04 Jun 2015
For those who follow me.. I'm hoping finally by this September to be able to offer some ladies British made boots and currently I'm trying out some winter boot style samples.
I have pretty much decided now that we will concentrate on a chelsea boot rather than try and make brogues and laced shoes now...all things in time!!!!
Please feel free to give me your feedback on the following Chelsea (Jaffa) Boots. Named Jaffa due to the orange elastic. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my facebook page The British Flat Shoe Company and leave me message.
I be able to do a variety of different colour elastics combined with some really super, super top quality suede uppers.
Please tell me what you would like to see... is the preference mostly for uppers in black, brown and maybe a grey all with matching elastic? Leather or suede.
Is there an appetite for funky elastic colours, e.g. Black with pink? Brown and orange, Grey and pink etc...
I would really appreciate your feedback.
All the boots will have a really superior quality leather sole.
The pair below is made in a very beautiful chocolate suede. I will be doing whole sizes only.
13 Nov 2014
Following on from my last post regarding Georgina's red shoes iwas absolutely delighted and releived to receive the following super email from Pam. As i said It's really very nice to have helped someone out, a lovely feel good moment and the fact that the shoes are liked makes it all the better.
Thank you so much for the beautiful red ballet pumps. (for anyone reading this testimonial I’m the Pam in the ‘Georgina’s Red Shoes’ article in the blog)
It was a joy to see the look on Georgina’s face when she opened the box and got the first glimpse of her new shoes. This was nothing compared to the pleasure from seeing her slip them on for the first time.
I’m so grateful to you for taking the time and trouble to not just make the individual sizes but also to source the exact colour of red that Georgina desired.
My beautiful daughter now has beautiful shoes that not only look stylish and pretty but that are comfortable to wear
Thank you again
09 Nov 2014
I was very happy recently to take an enquiry from a lovely lady, Pam, who has a daughter with a condition called Talipes, what used to be called club foot. One of her feet is a 5 and one is 6, therefore buying off the peg shoes is very difficult. On many occasions she has had to resort to buying 2 pairs of cheaply made shoes and then throwing the odd pair away and thus just keeping the 5 and 6 of the pair to be worn.
All her life Georgina has had to tolerate being laced into clunky lace up boots, not necessarily a problem I hear your cry except when you remember that this is beautiful young lady who yearns to wear pretty shoes and wants to be able to wear fashionable shoes. Georgina is also not able to wear heels in any dimension.
Back in the good olden golden days when high street shoe company’s both cared about people’s feet, were independent stores and whose shoes were made in this country it was a little easier to get shoes made.
Pam used to go to Clarks and have shoes made especially for Georgina’s feet. Following the demise of the shoe industry in the UK leaves people like Georgina side-lined with very little choices open to them. Getting hand made shoes made to fit feet is a vastly expensive process. Measuring a foot and having a shoe last made costs several hundred pounds alone, not to mention the actual production, buying leather and hand cutting of individual shoes. The cost to do this is prohibitive for around 99.9% of the population. Rather the hand making of completely original and individual shoes is something left to the very, very wealthy.
I took on the challenge as I felt strongly that I wanted to do something for Georgina, also to attempt to restore a little faith in the UK shoe industry. I am probably one of very few people making a ladies shoe here in the UK, and certainly I am probably the only person who would consider making an odd pair of shoes for someone at not only an affordable price but also to a very high British crafted quality. To take on and complete this project the shoes had to be individually cut, hand-lasted and hand finished.
Fortunately for me Pam and Georgina were happy to have a ballerina style pump, in other words the same style of shoe I currently produce and one which I have a shoe last and knives for. I did not have the right type of red leather that Georgina wanted so I sourced some beautifully soft lambskin for the upper, I also sourced some really soft luxurious lambskin for the inner lining of the shoe in a matching red.
From the original order to delivery it took around a month, which was slightly elongated due to me going to Japan for a week to visit one of my customers and also to meet some potential new stores and merchandisers for my shoes.
