For Santa Cruz shoe designer Mandi Dana-Panzer, it’s a marketing coup.
Actress and celebrity mom Angelina Jolie photographed with her daughter, Shiloh, wearing the shoes from Santa Cruz.
“It is very surreal to see a picture of someone very well known with a pair of our shoes,” Dana-Panzer said. “And they look adorable on her!”
Dana-Panzer, 33, who has more than 1,000 tiny shoes in her garage, reports inquiries from retailers as a result of the photos being posted online at PageSix.com.
“It’s just a picture, but it is amazing what that kind of exposure can do,” she said.
The business venture is a sideline for Dana-Panzer, a stay-at-home mom with three children, ages 6, 4 and 2.
She detoured into shoe design after studying photojournalism at San Jose State University and working as a sales representative for a stroller company.
HM Industrial, a Canadian manufacturer she met at a trade show, hired her to sell their baby shoes. When the firm changed its distribution arrangements, it offered her the opportunity to create a shoe line.
She jumped at the chance.
She had seen a lot of stylish shoes for her daughter, but not so many for her two sons — and nothing that spoke to the surf and skateboarding culture of Santa Cruz.
“I wanted to do something adult-like that was more inspired by where we live,” she said.
She came up with three styles: A brown suede skater look, $28, a blue Mary Jane with a buckle, $26, and a slip-on, $24, featuring black skulls with pirate swords or a blue wave.