From China to Cheshire – How Taylor Blake began…
Lots of people have recently told me that what they love most (apart from the shoes themselves) is that they are designed by me in my loft on my trusty mac…. So I thought I’d tell you a little more about myself…
I have been a footwear designer for 18 years and mum to two fabulously nutty children, one boy and one girl. I absolutely love working in shoes, I took a career break after having the children as flying off to the Far East to source materials just didn’t really work with two under 4’s at home! So, I gave up my job to look after my family for a few years.
I still had the ideas, the passion and the drive for designing shoes but I wanted to change my direction. Throughout my career I have always worked on a large scale. Big shoe orders, from big companies, with big factories, churning thousands of pairs of shoes out in far flung corners of the world. Boxes heading to the high streets of Britain and cartons departing for supermarkets. And I loved it. The travel and the many fabulous people I worked with far and wide. But.... I always knew that one day I'd work closer to home on a project that for me would be a little more special, something that would feel a little more personal. I knew that one day I would work with smaller European family inherited factories. Within a less frantic environment, where beautiful materials and high quality workmanship combine to create something a bit special.
That’s why launching Taylor Blake has been a dream come true for me. I’ve been able to design the shoes that I’d love to wear – ideas that have been on my sketchpad for years. The people that make our shoes are true craftsmen and take real pride in their work and are a big part of making my dream a reality.
All our shoes are handcrafted in a family run factory in Spain. I use the finest European leathers personally chosen by myself. I am proud to be able to say that every shoe is designed by myself here in Britain and made by true Spanish craftspeople, a country that has long been synonymous with the highest quality leather shoe manufacture. Each of our eye catching designs are made from full leather - insoles and outers. We have an instantly recognisable style combined with signature elements that has seen customers love our ballet flat shoes so much they come back and buy them in a multitude of colours! One customer even has 7 pairs! A real testament to the quality and comfort of these beautiful shoes…
In fact, a really proud moment personally for me was at last years Footwear Awards I was shortlisted as Designer of the Year! To achieve this accolade doing a job I love is just the most fabulous feeling!
People always ask me which is my favourite shoe… For now, its Vine, as a true magpie I love the sparkly gemstone. But with new designs in the pipeline watch this space as a girl can always change her mind...!
Lots of love