The Duchess of Sussex has been wearing Birdies, a fashionable yet practical slipper shoe, for years

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The “Meghan Markle Effect” has shined a light on several fashion brands since the Duchess of Sussex officially joined the royal family, but one shoe brand in particular has certainly felt the impact.

Meghan, 37, has been wearing Birdies, a fashionable yet practical slipper shoe, for years. But when she wore them during an October stroll through Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua in New Zealand with Prince Harry, a wait list for the shoes became 15,000 people strong.

“We are a relatively new brand and have been out four years and at the very start, Meghan was one of the first celebrities to wear our brand. And this was long before she met Harry, and she was not nearly as famous,” Marisa Sharkey, co founder and president of Birdies, tells PEOPLE.

“She was on Suits and when we were thinking of different celebs to introduce our product to, we loved her and she stood out to us,” Sharkey adds. “She was a feminist, supported philanthropic causes and was active on Instagram.”

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Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage. Inset: Nordstrom
Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

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Sharkey explains that the San Fransisco-based footwear brand sent Meghan a pair of shoes, which she started wearing. Before she married into arguably the most famous family in the world, they continued to send her more pairs.

As for where she gets the shoes nowadays? “I don’t know how [she] gets them.”

What Sharkey does know is that seeing the brand’s shoes on a royal meant big things.

“For us, we’re a growing company and to be able to generate so much interest in our brand from her wearing them has been tremendous,” she says. “We sold out very quickly of our classic black style and we had people emailing every day to ask, ‘When are they coming back?’ We couldn’t have imagined anything like this.”

Meghan Markle's Favorite Birdies Slippers at Nordstrom

Buy It! The Starling Slipper, $120; nordstrom.com

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Sharkey says their shoes are perfect for Meghan, a royal mom-to-be.

“Our slippers are designed for busy women who are busy, working, and picking up kids – and they are relatable,” she says. “You don’t need to be a duchess to want stylish shoes.”

And no need for a royal shoe budget to get a pair yourself: You can score Meghan’s luxuriously cozy The Starling slippers for only $120.