Comfortable and elegant
Parents find European footwear to be the ideal choice for their children, writes Victoria Ip
Hong Kong parents Anita Klaus and Shamsa van Keulen were frustrated by a lack of choice in quality children's shoes available in the city. So they started buying children's shoes from Europe, which they found stylish, comfortable and durable.
Established a month ago, Apple & Pie is the result of the duo wanting to share these European brands with parents in Hong Kong.
"We include classic styles for school and parties, shoes for the playground and fun shoes that reflect current trends," says van Keulen, managing director of Apple & pie.
She says the materials used for the children's shoes at apple & pie make them comfortable. Brands, such as Bisgaard, Richter and Pom Pom, use quality leather which moulds to children's feet.
Danish children's shoe brand Bisgaard offers the philosophy "good fit, superior materials and innovative design".
Apple & pie also carries the Romagnoli brand of sneakers and boots. Van Keulen says the shop, which contains an area for children to play in, is more than a speciality store.
"It's a third space - somewhere outside of work and home where parents can take their time browsing with their children," she says. "Our goal is to remove the usual stress involved in shopping for children's shoes, so our play area is there to make it less formal and to give the kids something to look forward to."
Children can also get their feet measured at the store. "Children's feet can grow up to two millimetres a month - three shoe sizes a year - and require the right shoes to support this growth," van Keulen says.
"We understand the importance of caring for feet from an early age, and it is our mission to make sure that every child who enters our
store has their feet properly measured to find not only the right size, but the shoe brands they are best suited to.
"Our staff are trained in measuring children's feet and can make recommendations on shoes according to the size and shape of a child's feet. When children are one to three years old, it is important to have their feet measured every three to four months to see if they have grown."
There are plans to open additional stores in the near future. "At the moment, we are developing plans for our online store, which we hope to launch within the next six to 12 months," van Keulen says.