Monique Friedman Leads the Women's Designer Flip Flop Industry

An interview with the founder of Flipinista

Flipinista women's flip flop

With summertime in full swing and sandal season upon us, we’re all faced with the difficult dilemma of what, exactly, to wear on our feet. What’s a discerning, fashionable woman to do— how do we choose between the comfort of a flip–flop and the style of a stiletto? With Flipinista, you don’t have to; Monique Friedman has created the perfect solution, a functional flip–flop with the chic elegance and unquestionable style of a pair of Manolo Blahniks.

Since FINE Magazine last spoke with Monique, Flipinista has truly matured into a successful and prosperous business with fans across the nation. We sat down with the founder to get the scoop on her success. 

EG: What inspired you to form Flipinista?

MF: Well, truthfully flip–flops are very frumpy– they don’t have any style or personality, so I thought, “I’m going to create a flip–flop that’s fun and glamorous!” I wanted to create something that made flip–flops not just something you wear to the beach, but something that you’d take from beach to black tie. I was inspired when I noticed people would take flip–flops to change into when they dress up. When I saw my friend change from heels to flip–flops, I said, “Oh my God, your outfit just went from fab to drab!” That was when I decided I was going to make the flip–flop world more beautiful. I wanted to create flip–flops that still make a statement, and don’t compromise; beauty, glamour and comfort– it’s all there.

I never even wore wore flip–flops until I created Flipinista. I knew so many people who’d carry them in their bag, go from fab to drab to be comfortable. But now you don’t have to compromise! I decided to turn the flip–flop world on it’s heel, and Flipinista was born! What makes Flipinista special and unique from other brands? There are several factors that define Flipinista’s philosophy: Create lavish flip–flops immaculate in detail and design while making sure to exude first class comfort. It is also our mission to provide our clients with the best customer service possible. Flipinistas are not just made for comfort, but extravagance, no matter the occasion.

The attention to detail, quality and comfort is unparalleled. Every pair is impeccably hand–sewn by an expert shoemaker in San Diego; they’re designed to last. And they’re not just beautiful, we have to keep in mind the function of the foot in order for the user to be comfortable. I truly design with my heart. Any original piece of art is a reflection of the artist, and to create something extraordinary out of the ordinary is truly art! Love is in the details, as an example; I always place a different crystal at the end of the design on the strap. It acts as an exclamation point to the design’s story.

Each one is designed with so much love and attention to detail, you can’t duplicate that in a mass–produced item. Wearers feel that energy, they feel happy when they wear them! People covet and collect each one–of–a–kind pair. I’ve even received calls from the hospital, fans of Flipinista who tell me, “When I get better, the first thing I’m going to do is buy a pair of Flipinista.” This woman who’s laying in a hospital bed is comforted by photos of Flipinista. If that doesn’t tell me that I’m doing my job well, I don’t know what does.

EG: What words of advice would you give to someone thinking of starting their own company?

MF: It does take a lot of work and a lot of time to be successful, in any occupation. But if you follow your dream and believe in your dream it will come true. The key is never give up and persevere.

The biggest surprise is you really think it’s going to be easy, but it doesn’t turn out that way. A path without obstacles leads to nowhere. You will encounter many obstacles on the road to success, it’s is how you handle them that makes the difference. I choose to view obstacles as opportunities to learn from. They teach me how I can improve my business and brand. It is also very important that you know and identify your market and customer. Regardless of the type of business, a business’ success is based on the client being happy. And that is Flipinista ‘s number one priority: making our clients happy.”