Once A Shoe Lover, Always a Shoe Lover

Hi Stiletts,

Today I’d like to walk through the memory lane and share a bit about my shoe obsession over the years.

I don’t remember much about the first 5 years of my life.  There are about 4 or 5 incidents I can recall vividly and one of them of course is my first pair of shoes I fell in love with.

Picture 40I was 3-4 years old, if I’m not mistaken. Don’t quote me on the exact age. My father was traveling abroad a lot during those days. I remember he was always in some country doing business, and I would always be sooooo sad so we started this new tradition. Whenever he’d come back, he’d bring me a bunch of girly stuff, so soon I associated him leaving with him bringing me back things. How materialistic LOL! I don’t know which country he had just gotten back from but he brought me back a pair of shoes. I had plenty of shoes before but I don’t remember loving any of them. That was until I laid my eyes on these ones.

Picture 37They were patent pink; a bright, bright pink color and sooooo shiny. I swear my mom must have been a gypsy in her past life or something cuz I’ve always loved shiny, obnoxious and loud things since little. The shoes were almost flat. They had a tiny heel on them, but at that age that looked like a 7 inch heel to me! I was in love! I loved them so much I was afraid to put them on.

So every day I’d just shine them, kiss them, wipe them down if I saw any dust, and then at night I’d put them under my bed and I swear first thing I’d do when I woke up was reach for my shoes underneath and make sure they were still there. Guess I believed in shoe monsters back then. And I wish I could tell you that so much has changed now, but really, not a damn thing. I’m still infatuated with shoes. I still fall in love with every pair like it’s my first time; still afraid to put them on, especially the ones that really hit the heart for me, and to this day first thing I look at when I wake up is my shoes, hence why I’ve built a shoe wall in my bedroom (one day this has got to change though).

My family used to always say “Egreis is insane”. Well actually, they always called me Egi. Speaking of my name btw, I know a lot of Stiletts ask if Egreis means anything and hate to break it to you, but it doesn’t. My dad was learning English through BCC radio channel back when my mom was pregnant and he came across the word “Grace”. In Albania Grace, the pronunciation would be spelled “Greis” so then he put his little spin to it and Voila! Here I am: Egreis 🙂

Picture 35So since that pair, which I wish to God my parents had saved, I don’t think I’ve ever loved another pair like that again. I have a lot of shoes. I love them all. Some more than others, but definitely adore them all. People often say I refer to them as if they are my kids. When you are dealing with a shoe lover like myself it is hard to understand me unless you share the same love for them yourself. I think shoes are a completely safe, sane and healthy addiction to have. I’ve never been a drinker or into drugs, and if shoes are the one thing I’m addicted to then so be it! I’ll be an addict in high heels all day.

I grew up comfortably. My father did quite well for my family & I. I always had the most stylish clothes, the latest shoes, rocking Gap when in Albania the only thing available to people was Gabi (only Albanians know what I’m referring to hahaha).

When I moved to United States things weren’t the same. In college especially I was struggling. My father and I had our differences. He wanted me to go to med school, I hated biology. He wanted me to not have bfs, I got a bf as soon as I got there; he wanted to track everything I did in college, I wanted to break free and be on my own. You know, the same old fights that happen between parents and their children. I was always given an option: I could either do as he said and be taken care of financially or do as I pleased and be on my own. I chose the latter. I have a lot of pride and am also very stubborn.

Picture 27My shoe addiction in college was suffering, and I mean badly. Whatever I made at the Provost Office at USC when I was working there I had to put towards my bills. I always found myself window shopping online for shoes I just simply couldn’t afford. So I turned to Aldo, Shiekh, Michael Antonio, Chinese Laundry. Bebe was expensive at the time so heck no, and then later on Steve Madden which was like my A game; top of the line type thing.

I’ve always had a ton of shoes. Whether they were cheap or not, it doesn’t matter. I needed to quench my thirst for quantity. I didn’t have money for quality so I had to stack up on what I could, even if they each lasted me for just a month or two. I worked the whole time I went to college and when I was done I was working for a company that paid ok but at the time it was more than sufficient for me. I was living with my bf at the time, and he wasn’t working cuz he was always practicing trying to make it to a team, so guess who had to pay  all the bills? Yup! ME! But I’ve always been ALL about supporting my partner. So I was totally fine with it. It just gave me no room for my expensive taste.

