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.

http://www.smarta.co.uk 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 http://stores.ebay.co.uk/shoesforrubyuksizes91011

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 http://stores.ebay.co.uk/shoesforrubyuksizes91011

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Wifi-less

It seems to me that starting up a new business is a lot like being pregnant. You have an idea, it’s conceived, it grows, it gives you a few scares along the way, as well as real moments of pleasure and feeling complete, then it makes you feel a bit uncomfortable and you stop sleeping well, after a while you can’t really do much other than concentrate on the baby/project in hand and eventually, after some messing about, to-ing and fro-ing and general boringness, you finally  produce something which you’re immensely proud of.

I’m not there yet with Shoes for Ruby, but I believe i’m on my way – I think I’m at the stage now where people are commenting on the size of my bump everywhere I go…

All pregnant women should have a mini break to prepare them for the time ahead so with that in mind, I’m taking a week off (read, I’m going somewhere that doesn’t have wifi, which is FREAKING ME OUT) so things will go quiet for a while.

Rest assured though, while I’m away I’ll be concentrating on being fully operational for the coming few months and arrive back ready to fold tiny little baby grows and waddle about for a while.

If you need to contact me please email me: info@shoesforruby.co.uk (because I still have my trusty phone and I can but hope there is some kind of 3G signal)

Metallic toes

The metallic trend is taking many forms, but particularly in the shoe industry. I love Miista shoes, mainly because they’re London based and slightly out there and probably far more ‘fashion’ than I’d realistically dare go, aside from the fact that I generally love their style, including the website. They do a fabulous metallic/hologram brogue, as seen on Taylor Swift recently at the Billboard awards.

talyor swift

 

I’m also quite a fan of AtterleyRoad.com, a company which pull together all the best from the high street and designers and creates looks and styles which you can then buy from their website.

They have pinpointed these little beauties whilst stating that ‘nude shoes never go out of fashion’.

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Forgive me for sounding like a stuck record, but these are pretty much exact replicas of Charlotte, which are available in nude and coral (which should probably be called red, but I don’t want to be in breach of any trade descriptions act or anything) and look like this.

Charlotte nude profile one

 

It’s at this point that I should probably say that Atterleyroad.com is selling the Lola Cruz for £150 and I’m selling Charlotte for £60. Also, I think it hopefully goes without saying that Atterleyroad.com doesn’t do big sizes. And I do.

But, what I’m proud of is that I’m managing to keep my stock in the fashion game, which was my intention from the beginning.

I still can’t find shoes which meet my expectations on other sites in my size – and there has been an influx of places doing larger sizes in the last few months. It’s almost like the tide is slowly turning, but retailers still seem to think that because we have larger feet, we don’t worry about style or trends.

So, with fashion forward companies like Atterleyroad.com and Miista.com all getting on with the metallic trend and with Shoes for Ruby keeping up with the big boys, I’m going to carry on doing what I’m doing and hope that those ladies with large feet will soon get to hear about my on-going mission and realise, they don’t have to make do anymore!

Thanks, as ever, for reading. x

 

 

The thin and the fat of it

Did anyone see the picture of Julienne Moore’s feet at Cannes last week, on the red carpet? Her shoes were not too small (although they did look tiny) but they were way too narrow, which made her little toes stick out and look frankly, pretty gross. She had, like every other cleb on that red carpet, borrowed the shoes, which were in a sample size, which is of course, no size at all. Is a sample size a size 0? If so, what is the equivalent shoe size?

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Julienne Moore is a real woman with real dimensions which is why these shoes do not fit. How many of the women we see smiling serenely on the red carpet in these magnificent gowns are actually in utter agony and not breathing for the entire duration of the evening?

I know there is a bit of a half hearted movement at the moment from various UK designers to stop using sample size models in the hope it discourages the sort of not eating- dieting that is so common in that industry, which is a positive move forward in the right direction. But what will it take for sample sizes to stop being totally unrealistic, resulting in young girls being under pressure to be stick thin.

Funnily enough, I used to be stick thin, like, alarmingly so – and I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but thin is not necessarily good (although I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I spend quite a lot of my waking hours now wondering about how I can get thinner, but even that makes me cross because I’m not fat, I’m a healthy size 14/16, having, in my twenties,  discovered food, babies, staying in and eating, that sort of thing).

