Inspired by the desire to create shoes designed to make women feel, as well as look their best, Remac was founded by Reneé and Micky Harrison in 1974.
The company’s signature J. Reneé line is known for dressy and dressy-casual shoes featuring colorful fabrics and fashion-forward ornaments and detail.
Working together, Reneé and Micky formed Remac as a sales organization to represent various factories and companies in the shoe industry. Through Reneé’s experience traveling around the world to purchase shoes and handbags, Reneé was exposed to working with manufacturers in Asia and saw an opportunity to do more than represent other lines. Borrowing the money to manufacture one style, Remac made its first venture into direct importing from the Far East in 1977 with the release of the first high heel tennis shoe. The venture was a success and Remac produced and sold more than 100,000 pair of that single style before fashion trends changed.
Shortly after the high heel tennis shoe, Remac gained national attention with reptile and eel skin shoes and bags. This provided the basis for their strength in the wholesale shoe industry. In 1978, the J. Reneé line of designer ladies’ dress shoes was introduced under the visionary leadership of Reneé who believed that the Far East had the capability of manufacturing superior, quality footwear if given the proper ingredients. By combining the best fabrics, leathers and accessories available throughout Europe, with shoe forms developed in Italy, the factories in Asia successfully produced a high quality product that met the demanding standards of American women.
A leader in the shoe industry, Reneé had accomplished something that had not been done before. By developing trusting relationships with her vendors in Asia, Reneé has influenced and changed the way the factories worked. Her approach was simple. She didn’t shop around for the best price, but preferred to invest in getting the best quality. As her influence with the factory owners grew, Reneé demanded that the factories adhere to quality of life standards for its employees regarding housing, meals and recreation. Bottom line, Reneé's paramount desire was to made sure the workers were treated as well as her own employees in the States. Today,
Remac creates each new shoe at its corporate office near Dallas where every shoe pattern is designed by the product development team and hand-cut by technicians born and trained in Italy. The design team, made up of three people, consists of Reneé, Kai Harrison and Suzie Hardcastle. Suzie has worked with Reneé since 1980 and Kai since 1986. Suzie was the first full-time employee outside of the family that was hired to work for Remac. Kai is presently responsible for the primary design of the product, under Reneé’s watchful eye. The design team travels extensively throughout the world in search of the latest styles, colors and materials, which are sent to the same factories that Remac partnered with when the company first started.
Remac’s business philosophy is based on customer service and product quality. Reneé feels the secret to the company’s success has been the personal attention to detail that she and Micky have given the company. Recalling times she worked all hours of the night to write customer letters or weeks-at-a-time she spent away from home developing new relationships with vendors, Reneé knows it has all paid off.
Today, Remac brands are distributed in the United States, Mexico, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The company remains privately held by the family, and is run under the leadership of Micky, Reneé and their sons Eric and Kai. Eric has joined Micky in the sales and operational end of the business, as well as assuming responsibility for factory order placement and assisting Kai in maintaining these relationships. All remain active in the business.