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Maison Baum is a Berlin-based premium brand for comfortable high heels. Founder Christof Baum's declared goal is to combine a cool lifestyle with sound medical know-how.
Four years of development together with Christof's father, who has enormous expertise as an orthopaedic surgeon, is something to be proud of: An invisible, orthopaedic footbed specially designed for high heels ensures more even weight distribution in the shoe and thus three times longer party nights. The high heels are developed in Germany, designed in Paris and manufactured in Portugal.
FCG: Please tell us a little about your start-up and the patented footbed. What influence did your father, who is an orthopaedic surgeon, have?
Christof: Maison Baum has been on the market for about 1.5 years and currently has 10 employees. Our credo is to inspire women and offer them the optimal choice between high and flatter shoes - so that they can concentrate on the moment instead of their feet.
Without my father, we would not be able to distinguish ourselves from other brands without a medical background. As the founder of an orthopaedic joint clinic near Freiburg, he has 40 years of operative experience and the necessary expertise that a serious project needs to be successful. As he knows the possible negative consequences of wearing high heels and can judge them from all sides, he was perfect to minimise them.
As an admirer of aesthetic footwear, he has been working on this topic for many years and has been searching for solutions. For example, he developed and patented a screw mechanism for adjusting the shoe width. But it was really ingenious to transfer the proven effect of orthopaedic insoles from flat to high-heeled shoes. He imparted a lot of knowledge and guided me on what an optimal footbed has to look like in order to work for high heels and the majority of individual women's feet. Together with the development department of a large medical supply store in Freiburg, I then implemented his ideas. I did the hardcore development work alongside my studies. The core development took four years.
FCG: Where did the incentive come from for a man to start his own brand selling high heels?
Christof: High heels are not just about looking beautiful, they convey a special attitude to life. As a "hard fact", the legs appear visually longer, the spine is also straightened, which changes the whole posture. The "side effect" is a different appearance of the woman - she radiates something different.
With my little sister, I was able to experience this transformation effect that many women go through at an early age. You automatically go into a mode of "now the world is mine!". But because my sister already suffered from hallux valgus at 16, she couldn't wear high heels very often.
Finding a solution for this and making the special feeling of life accessible to women like my sister inspires me a lot. Despite all the worries and hardships, it is also about celebrating life and especially the great moments. Moreover, it is a special pleasure for me to turn around the often dusty shoe industry, which has not taken care of women's concerns for so long.
FCG: How has the TV format "Höhle der Löwen" affected your company?
Christof: Our participation in "Höhle der Löwen" has increased our level of awareness many times over. Many women who didn't know before that chic high heels can also be pleasant to wear have learned about us through the broadcast.
The fact that the lionesses were giddy with excitement about the convenience, but did not invest due to the capital required for the advance financing of the goods, could not have mattered less to our end customer and thus once again underlined the credibility of Maison Baum.
We were able to win not only one-time customers, but also long-term supporters. They enjoy supporting a young start-up and developing our innovative product together with us. We have wonderfully humorous and fun-loving women as customers and it makes us happy to make them happy.
FCG: What are your wishes and ideas for the next 2 years?
Christof: In the next two years, I want to make Maison Baum the reference for cool, comfortable and sustainable high heels for our target group - for all those who prefer to invest in one good pair instead of many interchangeable ones. We will launch models in more colours and heel shapes and, with an innovative material from Formula 1, we will bring out the lightest high heel in the world.
In the long term, I wish that we in Germany would dare to be ourselves more often and stand out from the crowd. I often see customers telling me how enthusiastic they are about our shoes and how much they like wearing them - but they often get judgemental looks from outside when the heel is "too high". I think that every woman should be able to decide for herself when and if she wears high heels.
I see a big difference here compared to how the issue is dealt with in France, for example.
But it would be a start if events could take place again and restaurants were allowed to open.
Thank you Christof Baum for this insight, we wish you much success for the coming months and years!