When it comes to luxury, comfort steps to the front of the line, which is why Wayzata couple Fernando Peña, M.D., and Julie Thompson, M.D., set out to solve a long-lasting issue of providing foot comfort in a stylish way.
During a mission trip to Ecuador, Dr. Thompson was in search of a cute and comfortable pair of shoes that she could wear on the trip; however, she could not find any. Inspired by this experience and her career as a working professional, who is on her feet an average of 10 hours a day, Dr. Thompson was determined to create shoes that were fashion-forward and versatile for the work force.
Dr. Peña, an orthopedic surgeon, and Dr. Thompson, a hepatologist, both at the University of Minnesota clinic, combined their expertise on human anatomy with their eyes for fashion to develop a line of heels—Julieta Shoes. Through research in biometrics, Dr. Peña used angles and body mechanics to determine sole posturing, which is essentially how feet support the body.
Using science and good taste, the couple connected with manufacturers in Barcelona, Spain, who specialize in luxury leather goods. Handcrafted by individuals, each of the two styles offered by Julieta Shoes are unique, traditional and practical.
With an ideal audience of social, professional women, who have the need, desire or dress code (where they need to wear heels), Dr. Peña emphasizes, “We are not asking people to wear heels. We are not in a crusade to transform people, [but] we are presenting an option to make them (women) feel as empowered and confident as their male counterparts.”
Timeless All-Day Wear
Offered exclusively online, Julieta Shoes is home to two classic 3 1/2-inch styles. The Madrid features a thicker heel and a higher cut to the toe area for a more professional look. Colors: black, nude, plum, scarlet red, cognac brown, black paisley and black metallic shimmer; Price: $385
The Barcelona sports a slender heel with a lower cut to the toe area for a fun and more versatile look. Colors: black, khaki, blue, red, burgundy, caramel, leopard and metallic gold; Price: $415
Adopt a Classroom
With handmade shoes comes the possibility for imperfections. Despite the flaws, the shoes are wearable and still feature quality craftsmanship. The company offers them at a discounted rate of $150, and Julieta Shoes donates the profits to Adopt a Classroom, a nonprofit organization that provides funding for teachers and schools. “As doctors, we value education, and we understand the importance of it to future generations,” Dr. Peña says. “It is the most valuable investment in life.”
Committed to helping students across the nation get the supplies and materials that they need to succeed, this organization allows donors to donate directly to a teacher or school in their region.
Helping more than 220,000 classrooms nationwide, more than 5.4 million students have benefitted from the support of Adopt a Classroom.