Gem and Jenn are not only business partners; they’re also best friends and sisters-in-law.
Meeting in 2006 in London, Jenn began dating Gem’s big brother, James. Not longer after, James went for a job interview in Australia and Gem went with him. While on the trip over, Gem met her future husband, Brent on the plane.
Now, both Gem and Jenn, their husbands and five children between them all live in Australia.
Oh, and the two of them run a successful shoe brand called Palmaira Sandals Australia, that became an Australian sensation overnight.”
LISTEN: Gem and Jenn chat with Mia Freedman about their business. Post continues after audio…
Mia Freedman sat down to chat to Gem and Jenn this week on the Lady Startup podcast. They spoke about how a small shoe company went viral after posting one photo, how these two working mothers manage it all and how they are coping through the COVID-19 pandemic.
How they went viral
Gem and Jenn began by explaining that they were running their small shoe company with two newborns.
“At the time, Jenny has a six-month-old, her first baby. And I had a two-month-old, my first baby,” Gem explained.
“So really, we were trying to navigate early motherhood. We had been doing Palmaira Sandals Australia for around 18 months. So things were ticking over. We were doing Palmaira parties. You know, a little bit like Tupperware parties but with Palmairas,” she said.
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This was our first ever delivery of Palmaira’s! For those that don’t know the story we borrowed some money off my bro (jenn’s husband) to buy our first 40 pairs. We sold them through friends, Facebook & we did Palmaira Parties. Then we bought 80 pairs and so on. Looking at this picture is so nostalgic. We had no idea what was to come & what an incredible journey was ahead of us X @jennandgems
The two women had sold their shoes at the occasional markets and built their website but nothing large scale. Gem shared that they were probably doing around 10 orders a week.