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New Generation: Gisela Marinho

29 Sep 2022

Stories New Generation: Gisela Marinho
She started a degree in Business Management at the Catholic University of Porto, but a family issue forced her to put her academic career on hold and take over the management of the family’s footwear company. The time spent in the footwear universe changed her path and, later on, she ventured into the Technical Footwear Design course and the Footwear Modelling Course at the Professional Training Centre of the Footwear Industry, in São João da Madeira. Now, she launched Yours Custom Shoes. The brand, which is the realization of a personal dream, aims to fulfil all customers’ wishes.

How did Yours Custom Shoes come about?
Yours was born in a discussion with my husband about "the dream job”. He asked me: "what would you do every day, within the footwear area, if you get to choose?”. My answer was something like: "I would create different, original shoes, products that could challenge me, even make anyone’s dreams come true”. His answer was: "And why not? What is stopping you?”. And so, Yours was born.

What features distinguish the brand?
Yours is not an "ordinary” brand. We do not have a collection or a reference. Everything is entirely decided by the final customer as if he were the creator of his brand. Everything is created and adjusted to what the person idealized. We carry out thorough research until solutions for all components of the shoe. The sky is the limit!

What fascinates you the most about this sector?
The footwear sector is fascinating for both its complexity and simplicity. It allows multiplication of combinations, where materials and creativity come together to generate immense possibilities that serve one only purpose: to be worn by the people who idealized, in the most comfortable possible manner, whether they are the simplest or the most complex and luxurious pairs of shoes. 

What do you think this new generation entering now into the sector has to offer?
This generation is highly creative and feels strongly about their decisions and missions. Product quality is not even an issue! Not to mention technological aspects, the increased environmental awareness, innovation, new ways of looking at consumption, irreverence, social responsibility… 

What advice would you give to a young person starting in the industry?
Briefly, my advice is grounded in four-pointers. First, believe. Believe in the product, believe in the project, believe in whatever. "What I have/do is amazing. There are people who really need this”. Next, work. There are no results without work. Hard and focused work is critical for success to occur. Another is resilience. Even when things do not seem to be going as we plan or wish, never give up! Continuing to fight adversities is key. Last, but not least, study. The world is constantly changing and there are always new ways of seeing and doing things. New techniques and materials are being developed all the time in the footwear sector (or in any other). It is required to continuously keep studying the market and be updated. Knowledge does not take place; I have always heard!