

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