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“I couldn’t find anything that would stay on his feet, so in desperation I would wrap scarves around his legs,” Will recalls.

She scoured the children’s shops in Whistler Village with no success, then continued her search back in the Lower Mainland. Finding no warm footwear that would work for her child, Will decided to partner with a friend and the pair came up with various prototypes, eventually designing their signature product: a soft soled, all weather bootie with two adjustable toggles that tighten over the calf and ankle.

In 2004, Stonz was incorporated as a business and Will began working out of her garage. and immediately shift her focus to footwear.

“I’d make sewing kits for all the sewers and I’d drive them all around and drop them off and then pick up the goods that were done,” she says.

Will would get her son from day care before dinner, carry out the evening routine, then get back to work.

“When he went to sleep, I’d go back out to the garage and make more kits.”

Business was good and in 2008 Stonz moved into its own warehouse and factory in East Vancouver. Though production has since moved overseas, the company remains headquartered in Vancouver and Will still lives in the same West Vancouver home where it all began.

There have been other changes over the years. Will and her business partner separated, and Stonz added more products to its collection to complement the original infant and toddler booties. There are now Mittz to keep small hands warm, and fleece Linerz that fit inside boots for added warmth.

Wanting to offer footwear options for older children, in 2013 Stonz introduced rubber Rain Bootz and hard soled Winter Bootz for toddlers and youth. The Rain Bootz are available in a variety of vibrant colours and have proven particularly popular in the Lower Mainland thanks to our notoriously wet climate.

“On the West Coast here, they do really, really well,” Will says. parents, Stonz also has a following among celebrity moms and dads. Neil Patrick Harris posted an Instagram photo of his daughter wearing bright pink Rain Bootz in New York City. When Halle Berry was in town a few years back, she bought a pair of booties for her daughter Nahla from the Stonz booth at the Circle Craft market. And Jennifer Garner’s youngest daughter, Seraphina, has been spotted wearing Stonz booties in polka dot brown.
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