Why Use Pointe Shoe Shellac? A conversation with master pointe shoe fitter Zoe Cleland and Kate Griffler on how and why to harden your pointe shoes with Pointe Shoe Shellac.

Kate: hey everybody my name is Kate and I'm here with my very best friend and master pointe shoe fitter Zoe Cleland. Zoe, why don't you talk about yourself?  

Zoe:  I've danced all my life ended up fitting point shoes at about 20. I
Stopped dancing to an injury unfortunately so went full time into point shoe land and ended up becoming a master fitter in New York City for Capezio’s flagship store and then moved on to become the store manager of the only Grishko location in New York City. It was a fun  and amazing experience and I've always been obsessed with pointe shoes my whole life.

Kate: A little caveat,  Zoe lives in the UK now, but comes with me on What’s Ap  to all my pointe shoe fittings, she's the only fitter I truly trust  as she is just amazing and Zoe knows I have really gnarly feet which are two very different sizes, so I really trust you with my journey of trying to find the right shoes.

Zoe: It’s been great to be part of your  process.

Kate: And Zoe of course has been there every step of the way with me developing  Pointe Shoe Shellac. It’s been really exciting to have all your  feedback on the bottle, applicator and on the shellac.

Zoe: Thank you!  Well I just think it's such a great product Katie.  I'm so excited to be a part of it, I really am.  I think this is something dancers have been needing for a very long time.

Kate: So Zoe, why Pointe Shoe Shellac? why use this this product?

Zoe: Without comparing it to anything else on the market I think it's a fantastic
product, not only the shellac itself but it’s something that dancers use for their
point shoes on a daily basis to re-harden their shoes so they can last longer so you can get more out of your purchase. The fact that you've designed this amazing bottle, helps it be more accessible to people every day in the dance studio.  I think it’s just the winning thing the fact that you can stick it in your dance bag and take it with you everywhere-  you don't have to stress 24 hour 48 hours in advance about what you may need you can actually fix the problem and that’s such a  gift. You otherwise would have to schlep these big containers and you can't take it with you anywhere - so it's so so amazing that there’s now a travel option for this kind of application.

Kate:  And that's exactly why I made it because I would have meant to shellac my shoes at home and then I would be sitting at work thinking well I can’t bring a can of shellac to the office- this is crazy why isn’t there a way I can quickly re-harden my shoes- so yes, born out of necessity.

Zoe: And now comparing the the product to other options on the market, I feel like it's so much better than glue.

Kate: Glue was actually hurting my feet it would dry a little bit sharp and
sometimes I would  ruin a shoe by making it too hard and then I couldn't dance in my shoes and  I would  just throw them out.

Zoe: I feel like glue literally can cut your skin as it's so hard when it dries, and then applying it- it's so toxic it's not good for you and then it can like burn holes in your clothing or in your dance bag if it spills.

Kate: I really did not like using glue at all, so I was happy to find this alternative.

Zoe: I always recommend it that if anyone under the age of 18 wanted to use glue,
that they had their parents do it for them instead, which was horrible.  I felt so bad for the kids -they were missing out on a big learning experience of bonding with
their shoes and getting to know how to extend the life of their shoes and I
feel so great about Pointe Shoe Shellac because you can say to a 12 year old here like go fix your shoes make them last longer -it’s really great! So I wanted to ask you,  when this shellac dries inside your shoe and you go to use it, is it easier on your skin? Do you find it to be less abrasive?

Kate: It’s like butter! it’s it's so soft and that's what I like when I first tried it I was like- wait did I put enough on? I must not have put enough on because it's not hurting me- and it's so soft and so smooth and you don't even notice it but yet your shoes are stronger. It’s like finding that perfect moisturizer that's not thick and greasy it's just like wow this is working without being too much.  

Zoe: Like you don't need a really extreme effect to do the job and I I love that it's so subtle but strong I think that's amazing. It’s all the rewards without the risk. And the fact that you can keep applying it every couple days every week or whenever
you need it is awesome.

Kate: Yes! I feel like if  you were to  reapply glue it’s hard on top of hard and it would just become a bit of a lump instead of with Pointe Shoe Shellac, it's just another coat.

Zoe: And it becomes more one with the actual fabric of the shoe as opposed to sitting on top.

