shoes that make you go oooooo

I was researching something today (it was of course shoe related) and came across this place – They run courses on various elements of shoe making, such as ‘start your future in footwear’ to ‘ballet pumps for beginners’  with the courses ranging in length from half a day to three days. Prices start at £75 for a half day course and go up to £3200 for a 10 day long master class in luxury footwear.

From the feedback they get it seems that a lot of people do their courses as precursors to foundation courses in similar subjects, although I bet there are a few women who attend who are just after the perfect shoe and believe they are the only ones who can make them.

I got quite excited and began to dream up the shoes I would design, only to find that they only have facilities to make up to 9.5. But still, a great idea and as far as I know, the only other place other than Cordwainers who offer shoe design courses.

For those of us who have got some spare money to spend on frivolities such as the ultimate, custom designed shoe without the hassle of making it yourself, there is Shoes of Prey – a frankly almost pornographic experience for someone like me, where you pick your style, fabric, heel everything – and they make them for you.

It’s a fabulous website and a fabulous idea (one of those ideas you wish you’d had). It’s actually also somewhere where you can mull over ideas you have about the shoes that you want, playing with different colours etc, before you actually hunt those shoes down on the high street. The main asset for me of course is that their sizes range from UK2.5 – 15!

This, coupled with the fact they have a great range of colours and materials and styles, mean that I fully intend to design a pair of shoes for myself in the not too distant future. A pair of heels would cost about £150 for standard designs

Another design and order place is Upper Street Shoes, who I’ve mentioned before, but are worth mentioning again – they do a similar thing to Shoes of Prey, even the prices seem similar (apologies if they have a totally different USP but to the casual eye it looks like a similar set up).

What sets them apart is the competition they run every Tuesday. Tweet them a picture of the shoes you’re wearing that day and if the judges deem them worthy, they grant you free licence to design your own pair. A seriously good reason to think about your footwear every Tuesday.

I’m not the first person to blog about these companies, Kat Brown has a whole section dedicated to where to buy/make/design bigger shoes on her blog, (the link to the exact post here

Dare I suggest that this grey weather won’t last, because it is actually June and so, summer, which means that even if we don’t have blazing hot sunshine every day, we are likely to want to wear toeless shoes? And you must be thinking about your holidays, walking on the beach or strolling through ancient cobbled alleyways, or meandering round a garden (I could go on). Either way, these wedged espadrille really will work all ways and with all things.

Montego bay one profile small

For now they are for sale via my eBay store but within the next 48 hours I will be going live with my own website – a fitting platform (I hope) for these particular shoes.

I am also moving forward with my business model and have adjusted it slightly to accommodate the needs of my customers and the limitations being a small business. Head to the new website in a day or so for more details.

Feedback as ever is welcomed. Thanks for reading



Shock and awe

The fashion news last week was dominated by Sarah Jessica Parker’s announcement that she was going to be designing her own range of shoes (have to be honest, I sort of thought she already had her own line, it seemed like the next step for her after SITC) but I think the real news is that Katie Price (aka Jordan) is also going to be designing a range of shoes for Australian brand Sister Shoes, a range that Katie hopes will ‘shock & awe’.

This phrase in itself was enough to get my attention – crikey, I thought, shoes which shock and awe? What’s she going to be doing to them?! Will they have rocket launchers, encrusted with diamante? Will they have 40 foot heels that flash pink neon as you walk?

I think the two ranges of shoes will be rather different, but despite myself I think Katie Price’s will be more fun. I also think, given the circles she moves in, that she is more likely to design shoes which will be made in larger sizes, although I could be wrong.

It would seem like a good opportunity for her to reach out to the women and men in this world who enjoy dressing up and just need to shoes to finish off the outfit. I think SJP will just be designing for designers, which bores me a tad.

Having said that, SJP has promised to make shoes unlike any others in the shops, using colour combinations you wish your wardrobe contained and only charging between £220 – £350 for the pleasure. Have a feeling Katie Price’s maybe on a slightly lower price bracket then those….

Talking of shoes on a lower price bracket (do you like what I did?), I’m thinking about my autumn stock (it must be the weather) and what I personally want from an autumn shoe.

In my mind, it’s a shoe which can be worn in the day, with skirts or dresses when it could actually be quite warm but then carry you comfortably through to a much colder evening, to be worn with a big jumper and trousers or jeans. Ankle boots or brogues spring to mind, as they are multi usage, converting well from work wear to weekend wear.

