Corporate legal gal turn business entrepreneur, Masliza Ismail shares with us how she started her shoe brand Aussilia. She explains how she started her brand online and expanded Aussilia with the recent opening of her first retail outlet in Empire Damansara Perdana.
How did you start the Aussilia Brand?
I want to make confortable shoes for people to wear, so I decided to start Aussilia as an online store. It has been a year since the launch of my online store and this year, my second year I decided to open a retail store. This decision was made because, with shoes customers want to see it, feel it, walk in it and also it helps to ensure that customers get the correct shoe size.
How do you keep Aussilia shoes fashionable and comfortable?
The most basic and popular shoe design is the gladiator shoes. The gladiator shoes are popularized by celebrities and fashion trends. Most high-end brands designing gladiator shoes will be paired with stiletto heels. Aussilia designs gladiator shoes but instead of using stiletto heels, we design the sole flat with a slight heel.
Are you involved in designing the shoes?
Yes, of course I am. I am not a shoe designer, but I work with a team of designers and internationally source for materials. I am involved in the whole design process of the shoes, and all material used is calf leather. We come up with new designs for both men and women once every quarter.
What makes Aussilia shoes comfortable, what’s the secret?
The secret is in the sole of the shoe and the quality of leather is very important. When you use smooth leather, it feels soft to the skin and doesn’t cause blisters.
Masliza picks 3 items that inspires her life and career…
1. The Sound of Music
I grew up watching and singing along to The Sound of Music until my parents were completely bored. It is one of my favourite movies. Life equally should have its own soundtrack and you have to appreciate the outdoors to really feel the world. My favourite scene is when Captain Von Trapp thought he saw his kids dangling from the trees. Life is indeed colourful and it really depends on how you want it to be.
2. Photo from homeless kids home
This was given to me after I made a small donation to the welfare home for kids. I was really touched by it and place it on a table where I keep my house keys. So, each time I exit or enter the main door I would see this photo which is a constant reminder that we should appreciate and be grateful for what we have.
3. Accurist watch
“Time and tide waits for no man,” as the saying goes… True enough, I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for my boldness. I guess it’s apt to mention that it pays to be bold. I got this watch when I was doing my undergrad in Cardiff, Wales back in 1999. I was working throughout the summer and saved every penny so that I could buy this watch. I still keep it till today as it’s a constant reminder to work hard and smart.
G-23A, Empire Damansara,
Jalan PJU 8/8,
Bandar Damansara Perdana,
47800 Petaling Jaya.