COMBAT VETERAN COMBINES LUXURY WITH COMFORT - MIC Skip to content

COMBAT VETERAN COMBINES LUXURY WITH COMFORT

A retired Army veteran is merging her military experience and passion for shoes to create the first women-focused military combat boot.

Before her retirement from the Army, Maj. Natasha Norie Standard knew the next path she wanted to take. She’d already enrolled in design school and would later get her master’s degree in fashion and luxury management and shoe design.After graduating she worked in positions that didn’t fill her need to create. But she knew she loved shoes. Daymond John recalls sweeping floors in a corner store of his neighborhood as a kid to earn candy from the owner — a longtime business man who had seen it all. And John says that is the exact caliber of person to strive for when seeking a mentor.

“I’ve always had an affinity toward shoes and my grandmothers were always stylish and fashionable and both of them always told me you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes,” she said.

Standard attended a shoe school in Italy because of its association with a consulting company. The company helps small emerging designers create their own shoe line.

She is now the CEO of Norie Shoe Company, her own brand of luxury Italian-made shoes. Her items include high heel, sandals, sneakers and more. Standard’s product line is unique because although her shoes are high end, they are what she calls wearable and walkable. 

“Most shoes are made by men and they don’t have to wear the shoes. They’re beautiful but totally unwearable,” she explained

Standard’s business along with others worldwide hit an unexpected stall in sales earlier this year due to COVID-19. But this presented her with a new opportunity to pivot to other concepts. She has designed military-grade combat boots for women sizes, specifically made for a woman’s foot structure.

“When I was in the military, I was airborne and air assault. The first time I jumped out a plane and landed I realized that my combat boots didn’t touch my ankles. Never touched my ankles! I’m 5’4, a slim woman and I don’t have big feet. My feet are not comparable to a man with the same dimensions in his body. I don’t even understand why we don’t have shoes made for women’s feet,” she said.

Standard is excited to have real world soldiers sample her boots. She has the opportunity to work with both a military academy and an operational unit who are willing to test her product for six months. The data and feedback gathered following the trial period will give her the information she needs to produce a quality product that fully supports service women.

Her entrepreneurial journey has come with many lessons, she says. 

“My military background being a leader and commander has equipped me to do this.”

 

Standard’s advice to new entrepreneurs is:

  • Find a mentor who is four or five levels above where you are in the same industry so that person can fill the holes of what you don’t know.
  • Always negotiate.
  • Don’t pay for anything over $250 without heavily researching. There are scammers in this business.

Shop Norie Shoe Company for the latest collection at https://www.norieshoes.com.

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