Co-founders Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkley are the entrepreneurs behind Birdies, a lifestyle footwear brand that makes “social slippers.” The two combined their brand management and retail expertise to create stylish shoes that look great and deliver the unparalleled comfort of a house slipper.
While working at Facebook and Instagram, and constantly on the search for a way to be cozy and professional at the same time, Gates came up with the simple, yet profound idea. She then recruited Sharkley, a Wharton Business school alum and former Wall Street giant, to create their signature satin quilting and 7-Layer Responsive Cushion technology.
Just a few years in and their unique designs have allowed them to bring multiple collections to the market and have subsequently attracted many celebrity fans (hi, Meghan Markle)!
We caught up with the shoe designers to ask them to share the seven things they’re most vibing on at the moment. This is what they said…
1 | Carneros Resort & Spa —
Carneros is the perfect setting for team offsites and letting our creative juices flow. It also happens to be halfway between our headquarters in San Francisco and Sacramento (where Marisa lives). We like to sit outside, get lunch from their market, and brainstorm together. It’s always super productive and a lot of fun!
2 | Collaborations —
Birdies is all about bringing people together. One way we like to do this is through partnering with people we have long admired. We just launched our first collab with renowned designer, Ken Fulk who created four limited edition slippers for us inspired by his passion for animals and his love of rich fabrics and textures.
3 | Jumpsuits —
We go to a lot of events and have discovered that the ‘one-and-done’ nature of jumpsuits makes getting dressed up a breeze. Just slip on a pair of Birdies and some statement earrings and you’re good to go!
4 | Podcasts —
We’re always on the lookout for new podcasts! We listen to every episode of How I Built This with Guy Raz as it really shows the highs and lows of starting a company. Dirty John is our latest discovery — and now they’ve even made it into a TV series!
5 | #GetFitFridays —
It’s important for us to get out of the office, be active, and clear our minds. We’ve started #GetFitFridays every Friday at noon as a team. Someone different gets to choose what type of class we do each week to keep it interesting!
6 | Our Birdies team —
We actually have a surprisingly small team but have achieved so much and reached so many milestones together. We truly are a lean, mean, fighting machine!
7 | Fashion forecasting —
We love to observe current and previous runway trends from our favorite designers and streetwear around the globe. We’ve invested in top forecasting platforms and design firms to ensure we are one step ahead (pun intended) of all the trends when designing our collections. We can even predict trends 1½ years in advance — it’s amazing!