The perfect pair of shoes will complete practically every outfit. Austin business RUMEE offers beautiful embroidered shoes that will take you from day to night. But there’s more to this company than what meets the pavement.
What Is RUMEE?
RUMEE is a local shoe company founded by Ishi Puri. Her shoes take inspiration from both the culture of her home country, India, and modern shoe styles.
These beautifully embroidered flats are handmade with love by artisans in India, where they take anywhere from five to eight hours to complete. After the shoes have been finished, they’re shipped to RUMEE’s home base in Austin.
Customers can currently buy RUMEE shoes in black (called Kristin) and blush (Mila). Both pairs of shoes were named after two people close to Puri’s heart: her best friend and her daughter.
Story Behind the RUMEE Brand
Puri’s story starts in the fashion capital of the globe: New York City. She would wear her heavily embroidered Indian shoes to and from work, events, and other outings. It didn’t take her long to notice people were interested in her shoes. She’d see other women looking at them on the subway, or they would come up to ask where Puri had purchased them.
Motivated by these experiences, Puri wanted to design a shoe women didn’t have to think twice about. It needed to be a shoe they could comfortably wear to work and out to dinner.
There was no second guessing she would start with a flat shoe. But while flat shoes are typically plain and boring, Puri wanted to create shoes that were stylish enough for New York and maintained an Eastern touch. The blossoming entrepreneur opted for modern pointed-toe shoes, covered with beautiful Indian embroidery.
Shoe That Goes With Everything
The road to achieving the dream took time. Puri traveled to India to visit over 200 manufacturers and find the right fit for her new shoe company. In the middle of planning and preparing, she became pregnant and decided to take time to focus on her growing family.
But after about a year, Puri was ready to get back in the game and officially launch her company. Her husband was very supportive of her dream and helped her get started. He steps in to help with the kids when she needs to work on business in the evenings, and also assists with order fulfillment.
Equipping Girls Globally
Growing up, Puri could see she received a good education and was given opportunities other girls may not have had in India. She saw parents working extremely hard to send their children to school.
RUMEE became an answer for how Puri could help improve the lives of young girls. For each pair of shoes sold, RUMEE sets aside 10 dollars to help send girls to school in India. This amount helps them get through one year of education.
Some of the inspiration behind this profit-sharing stems from Puri’s father, who retired at age 60, and built a school and charitable clinic for underprivileged people. The school now has over 300 students, most of whom are girls. Puri wants to eventually travel to meet the specific students RUMEE has helped, and share their stories.
Puri hopes she’s able to inspire other women to pair a social cause with their innovative ideas. She loves women supporting women, motivating each other to do the best they can.
Day in the Life
While RUMEE is Puri’s passion, she works full-time during the week. This means most of her evenings are spent managing RUMEE. After she gets home from work, she spends several hours with her husband and children.
When the kids go to bed, she gets back to business. She plans marketing campaigns and social strategies, works on fulfilling orders, and does anything else that needs to be completed. Her husband helps out, as well. Puri drops off packages in the mornings to ship out to customers, before heading to her next day of work.
She fully embraces the life of an entrepreneur and doesn’t let the workload bring her down–because she’s doing something she enjoys.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Which color of RUMEE shoes do you prefer? Black or blush?