Meet Gabriela of Gabriela Ephrem Shoes

Tell us about yourself.

Originally from Brazil, I moved to the United States for post-graduate coursework, followed by a successful career in the luxury hospitality and leisure market. Growing up in an entrepreneurial household, helping my parents grow their own businesses, I recognized my entrepreneurial calling early, starting with the development and commercialization of a shoe business during my college years.

I launched my women’s shoe line Gabriela Ephrem on Mother’s Day 2017 for the U.S. consumer market.

Tell us about your products.

Our shoes are designed in Chicago and made by a family-owned manufacturer in Brazil.

Tell us about your connection to Chicago.

We live in the West Loop since early 2000.

What do you love about your business, your industry.

I love the people we meet along the way and sharing our stories. I also love all the beautiful products we discover when working surrounded by independent designers.

Tell us about your design inspiration.

Our family loves traveling, and we didn't slow down after our son was born. But we love to travel light, and I know that means less space for shoes in the luggage for Mommy! With that in mind, my inspiration to design shoes were very simple: comfortable, stylish and high-quality.

What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

Follow your gut and keep going!! There are so many pieces in building a business, don't let the hurdles on the way stop you, let them motivate you. Surround yourself by other entrepreneurs and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Share a favorite quote, a mantra. 

“Many people tend to be what other people want them to be. The most difficult thing is to be yourself, with all your quirks intact! That’s the biggest achievement.”

Surprise us with your secret talent, fact, etc. 

I love cooking.

What's the most common question you get about your business?

Where are your shoes manufactured? Answer: Brazil. Oh Wow!! How nice… Are you from Brazil? The answer is: YES :)

Tell us about your process for making + creating.

We are fair trade and I am involved in the process of making the shoes.

Discover more about Gabriela Ephrem on their website

Jessica Cohen