My journey in rhinestone shoe customisation started in Summer 2010. I bought a pair of peep toe black satin heels on the high street for £15. And a gold metal rose necklace with hanging chains from H&M for £5.00. When I got home, I dug out my pliers and took the necklace apart and began sewing the chains onto the satin uppers and stuck the metal roses on with superglue. I graduated University with Honors in shoe making and had lots of spare leather, so I added leather insoles to the shoes for softness underfoot. I took the shoes to a friend of a friend’s house gathering and sold the shoes and gained orders which was a big surprise! I bought more satin shoes and started adding zips twisted into shapes, flower corsages and ribbons, etc. and sold a few more pairs to local independent shops.
Later that year, when walking through the local Christmas Market, I was starstruck by a Swarovski Adonis bust ornament, displayed on one of the stalls. I chatted to the stallholder who had created this himself and he very kindly let me visit his home to buy a few packets of Swarovski rhinestones in different shades. I was currently working part-time in a special occasion boutique and the shop owner suggested I put a couple of pairs of my crystal embellished shoes on the shelves. I added the Swarovski crystals to the shoes and displayed them in the shop. Customers were interested in having their shoes customised to match the colours in their newly bought outfit, and the beautiful choice of colours available in Swarovski made the shoe orders exciting! The customers always loved their bespoke customised shoes. When Crystal Parade called me one day to introduce their business, I was impressed by their customer service and have remained with them to this day for the purchase of all my high-quality crystals.
When Swarovski stopped selling their crystals to the general public, I moved over to Preciosa crystals, which are the next best quality for rhinestone shoe embellishment. I have used Preciosa crystals on all my customised bridal shoes ever since.
Through the last 13 years I’ve had many ‘shoe chats’ with people who describe to me their dream shoes and I’ve added trimmings to give them the dream shoes they’ve always wanted. These include Swarovski crystal, Preciosa crystal, pearl, lace, feathers, metal spikes, vinyl names and dates, glitter, brooches, buttons, dressmaking fabric, tulle roses and satin bows. Everybody’s shoe design is unique to them, and no two pairs have ever been made the same.