In the meantime, its days like these which need a bit more cover up of the feet than last week’s weather, which makes it a perfect time to wear Kingston in either Rust or Leopard.

Oozing with style, easy to wear and super comfortable, I haven’t taken mine off since yesterday (being in bed excluded).

Kingston R profileKingston leapord

As ever, available to buy here

Thanks for reading!


Heady heights

Interesting things that I learnt last night Number 1: James Dyson didn’t have any investment to set up the company. He had a product and some enthusiastic helpers and then an American company tried to infringe on one of his patents, so he sued for £3 million and won. That was his only outside investment. Cool huh?

Interesting things that I learnt last night Number 2: Just because you call yourself a ‘PR & Marketing Guru’ on your business card, does not mean you are one.

Interesting things that I learnt last night Number 3: There is so much support for people like me (i.e trying to set up, promote & manage a small business) today I feel like a mad professor trying to make the best use of my limited time to make use of all these resources. run these great events, bringing together some real market leaders to talk about various issues facing entrepreneurs (because that is what I am thank you very much).

Last night focused on marketing on a shoestring and I got some real gems of information from the panel.  I also felt  part of a real community, which counts for a lot when you’re working from home, on your own, day in day out, only communicating via email or twitter or whatever.

I also got to market myself in front of 200+ people for 30 seconds, which actually, I quite enjoyed (did have sweaty palms though).

All in all a fascinating few days at the office. As it were.

Dare I even talk about shoes now after discussing the heady heights of entrepreneurship. Yes, because that is what it’s all about for me! Product, people, placement. The 3 P’s.

Today calls for a more serious shoe, something which enables you to pace around the room , in an enthusiastic and entrepreneurial way.

It’s Edina, a gladiator with a serious side, all straps and comfort, with an edge. These along with all my other shoes, are for sale on my eBay store

Edina black profile 2

Thanks for reading. x

Ice cream and fashion

Last night I went to an event hosted by Ben & Jerry’s (as in the ice cream guys) at 11 Cavendish Square, where I was surrounded by the great and good social networkers of fashion, beauty and entrepreneurship, with talks by Liz Earle of the make up brand, Safia Minney of People Tree and Kresse Wesling of Elvis & Kresse. The first two speakers are established business women, with awards and letters after their names (MBE’s in case you’re wondering). Kresse though, was the most interesting – a woman who at the age of 22 decided to set up an investment bank, just because she thought it sounded like a good idea.

Obviously, it failed, mainly because she didn’t know what she was doing, but also because she had no investment… but she is now one half of a company which turns industrial waste in to life style products, the first example of that being decommissioned fire hose, which they make into belts, handbags and wallets, to great effect.

I was entranced by this woman, she was intelligent, funny, innovative with inspirational ideas and a ‘nothing’s going to stop me attitude’. I was left wondering at the difference between the people who look at discarded fire hose and think ‘oh, there’s some discarded fire hose’ and the people who look at discarded fire hose and think ‘ I’m going to call my mate up and see if he can learn to sew so we can make that fire hose into sustainable, vegan lifestyle products and sell them at Harrods’.

I know which one I am and which one Kresse is. If I were to delve deeper in to Kresse’s background I would probably find out she was quite highly educated and I think she is originally from Canada (not sure if that makes a difference, maybe being born somewhere like that gives you a bigger need to achieve?). But does being educated automatically mean you are on the fast track to being successful? I don’t think so. So it is just the sort of person you are.

I think you can probably push yourself to be the ‘lets make fire hose into wallets’ person, but for someone like Kresse it just comes naturally. If she wasn’t doing that, she’d be succeeding at something else.

I would have liked to have asked her questions about the thought processes she goes through to get to her business ideas, because it seems to me that  everyone setting out on building their own business could do with a Kresse sitting next to them, to help them have that occasional light bulb moment.

Anyway, it was a well run, informative and educational evening, with free ice cream to boot.

In other news – summer has arrived with a sincerity which gives me hope.

As a result, these wedged sandals are selling well

montego bay black profile 2

As are these flat sandals which have a nifty zip up the back to make getting them on and off easier. The gold tip is a nice touch I think, giving them just the right level of glamour. These are also available in black and gold, perfect for tanned feet and legs.

Raleigh coral prfile 2

As always, these shoes, as well as quite a few more, are available to buy through my eBay shop

Thanks for reading!