Picture 36Then in 2008 I went to Vegas with my friend Jasmine for two days. I remember she handed me $100 and dared me to turn it into more in blackjack. Well you dare me to do anything, I’m ON it. I was determined to win that night. I sat at the table at 7 pm and left the next morning at like 11 am. And the only reason I got up is cuz Jasmine came to the table and thought she was seeing double. She couldn’t believe I was still there. But I made $1500 though! Boy was I happy! And what do I do right after? YUP! I bought my first pair of Louboutins at Neiman Marcus. They were the Top LA in rose gold. Man, the day I first wore them I’ll just never forget it. But I’ll save that for another post.

IMG_0337So since then I was little by little saving to buy more Louboutins. Why Loubs? I couldn’t really give you a great answer to it other than the fact that I truly love him as a designer. His work of art is magnificent. He designs a shoe for fashion in the future rather than the present. He sets trends. The heel shape, the height and how he always takes it to extremes, and the overall artwork is to die for. And of course, the red bottom which is absolutely genius from a marketing standpoint. He’s IT.

Over the last few years I’ve moved quite a lot. Have switched 3 jobs over the last 6 years because I’m always looking for upward mobility. My goal is every year to do better and make more and if I’m plateauing then it’s time to switch it up. When I got my first pair of Loubs it was May 2008. I told Jasmine the goal was to get 10 by May 2009. I did just that. Then I aimed for 20. I accomplished that in October of 2011. I remember once telling my friend Mo over lunch that I would be content if I got 50 pairs and when I did that she texted me and said “I knew damn well you weren’t done! LOL”. Do I still aim for more? You bet ya! I don’t have a specific number anymore, I just want to one day have literally an entire room full of shoes. Watch me. I will do it! I have put my mind to it. The rest is easy.

Picture 30

So today I’m in my apartment and to the left there’s my “walk in closet”; not much of a walk in to be honest. They weren’t planning on having someone like me live here clearly. And to the right is my shoe wall. In the next room is my second shoe wall. Everywhere you walk in my house there’s shoes. Literally everywhere. I swear if I go to my guest bathroom I’ll find a pair in there too. And I don’t see ANYTHING wrong with that. But I do have to get a bigger spot. When I move with my bf which will be my next move, I will make sure I have enough room.

So I wanted to share this with you the journey of this addiction of mine and where it is today.

Picture 31
As you can see not much has changed since my younger days….26 years later and I’m still a shoe lover…Cheers to that!

Much Love,



28 comments on Once A Shoe Lover, Always a Shoe Lover

  1. Claudia
    April 2, 2013 at 5:15 am (6 years ago)

    Everything you do is so inspirational. Instead of flaunting your wealth (and your amazing shoe collection) you’ve motivated many other young girls from all over, such as myself, to take certain risks and strive to do what makes us happy. Not many can say they have not fallen into drugs and if you’re fortunate enough to feed your shoe obsession, so be it. I hope to be as successful as you one day. I wish you nothing but the best in any future endeavors. Brush them haters off, girl! Xoxo

  2. Gina Luari
    April 2, 2013 at 5:17 am (6 years ago)

    Loved this post! Keep on making your dreams a reality because that feeling you get when you accomplish them no one can take away from you no matter what they say or do!

  3. Sarah arroyo
    April 2, 2013 at 5:40 am (6 years ago)

    Such a great story! You are definitely ambitious but the fact that you’re so real about how you feel and your experiences in inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mirjana
    April 2, 2013 at 5:46 am (6 years ago)

    Loved reading this. Your just so real,genuine and inspirational!! Keep Them coming and don’t stop being you.