I could give you endless examples of people commenting on my thinness when I was a teenager, in public, thinking that because they’re talking about being thin, not fat, it’s totally ok to comment on a random stranger’s physical appearance. (It’s not, for the record).

Oh god, sorry, I’m totally digressing. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is people’s conception of what is normal, average, correct, whatever, has got to change – that goes for sample sizes, shoe sizes stocked in high street shops, clothes, everything.

Then it will be unnecessary for women like Ms Moore to cram her feet in to shoes which are too small in every way, for thin people to be ridiculed for being thin, for fat people either having to make a conscious decision not to care and embrace it or to give in to public opinion and constantly try to slim down. It’s madness! I think I’ve just imagined Utopia. It would have to contain chocolate and wine though. Just in case you were wondering.

Summer collection – due in next week

Raleigh gold profile 2Raleigh coral prfile 2

I’m delighted to show you the summer collection, which I’m stocking in limited quantities. I’ve chosen these shoes for their versatility and glamour, but also because these are the sorts of shoes missing from the choice already available in the UK. As ever, these shoes will be available to buy on my eBay pages (soon to be an eBay shop, which is exciting). I’m sticking to my promise to make them affordable and accessible, prices are tbc but I promise to keep them as low as possible.

Any feedback, comments welcome – hope you like them. Thanks for looking.

montego bay black profile 2Edina grey profile 2Edina black profile 2Ashland yellow profile 2Ashland pink profile 2Charlotte nude profile 2Charlotte coral profile 2

Ruby Shoesday!

It’s that time of the week again – Ruby Shoesday! 10% off the fabulous flats for one day only. Stocks are running low, so hurry while the smoking slipper in Orange (Rust) and Leopard are still available. There is only one pair of size 9’s in Rust left, so snap it up while it’s still available.

Click on the ‘shop’ page for the links straight through to my eBay pages or click on the links to the left of this post.

Thanks for reading!

Queen B girl crush

I watched the Beyonce Imagine film a while ago and it’s fair to say I was left with a fair amount of admiration for Mrs Jay Z (although she’d probably hate me for calling her that and our burgeoning, albeit imaginary friendship is now ruined). But when I read that she was having all her shoes for the Mrs Carter tour designed and made for her by Stuart Weitzman, the admiration turned in to a full on girl crush.

She is having her shoes designed for her and her alone by one of the top shoe designers in the world, to fit her perfectly, to complement every outfit, to enable her to strut her frankly, incredible, stuff on stage.

Weitzman’s trademark is to make shoes out of unique materials like lucite, vinyl, wallpaper and 24 carat gold. He designs one off styles to be worn on the red carpet at the Oscars. He’s like the Prince of the shoe designing world (elusive, enigmatic and probably totally mental)

The Mrs Carter tour will consist of 35 shows in Europe, 29 in North America and 1 in South America. Weitzman has made about 50 pairs for Queen B, ranging from stilettos adorned with Swarovski crystals and knee & thigh length military style boots. Bearing in mind the things the shoes are going to be expected to do, they’ve all been made with rubberized soles so they can withstand all that dancing, foot stamping and hair tossing that she does so well on stage.

Weitzman claims that the project was one of the most inspiring projects he’s ever worked on, saying ‘Beyonce and her team know exactly what they need, always focusing on the fashion and the function of the styles that will be worn’

illustration beyonce

I think that’s probably the pinnacle of fame for me, to have a whole range of shoes designed for one person by someone like Weitzman. Where does she go from there?! What else will this woman do!? Will she just run for president and be done for it? I genuinely think she could probably make quite a good go of it.

beyonce blue

She’s on stage at the O2 as we speak and I’m a tiny bit gutted I’m not there to see it. I’d only want to see the shoes though, obviously. I would definitely not be shouting her name at the top of my voice and filming her every move on my phone to show everyone and tunelessly singing the wrong words to most of the songs. Nope. I would just be staring at the shoes (on the big screen) and making notes. Taking lessons from the master if you like. Ah. Beyonce. Love you. And your shoes.

Another star style

As an antidote to towering wedges and for something slightly more practical, these brogues tick so many boxes. The colour combination of grey and pink is one of my all time favourites and I just think the brogue is a style which is here to stay for so many reasons.

These bring it back from the androgynous look which seemed to linger a little bit and stamp a mark of femininity on the style which has been lacking in the past.

Dolce Vita do it again

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