Sarah, Yull London Shoe designer was recently interviewed by Lotte Brouwer from Country and Townhouse Magazine to celebrate Buy British Day.
Where did the idea for Yull shoes come about?
I always wanted to start a truly British brand, it was whilst working for the Pentland group in 2006 when I realised that many of the ‘British brands’ they look after were actually made overseas despite promoting British brand values. I wanted to start a shoe company that was truly British through and through.
Tell us about your latest collection.
The latest collection for A/W15 which is now on sale is inspired by the ’80s. My favourite shoe is the ‘Flash’ shoe inspired by the cult hit Flash Gordon. It’s also a great heel height so can get away with wearing it any time of day! We also have our first ever gold party heels!
What inspired you to set up your own company?
Wanting to be the boss — I don’t like being told what to do!
What challenges did you face in setting up your own business?
There are so many challenges every day — it never gets easier! Cashflow is always a pet hate. And having to do accounts — yuck! Being a fairly unknown brand is always a hard one, however, when people I meet at shows and events have actually heard of my brand and understand the core values it makes all of the hard stuff worth it!
What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs? Any key lessons or advice?
Be in it for the long run and love what you do. Most importantly if you have a dream to do something, go for it! Don’t be afraid of failing. Every entrepreneur has failed!
What has been your proudest moment so far?
I’m still waiting for Kate Middleton to wear my shoes — that would then be my proudest moment!
Have there been any funny or embarrassing moments?
When we first started to manufacture in England, our quality was not quite up to standard. It has been a long and drawn out process to get the quality to where it is now. We had a lot of hype about the made in England, but the product didn’t deliver. We had to improve our components and therefore up our price — but we think people don’t mind paying a bit more for the proper quality.
Any exciting plans or developments in the pipeline?
So many! We are launching our first ever sandals in the spring, and for A/W16 we are launching some fantastic new boots (a great take on a long riding boot to add to the collection!)
Who are some of your fans?
Dawn O’Porter and Paloma Faith to name a couple!
What would be your ultimate dream?
To be the go-to destination for British shoes. We would love to open up a shop in London and be stocked in every metropolitan city!
Tell us a bit about Stylist Live
We have been handpicked to exhibit at Stylist Live from 15 to 18 October at the Business Design Centre in Islington, so please come and say hello and try on some shoes!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Champagne! My favourite is Collard-Picard, you can’t buy it in London so I have to have it shipped!
Best chat up line / attempt so far?
My best chat up line was to my ex boyfriend. He was doing some magic in a restaurant and asked me to sign my name on a card. I said instead ‘can I write my phone number’ I think he now uses that in his show in Las Vegas!
Quickest way to your heart?
Shoes, tea and champagne (probably in that order)!