09 Sep 2013
A full week and 4 days have gone by since we went ‘live.’ There have been many highlights, notably the sales but a few good things have happened some of which will be a ‘watch this space…’
I have had some truly wonderful comments from people who have taken the ‘leap of faith’ and ordered a pair of British Flat Shoe’s.
‘I have a dream of a cupboard full of your shoes in every colour!’
‘ I am so happy with them. I am very rarely happy with new shoes, they usually hurt for at least 2 wks, giving me blisters!’
‘Perfect - A pair for every outfit!’
‘My shoes arrived today thank you, really good quality and very comfortable!’
Thank you for ALL the wonderful comments, it is very pleasing that you have all taken the time to write to me.
One of the points I mentioned in my previous blog was the need to provide both size 3 and 9 as quite a few people have asked me if I will be producing these sizes. Following both the show and some subsequent email requests I am pleased to announce that I will have both of these sizes in the full (current) colour range by the 11th October. If anybody would like to reserve a pair in either of these sizes please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly put a pair aside for you.
Onto another popular subject – half sizes; Due to popular demand for A British Flat Shoe in half sizes, I have again looked at the manufacturing costs. The breakdown of parts means I will have to purchase several lasts (foot forms) in each half size, so 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 6.5, 7.5 and 8.5, and various sets of knives, (patterns cutters - I call them the cookie cutters.) for each component of the shoe; i.e. inner sock, sole, uppers, inners etcetera. I am now in possession of the cost breakdowns and working out what I can afford to invest in this as a project. I will keep you informed of the progress as things develop…no promises yet!
The British Flat Union Jack Shoe; If any of you have seen my Facebook page I mentioned last week that I was in the preliminary stages of looking at various patterns and designs. I want The British Flat version to look a little different than what is currently on offer in the market. I do not want to make a wholly ‘material’ shoe. Having looked and ordered samples of Union Jacks from fabric companies I was still not sure that this was the look I was trying to achieve. The criteria is to continue to make, and not compromise on, the same great British workmanship involved, provide the same levels of comfort, support and product of a British Flat Shoe. I am fairly sure that the shoe itself will be produced in a soft nappa leather in a cobalt blue. The flat itself will be either be built into the leather in strips of leather or by using binding and building the flag on top of the shoe. Samples are being made up at the moment. I will bring you progress on this as I develop the shoe and importantly a release date.
Publicity: The British Family Fayre held at Squerryes Court on the 31st August. The BBC Breakfast Crew filmed some of the workshops of the day, one of which was King of Shaves http://www.shave.com/ and Farrington Oil http://www.farrington-oils.co.uk/ Both products I can proudly say I have purchased. I have been using Farringtons Mellow Yellow oil for a little while now and find it far superior to any other cooking (rapeseed) oil on the market. There is a very short clip on me at the beginning shaking out our Union Jack…not quite infamy yet but going in the right direction. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24012862
Thank you again for all your wonderful support this past week, please keep the comments, and suggestions, coming in.
02 Sep 2013
How does it feel so far? Absolutely fantastic is the answer!
The website went live on Friday and much to our delight we woke up to some fabulous orders of our flat shoes which was very encouraging. Throughout the day more orders continued to come in which added to the general feeling of excitement after all the hard and preparations in bringing this to life. All in all a really 'TOP' day.
I approached a couple of companies with regard to some free listings one group in particular Buy From GB http://www.buyfromgb.com/ a fantastic group set up to help small business like me, give support and generally work very hard on our behalf. Buy from GB will be doing a feature on The British Flat Shoe company in the coming weeks.
For the past few weeks I have been 'gearing' up to launch at the British Family Fayre which was being organised by none other than the British Family. http://britishfamily.co.uk/ The British Family Fayre was going to be a collaboration and showcase of some of the companies and business who are manufacturing their products here in the UK.
Very early doors on Saturday morning we drove down to Squerryes Court in Westerham and set up our little stand.
The sun shone and it promised to be a fantastic day. Around 11am the doors opened and visitors started to come in, other than the British Flat Shoe Co. Some 4000 visitors were treated to interactive workshops by a number of other British manufactured products and other stands and stalls making and selling their goods in the UK. The British Family have done a tremendous job in pulling the fayre together - hats off to them.
The event was very well received and a great success, I made many new friends and got to see some other fabulous British made products as well. One of my favourites was Simply Ice Cream http://www.simplyicecream.co.uk/ who make, and I'm not kidding the most amazing ice cream and sorbets - check them out.
I had a fantastic response to my shoes and made some sales (good news and thank you to all who purchased, you made my day)...this event was important to us on so many levels; the show was not just about visibility and gaining feedback on my product but also to demonstrate and support the buy British campaign which is having a renaissance in this country.
Some of the feedback received was that I needed to manufacture in a size 3 and size 9. I have taken this onboard and today commisioned the factory to make the knives (pattern cutters) for these sizes. All feedback is important, it is only thorugh your feedback as the customer and ultimate consumer can I grow my company. The half sizes however may have to wait a little longer, this is currently on the list called 'financially challening currently.'
Rolling onto this morning I had the absolute delight and pleasure of seeing http://www.theimageguru.com/ post a blog about a pair of shoes she bought on Friday. She was actually my very first web customers so the fact that she took the time to make a blog about the shoes was amazing - thank you!
So, to sum up the support has been beyond what i could have imagined, I have made some sales and experiencing the best 'career' days of my life.
29 Aug 2013
Firstly, I think a little introduction as to who I am what I am doing..in case you missed the 'our story' section on the website I will for now re-iterate what The British Flat Shoe Company is about.
The founder and owner of The British Flat Shoe Company is Charlotte Henderson.
We are a British company with a clear message:
“We believe and care about British quality and British jobs whilst providing you with a simple, classic, exceptionally well made quality shoe you will be proud of and deserve to wear. “
A gap in the market became apparent after trying to source a pair of wholly British manufactured flat ladies shoe. The shoes had to be fashionable but simple, honest and comfortable and made from premium quality material.
Our shoes are a ‘genuine’ British produced product. Materials are sourced, the product manufactured, hand cut and hand finished right here in Great Britain. For the construction we took a classic ballerina style shoe then selected premium leathers, double lined the inside with Cambrelle and the softest Lamb Nappa then added a comfort padded sole all as standard. Our shoes were re-designed to minimise undesirable toe cleavage, another distinct difference between our shoes and our competitors is the slightly more generous cut to ensue comfort across the width whilst still providing support. We then went one step further and built in an invisible foam heel support increasing the comfort and all-day wearability of the shoe.
The versatility and practicality of these shoes means you can wear them to work, to meetings, shopping or just team up with a great pair of your favourite jeans for a weekend casual look.
The British Flat Shoe Company is proud to be supporting the tradition of British family shoe making.