Meet Jodie Fox, co-founder and creative director at Shoes of Prey, who famously started her customisable shoe label along with co-founders Michael Fox and Mike Knapp in her Surry Hills apartment. While customisation has since become hugely popular in retail, the team knew back then in 2009 that they were pushing into new territory. In a previous post for Collective Hub, Jodie expertly relayed her advice on how to know when to launch your product. Today, she talks us through the various tech her company uses to thrive. “I think I read somewhere recently that millennials are looking at their phones 150 times on average each day? That’s insane! Yet I’m sure I am guilty of it,” she says. “I almost always have my phone in hand except when sleeping. I recently got an Apple Watch – the jury is still out as I see how it best works for me, but I am enjoying it so far.”
While it’s important for any co-founder to be across every aspect of their business and ever-contactable, Jodie also believes in switching off. “I find that I am so much more productive when I am not distracted by incoming emails, notifications, social media and so on. I have to make a very conscious decision to do this,” she explains.
In this digital age, you can tell plenty about someone from the tech they habitually engage with. Thus, to get to know this accomplished fashion entrepreneur, we asked Jodie about the oft-used apps and tech that help streamline her business, and the podcasts that offer her ample inspiration outside the office.
1. “Slack has become invaluable in helping our teams stay in touch across the world.”
Slack is our program of choice for internal communications at Shoes of Prey (I don’t think I remember life before it!). In eight years, Shoes of Prey has grown from three people in my Surry Hills apartment lounge room to an international business, and our team has expanded to over 200 staff in four different countries. Slack has become an invaluable tool in helping our teams stay in touch across the world. It has provided a simple and effective solution for keeping across what’s happening across the business, across different time zones.
We also use Trello as one of our project management tools. Trello boards give quick snapshots of the projects and initiatives we’re all working on, what’s in the pipeline, what are potential blockers and what’s already completed.
2. “I actually use my calendar as my to-do list.”
There are a whole host of productivity apps out there, and over the years I’ve tried and tested a whole host of them to find what works best for me. I actually use my calendar as my to-do list, and book in time slots for different tasks at the beginning of the week. That way, when I look at my calendar, I can clearly see what I need to achieve in the day. On the flipside, when I look back on it at the end of the week, it’s a great way to see an overview of everything that has happened.
3. “We use Visual Next to handle our accounting and finances.”
Being a global business, we had to find the right software and tools that worked best across our offices around the world. We use Visual Next to handle our accounting and finances, Looker and Google Analytics for our business intelligence needs to track business performance on a daily basis, and for payroll, we use Xero in Australia and Gusto in the United States.
4. “We communicate with our customers through our website, email marketing, social media and live chat.”
We’re a very customer-focused business, so we listen closely to our customers’ feedback and experiences and we’re constantly looking for ways to improve and create the best experience for them. It’s really important to us to communicate with our customers and ensure we are available to her, no matter where she is or what devices she is using. We communicate with our customers through various mediums, from our website, email marketing, social media, and our teams are, of course, also available by phone, email and live chat on our site.
5. “When stuck in traffic, I listen to the Glossy Podcast, which focuses on how technology is changing the fashion industry.”
I enjoy listening to podcasts, but find I don’t have as much time as I would like to dedicate to them. When I do have the spare time, like when I’m stuck in LA traffic or in transit, I listen to the Glossy Podcast, which focuses on how technology is changing the fashion industry and has inspiring conversations with people leading the charge.
I also love 99% Invisible, which “is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about”, and Conversations with Richard Fidler, which takes you deep into life stories of amazing individuals.
6. “[As for apps], I absolutely love 1 Second Everyday.”
1 Second Everyday – I absolutely love this app, it allows you to record 1 second moments everyday and compiles them into a movie or ”modern day video diary”. It’s so easy to forget to take a step back and appreciate the people in our lives. I like to think of recording my moments on a daily basis as an important exercise in gratitude.
Instagram – I know it’s incredibly predictable, but who can resist such a great visual indulgence?? I use it more on weekends because I can’t afford to lose time on the Instagram rabbit hole mid week.
WhatsApp and FaceTime – I use these both of these apps to stay connected to my friends and family around the world. Staying in touch with the people I love in my life is so important to me and I love that I can send messages and photos, and talk face-to-face with my nearest and dearest, no matter where I am.