What is your professional or training background?
I have always had a love for shoes, probably made more intense by the fact I have large feet and had trouble finding shoes to fit. That was definitely a motivation in making my collection in a size range up to about a 45 or 46, in the hope that women suffering the same fate can find me and have a range of beautiful shoes to choose from! I studied shoemaking at RMIT and did unpaid work experience to be able to continue learning. There aren't many shoemakers around these days, so I was fortunate to be able to work for a prominent Melbourne shoemaker. I launched my own label with the Summer 09/10 range.
What do you make?
I am a shoemaker, I design and make all my shoes in my studio, I've just moved into the Nicholas Building in Melbourne. I hand make all the components of my shoes, except the hand turned wooden heels I use, these I design and then have a local craftsman make for me.
What other creative areas would you like to explore as a side project to your current work?
I am still very much in love with the world of shoemaking, which is ever challenging, with new designs and the desire to improve. I would love one day to collaborate with another designer, whether that be in material or design... who knows.
What skills do you have that help you run your business, or what skills would you like to develop?
This is where I fall down, Im not very good in the business office. I think I should do a short course in web development, book keeping, media and PR at least! Luckily, due to a previous professional life I am organised, and I do have a great devotion and passion for shoes. I love making shoes, it is so rewarding to see a finished shoe going to a happy customer!
People, businesses or websites that keep me motivated:
There is a lot to be gained from just looking around at what people are doing on the street as you go about your every day. I love luscious glossy hardback fashion books, about current designers or vintage histories of shoes, and of course magazines. The internet can lead you in circles finding fascinating things people are doing once you start looking and following links, going in no particular direction. There are many websites and blogs that people dedicate to fashion, and many of the big fashion houses have lovely websites and archives. Inspiration comes from so many places, including what I feel like having to wear myself!