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Conversations with the Inspiring Christine Picerno

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Picerno.

Christine, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story started with my Grandmother back in Argentina. Rooted in Chicago – I am American born – Argentinian, actually my entire family is still in Argentina. I remember my growing up my mother would cringe when my grandmother would wear her chinelas out in public. These early childhood memories inspired me to design our versatile footwear line which brings equal parts comfort and style to shoes you can wear around the house or run around all day.

I created Chinelas – an Argentinean word for “house shoes.” Each pair of Chinelas is inspired by traditional footwear from all over the world and designed with new technologies for added style and comfort

I came across a Moroccan shoe named the Babouche and thought to myself, wow this is such a great shoe if I modified a few things… and so I did!! I have partners around the world that help me bring my obsession to life. I named the shoe the Baba. Inspired by my Grandmother, I have plans to travel the world gathering up traditional footwear from each corner of the world, putting my own spin on it. Taking Chinelas on the road!!

Simply put, Chinelas are shoes for adventurous soles.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been an easy or smooth road at all!! As a matter of fact, I tried giving up three different times for different reasons and always coming back to start again.

My advice to other women – is don’t stop – don’t listen to other people -….and JUST DO IT. Don’t talk about it – DO IT.

Some of my struggles were money related, but I always was able to pull through – other struggles were problems with getting the design right – ON TOP OF IT, I have a full-time job. Chinelas is a passion – something I work on my own with my free time.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Chinelas story. Tell us more about it.
I love to be different – I like things that stand out and make people look at you. That is my largest strength.

First of all, I designed a “slipper” that you can wear out – How many times have you have to change your shoes to run out to the store – not anymore!!

Chinelas Feels like a slipper/looks like a shoe – the shoe has built-in memory foam – which is like walking on pillows

I developed a pull tab in the back – like no other shoe (this design is currently patent pending). The pull tab has our logo embroidered on the leather and has three purposes:

1) Help pull the shoe on.
2) Helps prevent blisters because of the location on the shoe.
3) Helps keep your shoe on – I cannot tell you how many women run up to me and say MY SHOES DON’T FALL OFF!!

I love making people happy – and these shoes make people happy. I have a small community of supporters that grows each day.

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
I do love “How I built this” podcast – they are my favorite – I don’t feel so alone.

Pricing:

  • Pricing was very important to me – starting at $50- $89 I feel you can enjoy more than (1) pair of Chinelas
  • The Fuzzy’s – a fan favorite – EVERY girl should own -$50
  • The Baba – Velvet – Leather – Suede $85
  • The Baba – Sheep Wool Lined $89

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Alain Milotti styled by Claire Perkins

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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