Jodie Fox might not be aware of it, but she’s a superstar. Not because her life is strangely similar to the Hollywood film The Intern but because the Shoes of Prey chief creative officer and co-founder is redefining what it takes to make it as an Australian woman in a highly competitive tech landscape.
Jodie is a softly spoken, attractive career girl. She’s focused, single, lives in Los Angeles and together with her two co-founders, have turned a $50,000 investment into a business that’s attracted $24 million in investor funding in 6 years.
While there are no plans yet to float the company on the stock market, the shoesofprey.com team are in L.A. for a reason and that is to grow globally and tap into greater investment opportunities.
But business aside, when it comes to Jodie’s personal relationship with money, the 33 year old law and business graduate admits there is room for improvement.
“While I do have a healthy share portfolio and a great investment in Shoes of Prey, I could do a lot better with my day-to-day – I am very relaxed about money but would be in a vastly better position if I were stricter with my spending!”
So what does a typical day look like for Jodie, in a fast growing online shoe design company? Busy yes, crazy some days, but “ideally” it runs something like this:
Sleep time: 7-8 hours’ sleep is a must when you can get it
Workout at 6:15am till 7am
Go home and get ready for work by 8:30am
Work through till 6:30-7pm on a good day
If I need to I’ll do more work at home and try to get to sleep by 10:30am.
Routines always look better on paper but the truth is, it’s be a long road to success for Jodie, including going the first two-and-a-half years without taking a salary, remaining in business with her ex-husband and co-founder Michael Fox and learning how to win as a woman in male dominated business world.
“There is no silver bullet in business and there is rarely an Aha moment,” she says, adding that what she’s experienced has been more like a series of ah moments instead.
“I am facing a challenge at the moment in that I would like a family and I am currently single and I love what I do,” she says. “I have been out of the office on holiday, partly unwell but I am back at the desk now, and I’m pumped. As a women in business I am trying to figure out how I keep going and what happens if and when I have children.”
But just like The Intern staring Anne Hathaway, her bicycle is parked in the office and there’s “no way in hell” Jodie is stepping aside, in fact the more pressure she faces, the more she looks to overcome it.
Among her role models is fashion entrepreneur and Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massenet, who arguably helped pave the way for women like Jodie in the online retail space.
For Jodie, the idea for Shoes of Prey came about when she couldn’t buy the shoes she wanted, so she started designing them herself and getting them made. From there she joined forces with two of school friends, (Michael Fox and Mike Knapp) with e-commerce expertise, and the rest is history.
You only need to watch one of her YouTube videos here about her success, or where she provides viewers with advice on shopping and business, to see how Jodie Fox is fast becoming a corporation.
There are no plans to change her last name despite the spilt with Michael. It’s who she is and her reputation has been built around it.
Call it confidence or as she says “entitlement”, Jodie believes it’s something that more women need to embrace and tap into if they are to succeed.
“Men have more of a sense of entitlement than women,” she says, referring to research that shows how men are much more likely than women to apply for a job or go for a promotion even if they are underqualified.
“My understanding is that at least 50 per cent to 60 per cent of businesses being started in Australia are started by women, but as they become more successful the women drop out as evidenced by the low numbers of women in senior roles in companies. But today there is more focus on women seeing it through.
“If you harness your femininity you can overcome many unconscious biases that favour men, such as promoting a college because they have muscular qualities such as a deeper voice.”
She recalls one recent boardroom meeting where she sought the advice on how to tackle a certain problem and win.
“On this one issue I felt very strongly that I needed to be heard, and I talked it through to one of my mentors and they said, you need to pick up the tool of entitlement, and say why you deserve to get XYZ as much as the next person.
“So I did it and said in that meeting, with all the love in the word, I am equally entitled to making sure that this happens and it worked.”
She also believes that more women should embrace their femininity and be “okay with feeling feminine enough to use the word love” at the negotiating table.
Indeed Jodie’s message to other career-minded women is to love what you do and choose a career that is life enhancing.
Jodie Fox is Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder of Shoes Of Prey