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Mary Arnett aims to leave a quiet impression on the shoe business.
Last year, she founded Ssh-oes to find a way to silence the clickety-clack sound her high heels made when walking. Arnett, who holds a master’s degree in biochemistry, left her job in research and development at a pharmaceutical company to focus on developing her collection, which bowed in fall ’13.
The series of high heels feature the brand’s patented Noise Reducing Heel Tip that also acts as a shock absorber, utilizing a rubber compound found in washing machines and dishwashers to reduce sound.
And according to Arnett, by keeping the collection lightweight, the noise factor has also been reduced. She also has taken comfort into consideration by incorporating cushioned footbeds and soft Lycra and leather linings.
Arnett, who self-financed the project, also serves as designer. She took classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and followed up her design education with internships at Liz Claiborne Inc. and Coach.
While heels are the focus of the line, Arnett also offers platform wedges, sandals and boots, noting every style is soundproofed with rubber outsoles.
“So far, the conservative pumps have been the biggest sellers,” said Arnett. “But I want to create a whole lifestyle range, even weekend [looks].”
In addition to initial sales on her website, Arnett has partnered with e-tailers such as Ideeli.com to hold flash sales. Going forward she said she wants to wholesale to department stores and independents. Retailing for $70 to $80, the shoes are available for immediate delivery. The patented heel design also is available for licensing.