Kate: I literally couldn’t believe that they were not selling shellac in dance stores I was like this is crazy- it's such a good product for dancers. I gave it to a dancer yesterday actually in class and she was like oh I think this will actually fix my problem as she said she did not like using glue in her shoes that she ruined too many shoes with glue and she said this will really help because she only needed support on the top of the box and it's really hard for her to get the
Glue on the top of the box and with the applicator wand with Pointe Shoe Shellac, she can precisely and easily put the shellac just where she needs it.

Zoe: Gosh I used to tell people to like drip one drop from afar and then like shake it into the shoe to spread it out and like wait for that to dry and then do another drop.

Kate: And you know me I have zero time or patience.

Zoe: Yes, you need to be really focused to use glue.

Kate: Yeah and dancers are always in a rush. Here in  New York City-  especially freelance dancers- you’re going from work to rehearsal to class to this, to that and if you show up to rehearsal you're like -my shoes are dead because you didn’t have time to sew new shoes, you could use Pointe Shoe Shellac so fast-  and if you tried to glue your shoes that fast - you may mess it up.

Zoe: I think about all the injuries this will prevent because people won't have
to dance on dead shoes anymore

Kate: Let’s talk about that. So why shouldn’t dancers dance in a dead shoe Zoe?

Zoe: I mean it's probably the worst thing you could do for your foot. As you wear in
the shoe, you're going to use certain parts of the shoe more than others, slowly it's
going to start to tilt into that direction and you keep dancing on that shoe your foot's going to be compensating for all of that movement in the shoe. You’re really not even going to notice it because your body's so smart it's just going to keep doing the compensation and then maybe after class when you get home that night you're gonna be like why do my feet hurt so much, why does my arch hurt so much? Why is my ankle hurt so much must be the shoes….  You're not going to realize it's because you've been suddenly shifted off your alignment- you’re not actually in proper alignment anymore so you're reinforcing bad alignment.

Kate: Yeah totally.  And then let's talk about the big pink elephant in the room for
lots of dancers- the cost of point shoes and how long they last.

Zoe: Yes! Pointe Shoe Shellac is actually creating so much accessibility to dancers.

Kate: I went to a fitting not too long ago and the pointe shoes were 130 dollars! I couldn’t believe how much more expensive shoes have become.

Zoe: And and they're harder to get right? I think you're dealing with a lot of
manufacturing issues on top of a lot of delays on top of  delays ad on top of the cost being twice if not three times as much as it used to be it's just not fair to
the dancer.

Kate: I spoke to a dancer recently who really wanted to do more pointe work but she said she couldn’t afford to because her shoes would die after a week or two.  And even in class, dancers will only do four combinations on pointe and will switch back to their soft shoes, but then the teacher will say “fouettés” and then they're scrambling to put their pointe shoes back on-  and I know they’re doing this because they're trying to save their shoes-  so this is a great way to make your shoes last longer.

Zoe: In your opinion, how long does the  two ounce bottle of Pointe Shoe Shellac last?

Kate: I think it’s going to be a little different for each dancer. Some dancers will put on one coat, some dancers two coats , three coats…. But personally, I’ve had one bottle in my dance bag and literally have been using it for two or three months.

Zoe: Maybe you can go longer?

Kate: Probably even longer- I think I could use this bottle on about seven or eight pairs of shoes

Zoe: That’s amazing and you use it every day?

Kate:  I use it probably once every other day. I'll do an application when I first get my point shoes;  I'll apply it on  the sides of the box especially -because that's where I tend to break my shoes the most and the top of the box. But then you know it's just in my dance bag so I I don't actually even think about it because if  I feel my shoes are soft I'll just apply it - so  it's in the back of my mind like re-sewing your elastics really quickly-  it's kind of in that vein.

Zoe: To think every time you apply you're maybe getting another hour of dance time out of your shoe. Technically there’s only eight hours of dance time in a shoe so only one week for a shoe if you’re dancing for an hour a day.

Kate:  Wow that's so crazy. My shoes are definitely lasting about two weeks now, and I dance everyday on pointe for the full class. So dancers, dance parents , studio owners, dance retail owners- we hope you will try Pointe Shoe Shellac! We offer shipping all over the world and if you're in New York City you can just email me at info@ pointshoeshellac.com and maybe we can meet up and try on pointe shoes together!

Zoe: It’s a wonderful product and I can't wait until the manufactured bottles

Kate: So we hope that you do try it- thank you so much Zoe for your time and
your expertise and for being you!

Zoe: thank you Katie I love this I'm so proud of it!

Kate: Signing off! Bye!

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