  5. eni
    April 2, 2013 at 7:33 am (6 years ago)

    i cant believe you still remember gabi hahahhaha we still have it here…hahahahha
    you have to do a meeting with us when you’ll came in tirana…i would loooveeee to meet you stilletomeup 🙂

  6. Tiffany
    April 2, 2013 at 8:34 am (6 years ago)

    cool..You have me here at work watching THE SECRET!! … The law of attraction.. THanks for the tip

  7. Isida
    April 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm (6 years ago)

    I love all your stories!!! You are awesome and you give all the shoe lovers hope of one day owning amazing shoes like you do. 2 years ago my goal was to buy a pair of loubs and i did! Actually my fiance back then lol. And last year my goal was to buy my dream shoes by Jimmy Choo for my wedding day and i saved little by little and i bought them a month before my wedding! I have more pictures of the shoes than the wedding dress. Also they cost me more than the wedding dress but i was one happy bride!!! Thank you for sharing your stories!!! I am a follower on your instagram and i love all your pics even though i dont really comment on them because i am kind of shy. But keep up your great work!!!! Much love from Boston!!!

  8. Shayla Simone
    April 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm (6 years ago)

    OMG!!!!! I adore you soooo much. I am a SHOE LOVER just like you are and I plan on having the amount you have one day if not MORE! You are AMAZING! I don’t come from a rich or wealthy family. But my mom is a single mother and she does pretty well for me. I’m the only child and I’m ADDICTED to shoes just like you. I would consider myself a middle class child even though my mom is taking care of me alone, she still manages to make sure I’m wearing BCBG, Steve Madden, Marc Jacobs, Free People, Boutique 9, etc. I wish to one day have the wealth that you do. I know I will strive to get there. I don’t own a pair of Christian Louboutins, but I plan on saving up my money to get my first pair when I got to my Prom in 2014! I remember the first pair of sort of expensive shoes my mom brought me. We were out of town at the outlet malls. She walked into the Roberto Cavalli store and I followed her inside. I hadn’t really heard of him before, but my mom had! She went to the back of the store where the shoes were, and picked up a sporty tennis shoe heel. It was black with pink and blue accents. I can’t believe she brought them for me to this day! I LOVE them so much that I’ve only worn them twice! The are truly a piece of art and I don’t think I will ever wear them again (I don’t want to mess them up). Anyway back to my main point, Thanks so much for continuing to uplift girls and women all across the world! Good Luck on all your success and keep believing. P.S you have inspired me to stay focused and to never stop believing, no mater what my background may be, but to strive to become someone that my mom would be proud of! Thanks you so much. Much Love!

  9. tasha
    April 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm (6 years ago)

    Love you can see that you are goal oriented and not just shopping for you. You reward yourself which we need to do. Love your collection, you deserve it

  10. Ada
    April 2, 2013 at 11:42 pm (6 years ago)

    Ur just a go getter and a pace setter! Making us know we can achieve whatever we set our hearts to do! Keep doing you , GOd bless

    • StilettoMeUp
      April 2, 2013 at 11:46 pm (6 years ago)

      Much Love!

  11. Martha
    April 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm (6 years ago)

    You inspire myself to get me some loubs. LOVE YOUR SHOE GAME

  12. Sofia
    April 3, 2013 at 10:42 pm (6 years ago)

    Came home from work and I wanted to just chill so I got on my laptop and went straight to your page! Even though I don’t know you personally, I love to know your story. By the way, I just recently (like this week) found out your real name was Egreis and I swear I was going to ask you if it meant anything! So thanks for sharing that information too lol.

  13. Veronica
    April 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm (6 years ago)

    This was a cool post. I’m glad you were open to say you have always been blessed and didn’t try to change your story. The brands you said you were buying was hilarious. Steve Madden is definitely top of the line for me! Hahaha

    But one day!!

