Camtrade Footwear

Camtrade FootwearCamtrade proves it is in the women’s footwear business for the long-term with deliberate and methodical growth of its two shoe brands. By Janice Hoppe-Spiers

Camtrade found a niche in women’s footwear with its Secret Celebrity® and Soft Comfort® brand shoes that are not only made for walkin’, but also look good and don’t break the bank. “We determined there was a white space in on-trend comfort footwear at an affordable price,” says President and CEO Frank Cammarata. “Once we launched Soft Comfort and Secret Celebrity, we believed we had lightning in a bottle. The concept just made so much sense.”

The Boxborough, Mass.-based company began in 2013 when Cammarata assembled a group of retail and wholesale executives and blended together their strengths to become a branded footwear company. “We started by creating high-quality shoes with great style at extremely compelling value. From there, we took the time to construct our brand image. Our goal was to design footwear that excited the consumer,” Cammarata says. “We stuck to our guns by delivering consistent fashion, quality and comfort.” Camtrade Footwear Info

Camtrade’s first three years were deliberate and methodical. In spring 2017, the company surpassed its original expectations. “The work we have done is starting to pay off and I think it’s all about continuity, visibility and producing exciting footwear,” he adds. “We have had a watershed season.”

“Frank orchestrated the growth of the company at a very steady pace,” says Debbie Weisberg, Camtrade’s director of PR and marketing. “He set a plan in motion and executed it with precision and detail. Above all, he knew the perils of expanding too quickly. It’s this calculated growth that’s paying off today.”

Building Brands

Soft Comfort and Secret Celebrity brands truly capture the spirit of shoes. They are causal and comfortable, as well as enhanced with soft memory foam features. “We design, develop and manufacture shoes that are very comfortable, fit well and incorporate fashion detailing,” Cammarata says. “We want to excite our consumers with every collection and, with that, develop a loyalty to the brands over time.”

This fall, Camtrade will launch an athleisure collection, a new category under its Secret Celebrity brand. Sneakers, boots, wedges and flats will be accented with lace, chains, zippers and buckles, as well as include comfort features at affordable price points.

“Allura,” a fashion wedge bootie, combines chic gold tone hardware with fashion-forward colors, while “Stella” is a contemporary slip-on flat that incorporates a contoured “S” curve design with scalloped topline edges. “Serendipity,” a tri-strap, hi-top sneaker boot, sports ornamental buckles. “Kalypso” can best be described as a striped multi-colored canvas slip-on sneaker with bright panels of color.

“We have clearly defined the DNA and spirit of each brand,” Cammarata notes. “We do very focused and targeted lines by designing stylish, comfortable shoes that fit well at affordable prices.”

Increased Presence

In July, Camtrade launched e-commerce websites for its Secret Celebrity and Soft Comfort brands. “Our e-stores are live so consumers can buy shoes directly on our sites,” Cammarata says. “It’s a large market out there and our main priority is to capture shelf space in the dress and casual markets by attracting department, independent and specialty retailers.”

Getting its brands into retailers is no easy feat. Camtrade’s sales team is comprised of dynamic, experienced professionals. “Their industry knowledge is one of the keys to our success,” Cammarata adds. “Additionally, we get our sales team involved in product design initiatives because their input is so invaluable.”

Shipping direct-to-consumers has been a very effective way for Camtrade to get its shoes into the marketplace. To generate publicity and consumer interest, Camtrade sends its products to fashion bloggers across the country and uses social media platforms to get its brand names in the spotlight. “Once our shoes are in the hands – and on the feet – of consumers, the response is overwhelmingly positive,” Cammarata says. “Our bloggers appreciate both brands and provide excellent feedback for us.”

Moving forward, Camtrade remains realistic when it comes to accomplishing its goals. “Companies have a tendency to get too far ahead of themselves and lose focus,” Cammarata says. “In the end, we are very disciplined about managing our growth carefully to support our long-term goals. We believe 2018 will be our best year ever.”

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