After meeting Ashlei Banks, the owner and creator of Spiked Intuition, last Fall I have been patiently waiting for the opportunity to interview her. I’ve followed her budding career via Twitter and Facebook only to watch her blossom into an amazing shoe embellisher, blogger, and entrepreneur. In a matter of months Ashlei managed to have her shoes seen on VH1’s reality show ‘Love & Hip Hop’ via Hip Hop Starlet Somaya Reece, as well as, debuting her collection this past March in CT’s biggest fashion experience; the 3rd Annual Ricky Trendy Da’Vista Runway Show. Recently, I got the chance to ask Ashlei some questions about Spiked Intuition’s past, present, and future and all I can say is ladies if you’re into edgy, sexy, and flirty shoes then Spiked Intuition is for you.
(Me) When, how, and what inspired you to begin Spiked Intuition?
(Ashlei) About a year ago I saw a pair of [kick ass] shoes Nicki Minaj wore for Summer Jam 2010, the price was over $1200, I wanted them so bad and didn’t want to pay that so I challenged myself. After 2 weeks and $500 later I had the same exact shoes. My dad has always admired my creativity and is a firm believer in “being your own boss”. Every business idea I come up with, no matter how out of this world my visions are, he’s always told me to “Stop talking about it and be about it.” I showed him the shoes and that’s when it all started.
(Me) Did you have any background in design or is it all natural talent?
(Ashlei) All natural baby! (laughs) The time between me thinking about something and actually doing it is usually a matter of hours. I’ve always been that way. Spontaneous. If I would have enrolled in design classes to see if that was something I really wanted to do I would have lost my desire before I completed the classes. BUT now that I’m sure that this is my thing I plan on sharpening my skills by talking a few classes and indulging more in field.
(Me) Where do you ultimately see Spiked Intuition in the future?
(Ashlei) On the biggest billboard viewable from my top floor office and on women across the world. If I get more detailed I may be cutting myself short from something larger that may be in store.
(Me) What was it like seeing your creation on national TV?
(Ashlei) Cool…it was pretty cool. I was surprised because I wasn’t informed that they would be worn on VH1’s The Morning Buzz and while the show was airing my timeline on twitter started going crazy. That’s how I found out. I had to watch the re-run online over and over that whole day. (smiles)
(Me) What has been the most difficult part of this getting Spiked Intuition from concept to completion?
(Ashlei) Facing fears. Fears can cloud your creative thought process, make you procrastinate; create anxiety and all kind of slackness. My biggest fear was a fear of acceptance. Will they like my customizations? Will they take me and my craft serious? Then I put out my 1st shoe. They loved it. I created a demand. Just like that with a little faith the fears vanish.
(Me) How long does it take end-to-end to customize a pair of shoes?
(Ashlei) The current turn-over time is about 2 weeks or less. The time depends on each customer’s request.
(Me) Can you explain the purchase process with your customers? Do they provide shoes, do they have to be brand new shoes or do you re-vamp, etc…?
(Ashlei) Shoes can be provided at the customer’s request. The brand of the shoe may vary. A brand name shoe will result in a higher total cost. Spiked Intuition will provide up to 4 different styles of shoes to choose from for each customized order upon request. Once we have agreed on a design and cost I send the customer an agreement/invoice, payment is received, the order is started, and then within 2 weeks or so the order is complete. Locally I arrange a pick-up/ drop-off location all other orders are handled via national parcel services.
(Me) Where can shoe lovers get a pair of custom embellished Spiked Intuition shoes?
(Ashlei) Spiked Intuition’s customized shoes are currently only available by ordering via email ([email protected]). Shoes will soon be available on my online shop in the near future.
(Me) What are the next steps for Ashlei Banks and Spiked Intuition?
(Ashlei) My next step is for my online Shoetique to be complete so that more time can be spent on other aspects of the business. The steps following that you’ll have to stay tuned for. (smiles)