  14. Keisha
    April 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm (6 years ago)

    umm your name does mean something silly you are graceful just cause he put the letter E in front of it doesn’t take away from it is its just like calling a rose another name doesn’t mean it doesn’t smell sweet just like you are!! Lolx It explains so much especially to why you’re able to handle things so gracefully and with such ease and pose your dad knew what he was doing and this is why we all love you

  15. Kate
    April 8, 2013 at 10:04 pm (6 years ago)

    Hello doll!! First off I completely understand your shoe obsession! I myself hv an infactuation with shoes I prefer to choose my shoe then my outfit comes together haha ! I work around the shoes ! Anyway just want to let u know u r an inspiration! I am 25 but still in school (took me awhile to figure out wht career path to take :/ ) and I hv yet to own a pair of ‘loubs’ no one understands y I want a room full of red bottoms but I just adore everything he makes! And I tell everyone who doubts me “One day I will have as many as my heart desires!(; ” I have a good collection right now but nothing compared to yours! I go to Ross or little boutiques here in my small town u know Steve madden Dollhouse guess whatever I love n I feel jst like u every time I get a shoe I’m as excited as if they r the first shoe I’ve ever seen lol (; anyway..once again u r an inspiration !

  16. Jasmine
    April 9, 2013 at 3:29 am (6 years ago)

    I remember those shoes

  17. eve
    April 13, 2013 at 10:46 am (6 years ago)

    you are my inspiration!!

  18. Rula judeh
    April 23, 2013 at 2:29 am (5 years ago)

    Hey stilet0meup host I am in love with you besides from you I am a huge a huge a huge fan of louboutins i am a 13 year old not like most and love style and wonder if I could ever build a empire of shoes like u shoes are my fave ad then cloths and wondered what u worked as and how was a job like that do that man I need that job when I get older anyway I wanted to say I love your blog your shoes and most of all louboutins

  19. Cindy
    May 9, 2013 at 10:06 am (5 years ago)

    Love your collection darling.

  20. Dya
    May 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm (5 years ago)

    Love this post, instead of flaunting your shoe collection, which I love by the way, you actually shared your story and showed your followers that you’re just a regular person who worked hard for nice things and I intend on doing the same.

    You have seriously inspired me to jump out there and buy my first pair of Louboutins! I am a currently a college student and I have two jobs, I’ve been looking online every now and again at what styles I like, all of them are amazing but I think I narrowed it down.

    By December 2013, my goal is to have a pair in black and nude, & from there I will just continue to set goals for myself and buy what my heart desires!


  21. Darkmoon
    June 29, 2013 at 12:23 am (5 years ago)

    Agree that Christian is one of the best of the big name designers, but the most unusual, artistic, and spectacularly gorgeous shoes I have yet seen have no designers’ names on them. There were several online shops where it was possible to buy beautifully crafted high quality Italian stilettos for impossible bargain prices—prices that even I could afford! 😀 Sadly, many of those are out of business, now, but there are still online shops in Europe where you can find eye-popping, amazing sculptures in footwear that are far beyond anything that ever wore a designer label, for about the price you would pay for Loubotin, Jimmy Choo, or Manolo Blahnik.

  22. Jimena
    May 21, 2014 at 3:32 am (4 years ago)

    It`s really exciting seeing that you have accomplished your dream, you now have a room for your shoes!!!! And more: you have a wonderful family!!!!

    You deserve all that joy!!

  23. Shacoya
    May 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm (4 years ago)

    How many would you say you have now? I recently bought my first pair for my 23rd birthday and love them. I want at least 20 pair by the time I’m 25.

    • Egreis Gjergjani
      May 24, 2014 at 9:39 pm (4 years ago)

      How many pairs of shoes or louboutins? I wouldn’t know the answer to either haha. Just haven’t had a chance to really count them all.

  24. Marsida
    May 28, 2014 at 8:32 am (4 years ago)

    I love how attached you are to your dad. I’m a daddy’s girl as well but once i became a mommy i started to gravitate toward my mom so much more & my dad is always complaining how I’ve been neglecting him ever since I had baby JoJo lol.. I would love to read about your mom as well….
    Love this blog and every other account u have 🙂 but i swear I’m not a stalker 😛 I just admire a go-getter.
    All the best!

  25. fabiola
    September 7, 2014 at 9:01 am (4 years ago)

    Love your blogs! Your simply someone to admire. I love heels as well but sometimes simply can’t get them because my mom says i wont wear them. But when i get a job i will save up like you did and buy as many as i want. I love your instagram posts about your heels, their amazing !
    God bless you (:


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