John starts designing the boxes for us #218

John starts designing the boxes for us #218

John starts designing the boxes for us

Blog # 217 I talked about Boxes and gel pads get figured out.  In this blog I want to talk about John starts designing the boxes for us.


When I got back to the states, I met with John our Lead Designer for User Experience. He was going to help me with the designs of the boxes. Our priority was Fitzwell since we had some in production and we were going to see the gel pods in this run of shoes. The old box was just a white box with a Fitzwell sticker on the lid. It was pathetic and frankly embarrassing.


My goal with taking over Private Label was to create brands that the customers wouldn’t know it was a private label brand. The boxes needed to be good quality and have an eye-catching design. The shoes needed to be great quality and value. So, if it was a $70 shoe it needed to be the best darn $70 shoe out there. I learned this from Harry Holmes who was key in the Private Label program at Nordstrom. I remember when Harry, Chuck and Gary would show us the shoes they were everything I just talked about. My goal was to take what I learned from these three men I admired at Nordstrom and create a program I would be proud to put my name on.


Fitzwell was a comfort dress shoe line. The goal was to create shoes people could work in all day and have options for outside the office. There would be a blue gel pod in the heel cup and one down towards the front of the shoe. The box needed to emulate that feeling. For this brand we wanted to show cases the blue gel pod without having it on the box. We decided to have a simple white box with a blue lid but make the “Z” in Fitzwell blue to stand out. It was perfect.


For the first round of boxes we decided to make all the brands white boxes with the logo on it for the time being. The boxes would be of higher quality, and this would give John time to create more fashionable designs for the other brands. There would be graphics on the other brand boxes to give a better feel for what the brand was all about.


The first samples of the Fitzwell box were sent to us and we liked it enough to move forward for production. We would be going to Micam first then off to China. On the trip I was informed through email I needed to make a choice on moving to Las Vegas because Zappos was closing all California operations. It was move to Nevada or take a severance package. My family wasn’t too keen on moving to Nevada and we were considering divorce after 20 years as well. It was hard to focus on my job with all these major decisions I had to make coming around the corner.

…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career. 

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