Manchester Evening News
Lifelong pals Emily Blake and Tracey Taylor have launched a new British footwear brand.
Based in Romiley, Stockport, the pair started Taylor Blake in June last year.
Blake, aged 36, has worked in the footwear industry since 2000 – designing shoes for big high street and supermarket chains.
She said: “Due to the nature of their wholesale and supply work I was often in the Far East – Hong Kong, China and Taiwan – overseeing production and working with UK buyers.”
Taylor of Disley, came on board swapping her high-powered career in marketing and e-commerce to join Blake.
“We’ve been friends for years” she said.
“I knew she was working on a collection of ballerina shoes and she wanted a partner to help her make the leap, but it wasn’t until I saw her amazing designs that I knew I had to jump in with both feet and go for it.”
The pair have now combined skills to create a brand of luxurious everyday ballerina shoes selling directly online.
Blake said: “We are currently working with family-run Spanish factories to create these beautiful shoes and we are sourcing some fabulous European materials. The result has seen one-in-seven customers returning to buy second, third and even fourth pairs of our shoes.”
Prices range from £80 to £90 and Taylor Blake appeals to women from 25 up to 60 years old.
Since launching the website they have seen sales grow month on month.
Blake said: “January was the biggest sales month so far with a 533 per cent increase through using our network to offer tactical marketing offers.”
The start-up have a second collection launching in the coming weeks called Kaleidoscope.
And they have ambitions to see Taylor Blakes in retailers across the UK and Europe.
Blake said: “Starting our own British shoe brand has been exhilarating.
“Despite both having experience in the footwear and retail industry, we have had so much to learn.
“We have hundreds of ideas and dreams for the future but find that, as there are only two of us at the moment, we have to be ruthlessly organised and prioritisation is key.”
The pair are currently looking for an agent to make the next step into retailers.