In the second of our new feature blog posts, which share fabulous shoe stories by wonderful women, we ask luxury (and award winning!) handbag designer Jennifer Hamley to tell us all about her most treasured pair of shoes…………..
Hi Jennifer! Thanks for agreeing to share your shoe story with us! Before we start please tell us a bit about yourself
Thank you so much for inviting me to your interview series – I absolutely adore your company and story of growing success.
A little about me? My Name is Jennifer Hamley, founder of handbag and workbag brand Jennifer Hamley. I currently live and work between the UK and Bali which is a dream come true for me and feeds adventurous spirit. I’m passionate about the empowerment of women, and believe that when a woman feels good about herself she can make real changes in the world, so helping women to feel their best is the foundation of my brand. When a customer buys a Jennifer Hamley, she buys more than the bag itself; our bags are held as symbols of confidence, visibility and success. A tribe of fabulously inspirational women is growing and it makes me feel tremendously proud.
Tell us about either your favourite or most memorable pair of shoes
My most memorable and treasured shoes are my customised Irregular Choice ‘Royal Marriage’ shoes I wore to our wedding in 2012. I had had my eye on the suede rainbow beauties for a while, and the day after I bought them, I had a dream that they weren’t suede, but were covered in Swarovski crystals. I remember waking in the middle of the night and being so excited about bringing the dream to life that I couldn’t get back to sleep. I spent hours that night watching tutorial videos on YouTube on how to ‘Strass’ a pair of heels!
To get the best effect I learnt that a mix of three different sizes of crystals would be needed, and I needed them in the different colours of the shoes too. I enthusiastically ordered 4000 crystals, syringes for applying the glue and a little pick up stick that would help me to apply each crystal to the shoes.
I didn’t think it would take long to apply the crystals, I was wrong, it took A LONG TIME! I also learnt that I’d done my research wrong as I actually needed 4000 crystals per shoe! Whenever I was working on my ‘secret project’, Ben, my now husband was banned from entering my studio!
All the hard work was worth it and the shoes came out even better than I had expected. They are bright and sparkly and really get noticed. When I wear them in sunshine or in low light they sparkle like a disco ball. They were worth the time taken to make them and I still have them now – I love wearing them and they make me feel like a million dollars.
Recently there has been much debate about whether women should have to wear heels to work in certain industries. What do you think about this and how do you feel about wearing heels?
I love wearing heels, I also love to wear flats especially if I know I have a lot of walking to do or will be on my feet all day. So no, I don’t think it should be mandatory for women to wear heels in the workplace. Equality is the key here, if something is compulsory in the workplace it should be compulsory for everyone. Smart shoes would work as a rule for both men and women; we would find it ridiculous if men were made to wear heels, so in my opinion the rule is ridiculous.
Jennifer Hamley’s beautiful bags are available at Http://JenniferHamley.com