At Pretty Brave we take pride in every step of the process in creating our products. From our design work in New Zealand, to a family of expert 'last' makers in Indonesia, and a small footwear team in China who hand-make each pair of our shoes with love, the process of creating our products really does take a village.

We're proud to work with the best in the footwear business around the globe, and take care to ensure we only support ethical, child-friendly and non-toxic working environments. Read below for a detailed look at what's involved in the design and manufacturing process of Pretty Brave footwear.


From concepting & designing, to quality checking samples and fit testing, the process of getting our footwear into stores and on little feet takes months of work and planning from the entire team. Read below to learn more about what is involved...

1. Understanding the customer

The process starts with an understanding of what our customers want in a shoe.

We love talking to parents and to our retailers to gain valuable insights around styles, features, trends and desired pricing. For example are customers looking for more closed toe sandal options and what price are they prepared to pay?

We are constantly seeking the perfect balance between functionality and fashion.

2. Scribbles & sketches 

The design process involves a lot of scribbles and sketches of ideas and a mood board of inspiration and colour palettes.

The theme of collection is decided quite early and this will then help guide the designs and ideas. We look at previous shoes we have designed and consider what has made them successful and how we can improve.

As a brand we are proud to design unique and original shoes, so we are constantly exploring what hasn't been done before.

A range plan is then created to work out how many outsoles, styles and colours and what price points we want to achieve.  

3. Samples

Once the first designs are finalised, detailed technical drawings are created which are then sent to our manufacturing teams in Indonesia and China who use the information to create a first set of samples.

About 1 month later we will receive the first samples for review and fitting. From here we mark up any edits we require, such as updates to leather colour and adjustments to details such as laces and velcro straps.

We will analyse the samples to ensure each product is cohesive within in the range and on brand. 

4. Last development

In our vision to offer customers the perfect fit, we have worked tirelessly with specialists in Germany and Portugal to create a shoe last that is unique to Pretty Brave. 

The last is a mechanical form made of high density plastic on which our shoes are made. The word “last” comes from the Old English “laest,” meaning footprint. The last represents a perfect fitting cavity for the wearer's foot and in production the leather upper and the sole are formed around the last. The last dictates the toe shape and the heel height.

In the development of our lasts, our prototypes were carved by hand from wood from a master last maker in Indonesia.

5. The perfect fit

Once the first samples are received we dedicate time to testing and fitting the shoes to ensure Pretty Brave footwear will provide the perfect fit. Having our Pop-Up Store at our HQ provides a great opportunity for fit testing, foot measuring and getting feedback from customers.

We know kids feet come in all shapes and sizes, so we always seek to offer shoes that have a large amount of adjustment and are easy to wear. We constantly record children's key foot measurements corresponding to their age and then use this data in developing our sizing guide.

6. Partnering with podiatrists

We are extremely proud to partner with a team of local podiatrists to review our shoe designs and give us valuable feedback.

This partnership ensures our designs not only look amazing, but are also functional and facilitate the natural development of children's feet as they progress through the stages of walking.

Our flexible designs, hard-wearing construction and the use of adjustable straps to achieve the perfect fit, give our shoes the podiatry tick of approval. 

7. Production

Once we are happy with the samples and the fitting we progress to production. The leathers are first ordered from local suppliers as well as the trimmings. Pre-production samples are then created for final approval.

The manufacturing of our shoes now takes about 2 months and during this time Director & Designer Natalie will often visit the team to oversee the production and quality control.

8. Quality control

We randomly test our leathers using independent accreditation company Intertek, to ensure the materials used on our shoes meet EU safety chemical requirements under European Standard EN 71-3:2019.

Achieving this standard means our footwear meets specific requirements for the migration of aluminium, antimony, arsenic, barium, boron, cadmium, Chromium (III), Chromium (VI), cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium, strontium, tin, organic tin and zinc from child products.

All our footwear is also free of toxic Azo Dyes and Formaldehyde. We are proud to only use leathers that are completely safe for little ones.

9. Delivery and packaging

We are recognised around the world for our iconic packaging with eye catching designs. Our unique packaging means our shoes are gift-ready as they are.

Each season we redesign the boxes that our Baby Range are packed in and many of our customers like to collect the different designs to keep. In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, we have also designed the boxes to be repurposed for kids to colour in or use to store their special keepsakes in. 

We ship every working day so you can receive your order as soon as possible, For more information on shipping and delivery locations, see the Shipping Information page.


We work with two small manufacturing companies to create our range of footwear and packaging. 


We have worked with the same small factory in China to create our baby shoes since starting Pretty Brave in 2014. 

The factory are run by a group of..... and has been in the footwear manufacturing business for over.... years.

When possible, Pretty Brave owner/director Natalie visits the team in China to go over the range in person, and even takes part in their team building exercises! 


All of our footwear from the 1st Walker and Child Range are made by a boutique manufacturing team in Indonesia. 

The team consists of a family of shoemakers who have been in the business for...... years.

Their commitment to ensuring Pretty Brave footwear is of the highest quality is second to none, and this often means multiple samples and design tweaks are made before the finishing product that you see on the shelves is created. 


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