Georgina’s shoes went off in the post on Friday afternoon, I am so hoping that Georgina loves the shoes as much as we loved making them for her. It was a real pleasure to be able to help make her happy and enable her to wear something pretty. Something not only British made but something which also had the dual effect of supporting the local economic framework.
All in all a very satisfactory project.
03 Oct 2014
Love all things British?
Well we do too and so we thought you might like to hear from our friends over at Distinctive Wash who manufacture designer fragranced superior washing powder. They have two varieties; a Sleepeazy fragrance, which is a blend of essential oils to help promote a good nights sleep, and a seductive Masculine variety (our favourite – the sandalwood aroma is lush)
Okay, so we were brought up washing our family’s laundry with whatever brand our Mums used, but wasn’t that the same with purchasing shoes? When we used to be marched out of the door to the same store as Granny? Well these days, after decades of cheap and exotic foreign goods, many of us are reverting back to buying British and supporting local wherever possible and you only need to take a look at the supermarkets to see how important labelling veg that is home grown in this country is. We all want to know, that what we purchase, is both safe, meets required standards and also if possible was in the hands of workers who were also paid a fair wage and adhere to the same standards of hygiene etc. that we expect in the UK. So often the only way of guaranteeing that, is buying British.
Well Distinctive was my super find and I’m hooked! Dare I say it I haven’t bought a box of Fairy since? Not only is it fully biodegradable and earth safe, but, unlike eco formulas we all used to buy, it washes brilliantly, and it makes my washing smell divine. As I said, I personally love their masculine sandalwood variety. It took me a while getting to understand that I wouldn’t add a separate fabric softener but I quickly adapted to that and I haven’t noticed any loss of softness in towels and bedding. And I’ve also now got accustomed to washing everything at at 30 or 40 degrees. It’s still hygienically clean because they have a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent.
Plus, I’ve noticed the huge difference to the state of my washing machine drawer since switching to their brand. I no longer get the gunky black stuff in the compartment - and ladies… when you’ve washing drying in the house your whole house smells amazing.
Anyway, I won’t ramble on you can have a look at their website or chat to Louise the brands owner, who will be more than happy to help you with anything laundry related. She and I have become firm friends after discovering we only live ten miles apart. Not only a fellow made in Britain brand that’s distinctly British, but from stately Northamptonshire too.
We are giving a free sachet of one wash Distinctive wash away with every pair of shoes this month. Your chance to try before your buy.
To get 15% off your own tub of Distinctive please click on the link below and use the code BritishFlatShoe15 when ordering.
16 Sep 2014
If anybody has wondered where I get the lasts from to make my shoes it is Springline in Northampton.
Springline is based in Northampton, England, at the heart of the British shoe-making industry, renowned throughout the world.
Makers of quality shoe lasts The company was founded in 1982 by Kenneth Tipping and is now the only remaining last manufacturer in Britain, a testament to the skill of its staff, the quality of its products and its flexibility in adapting to customer needs.
The Springline Shoe Lasts services range from Bespoke hand-crafted wooden models to bulk supply of durable plastic lasts in all sizes and fittings. They manufacture to your particular specification and design requirements.
Initial models and bespoke lasts are still crafted in wood. However, the large majority of bulk lasts are now made in plastic for improved durability. Lasts can be made to many specifications, with different hinges, plugs, plates and slots in toes according to the shoemaker’s requirements.
I met up with David Bones this morning who showed me around the factory. On the way I saw a vast array of lasts in all sorts of sizes and different shoe style, some of which belonged to some very well-known shoe makers in Northampton. the place is awash and an Aladdins of shoe lasts.
The lasts are initially made from hard woods then a plastic poly mould is made replicating the wooden shoe last, this is the last that the shoe is basically made on. I have simplified the process significantly in print as it really is a big topic. Not only are there no standard worldwide sizes but technically there are no standard width fittings either. In the industry the measurements are taken in CM.
Thank you David for such an enlightening and fantastic visit.