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Getting to know Lou

Lisa Prosser

Posted on April 04 2018

Pesso is the brainchild of husband and wife team Greg and Lou Holding, often fondly referred to as their first born. The commitment and dedication it has taken to nurture and mold this brand into the teenager it is today is an inspiring story of hard work and perseverence. We've taken some time to get to know Lou a little better, the busy wife, devoted mom and Pesso owner and buyer.
Greg and Lou
What did you want to be when you grew up? 
I really don't ever remember have a distinct feeling about my future when I was younger. Somehow I found myself in Social Work and it was probably the most defining thing I have ever done! I learnt so much about myself. I learnt about the strangeness of human behaviour, I learnt to work under severe time pressures, I learnt to work amongst huge emotional stressors, I learnt to work as part of a team and I learnt to be part of a group of people that I had nothing in common with. But mostly I learnt that nothing is ever what it may seem. It was eye opening and I still carry all of those lessons with me today. 
Why have you decided to produce Pesso in Europe and not locally?
Unfortunately it was a natural progression with the slow demise of the footwear manufacturing industry in South Africa. We were lucky enough to find a dynamic duo of Portuguese shoe manufacturers who had the most passionate team of shoe makers behind them. I absolutely clicked with their ethos, their love of shoe making and the pride they instilled in what they made.
Can you take us through your creative process that results in a beautiful new collection each season?
A lot of what we design is based on successes from the previous season. As we are a brand focused on "slow, honest fashion" our range tries to always stay true to this ethos. So we will take what we see trending and "Pessonize" it - make it more relevant to the everyday women without losing the integrity and values of the brand. 
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love seeing things through their entire process! From the design stage to the end consumer we are involved in it all, and I think it has given us a thorough and integral comprehension into what our market wants to wear on their feet. And more importantly, what they want their brand to stand for.
Can you describe a Pesso woman?
She has integrity and she is authentic. She likes good and honest, well-made things. She stands for things, and she stands up for things.
How do you want women to feel when they're wearing your shoes?
Like they walking on a cloud!
How do you feel when you see people wearing your shoes? 
So proud and so humbled by how far we've come.
How do you see Pesso growing and evolving?
I see the ethos of the brand rolling into more products. I see us developing a bag and belt range that is as exceptional as the shoes we make. And I see a sub-brand that talks to a slightly more conservative lady.
How important is it to be in the know about fashion trends, movements and innovations? 
Fairly important. As a brand we don't sit on the cutting edge of fashion, and I'm glad that we don't. Fast fashion is fickle and volatile, and from a design perspective it is very easy to get it wrong - especially in a tough economic climate. We try to stay true to the core of our brand, which is stylish comfort.
What advice would you give your girls when it comes to choosing a career? 
Be true to yourself, take career guidance with a pinch of salt and don't be afraid to try things out! The best experiences in life are most often those we simply stumbled into.
How would you describe your own personal style? 
Casual and comfortable. Classy and Chic if I'm feeling up to it... But always comfortable!
What do you like to do in your down time?
Run, drink wine and spend time with my precious family x

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