Imagine having the perfect outfit ready to go for date night, a day at the office, or just hanging out with your girlfriends, but when you look in your closet for the perfect shoe the only options you have are a pair of heels or sneakers. Sorting through your choices, it becomes clear to you that sneakers will ruin the outfit and heels just won’t satisfy your comfort level. This is a dilemma that many women deal with when trying to dress up their outfits, but also wanting to maintain a level of comfort.
Janyelle Milton, the owner of J. Marie Premium Sneakers, juggled her option of being cute or being comfortable, especially when she started to work in the corporate world in downtown Detroit. Janyelle says, “my life became a lot of walking, so my needs changed. It became more about comfort and functionality.” To meet her needs without compromising her style, Janyelle decided to create a brand that meet all her needs: style, comfort, quality, and color. “J Marie Premium Sneakers are conceived in Detroit handcrafted in Italy. J Marie Premium Sneakers are Style| Quality| Comfort| Color. The line consists of Athleisure, Fashion and High Fashion,” says Milton.
Janyelle carefully designed sneakers that anyone could wear without feeling like they are compromising the integrity of their outfits; consumers can select from the Athleisure, Fashion, and High Fashion line. The brand produces much more than quality premium sneakers; recently two, luxury summer slides and last winter boots were includes in the collection.
Janyelle Marie Milton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of J. Marie Premium Sneakers gave W4TC insight on her luxury company. In a Q&A session, she Janyelle spoke on why she started J. Marie, where she draws inspiration from, what’s on the agenda for her brand, and how she’s partnered with Angel Bins to collect gently used for budding entrepreneurs in Africa and South America.
Q: Janyelle, you are the CEO of J Marie Premium Sneakers. How did the idea of launching a premium sneaker company come to fruition?
A: *smiles* Growing up, especially in high school, you’d be hard pressed to find me in “gym shoes.” I always wore heels; a lot of my peers thought I was way older because of it, they all wore “gym shoes.” Looking down at my own sneakers below, I find this interesting. NOW, my peers are into heels and me, well…
But, as I got older, I longed for comfort. I moved downtown Detroit, and entered corporate America. My life became a lot of walking, so my NEEDS changed. It became more about comfort and functionality.
Q: You market your sneakers as having style, comfort, quality, and color, but some people might say sneakers are not for every outfit regardless of having style, comfort, etc. What would you tell these people to prove them wrong?
A: That’s true….as with any type of shoe; however, J Marie Premium Sneakers are just that….a PREMIUM SNEAKER. Our Sneakers are made out of Premium material, such as 100 percent Italian leather, and made of premium finishes, such as crocodile and python embossed leather. Most people often associate Sneakers to “dressing down,” and that’s not true when it comes to J Marie Premium Sneakers. Our Sneakers come in an ARRAY of colors, even black; so we have something for skeptics.
Q: Janyelle, do you miss the heels?
A: I at one point had over 100 pairs of heels. But, heels just don’t cut it when it comes to all day comfort.
Q: The designs of your sneakers are bold and colorful. Where do you draw inspiration when designing a line of premium sneakers?
A: Everywhere, and through everything; whether it be a color I saw, or a video/movie with certain color sequences. Then I may exaggerate it or bring it down. It can be a mood I’m in.
Q: You are from Detroit, the “Motor City.” Detroit is also known for its art and music. Would you say that the culture from Detroit also helps keep your creativity flowing?
A: Of course. Cars, Art, Music it all correlates… I think CREATORS of anything would be inspired in a place like Detroit. It’s a unique place; a lot going on to draw inspiration from.
Q: Janyelle, what is your “Why” for starting this company? Everyone has their own story on why their business is their “baby.”
A: Well, because footwear has always been “my thing,” but I channeled that interest into solving my own problem. So, now, I want to offer that solution to everyone. And, moreover offer those solutions through a company that I control and create the vibe for.
Q: Janyelle, will we see the Premium Sneakers branch off and sell different types of footwear?
A: Yes, ABSOLUTELY. We ALREADY do, so I’m glad you asked me that. Thanks! We launched two luxury slides for the summer: Exotica Lifted is the play on the Sneaker Exotica and a his and her in a bold green, black, red and white python embossed leather. Just this past winter we offered boots….Python Reloaded which is the remix to the Sneaker Pink Python.
Q: What can we expect from your brand the rest of 2021, and where can our followers contact with you, and purchase some sneakers?
A: You can expect more collaborations with influencers, the expansion of our Brand ambassador program, and more sustainable initiatives. We are putting together a national shoe drive and new releases!
For all things J Marie- our Brand, our initiatives, request a free digital catalog, or place an order follow us on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/jmarieshoes85_premiumsneakers/
Q: Also, please elaborate on the Shoe Drive, and tell us how people can participate?
A: Of course.
We have partnered with Angel Bins, a company that collects, cleans, sorts and packages shoes and sends them to budding entrepreneurs in Africa and South America.
Right now, we are scouting for physical retail locations that would like to participate in sustainable initiatives by allowing a space for drop off and pick up of gently-used shoes.
Once we have those locations in place, we will post on our Instagram account on where participants can drop off gently-worn shoes in exchange for $30 off their first pair of Premium Sneaker.
We have goals of recruiting seven locations and collecting 700 pairs of shoes per location.