365 days ago today, Women You Should Know Kira Bundlie and Lisa Ström took a BIG risk to do something bold and inspired for themselves and for the benefit of women EVERYWHERE. They officially launched Hourglass Footwear, a unique, hand-painted shoe company that features the work of ten very talented Seattle-area artists on a collection of one-of-a-kind platforms, stilettos, mid-heels, and flats… shoes that would have made Cinderella dump her glass slippers (and their accompanying prince) without thinking twice.

I'm Not SariPrior to breaking out into entrepreneurial superstardom, Kira worked in marketing and PR, discovering only recently that she had some serious, latent artistic talent that she wanted to channel. Lisa, the self-described “giant nerd” of this pair, was a graphic artist and designer. Combined they knew a lot of other women artists who were perpetually frustrated by the unfortunate cycle of endless freelance projects that offered little stability and inspiration. They decided their collective talents were being wasted. They also realized it was time for women to stand out. So what to do?

For these two hard-working, business-minded artists who just so happen to love shoes, Hourglass Footwear was their answer. Kira and Lisa cobbled together their skills and assembled an insanely talented team of reliable, dynamic, and experienced female artists, offering them well made shoes as the newfangled canvas on which they would create wearable art for women. And with that, a new brand was born.

Hourglass Team

All Hourglass shoes start in basic black with a range of different heights to choose from – sky high platforms to foot friendly flats. The artists’ imaginations take over from there and the results are extraordinary… a collection of one-of-a-kind shoes, each boasting original patterns, motifs and designs that we would describe as chic and glamorous, cool and edgy, as well as refined and sophisticated. There’s definitely something for everyone, but trust us, trying to pick your favorite design will probably keep you up at night.

Hourglass Footwear Profile shot

Each of Hourglass’ original designs can be hand-painted on any style of shoes the brand offers. You can even send them your own shoes and they will work their artistic magic on them with an existing design or something custom meant to fulfill your wildest footwear fantasy.

As stunning as they are, these shoes are meant to be worn and enjoyed, not to mention ogled by other women who may follow you around an event begging to know where you got them, while threatening to tackle you for them (true story). So every Hourglass pair is triple sealed, which makes them waterproof, and keeps their one-of-a-kind paint jobs well protected (even from envious drool).

One of our favorite aspects of this brand is that their artists have issues… c’mon, who doesn’t? But, their iss(shoes) are a little different than those that might send you running to a therapist. Their iss(shoes) center on causes that are near and dear to each artist’s heart. With that, part of the proceeds from each sale of specific pairs of Hourglass shoes are donated to the designing artist’s non-profit of choice. Style and substance… one of our favorite combinations.

Hourglass Footwear Custom Shoes

Hourglass Footwear Custom Shoes: Vintage Cadillac, Bridal, Oz Themed

With two super smart women driving this brand, shoe styles and gorgeous designs to suit any woman’s personality, a dash of altruism and impeccable customer service, it’s no surprise that in only 9 short months from launch, Hourglass was already exceeding sales projections. They’ve continued to grow from there with new designs being added frequently, different styles of shoes (i.e. the peep toe wedge) joining the collection, and legions of shoe lovers becoming Hourglass devotees, including our very own WYSK founders.

So Happy 1st Anniversary to Kira, Lisa and the entire Hourglass Footwear team. Thanks for keeping women so uniquely and beautifully, well heeled.

The Women of Hourglass Footwear

The Women of Hourglass Footwear: From left to right, top row: Melissa, Hillary, Alisha, Debbie, Trisha, Jeanie, Rachel, Nicolle. From left to right, bottom row: Maya, Shauna, Lisa, Kira