Each month Smarta invites the founder of a fast-growth company to share their story and the lessons they’ve learnt along the way. This month they have Sarah Watkinson-Yull, Founder of Yull Shoes and she will be sharing her experience in taking her footwear brand to international markets.
To be successful in the UK is one thing, but being able to take your business overseas can seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be and businesses who have diversified their customer base grow at a much faster rate. International expansion is an exciting place to be and can reap numerous rewards.
Sarah will talk about her experiences of:
- Scaling a business to maximise growth
- Building a brand with international expansion in mind
- Executing the perfect strategy to trade overseas
- Adapting to different markets and knowing customers’ needs
Santander Breakthrough Business Events Webinar:
‘How to Manage International Expansion’
Featuring Sarah Watkinson-Yull, Founder of Yull Shoes
Hosted by Matt Thomas, co-founder of Smarta
1pm - 2pm
Friday 28th October 2015
FREE TO JOIN
The webinar is live, interactive and is completely free to join. Even better, Matt and Sarah will be taking your questions with a live Q&A where you can glean quick and easy solutions you can apply to your business the same day.
Last week we had a stand at the first ever Stylist Live event and we've only just recovered. We had the most wonderful time meeting our customers and introducing Yull to many more - the shoes were flying off the shelves. There was amazing talks from Salmon Rushdie, Katie Piper, Nigella Lawson, Davina McCall and Ottolenghi to name just a few!
Thanking everyone for an amazing time and we can't wait to do it again next year.
You can now buy Chelsea and Fulham Boots from Black Truffle!
We are sold out online in the Chelsea Brogue in sizes 5 & 6 so head to Black Truffle, 4 Broadway Market, London, E8 4QJ to get them whilst you still can.
The boutique is a haven of products from far and wide, offering it's customers an opportunity to discover some rare finds in the world of fashion and design.
Mainly offering shoes, they also offer clothes and gifts and even the wrapping paper to wrap it. The Black Truffle boutique opened up for business on Broadway Market in London's East End in 2003. When things became a little too cramped for size in the original store at no. 74 Broadway Market.
In 2009 the Black Truffle team packed up the shoe boxes and moved a few door down the street to no. 4 where three times the space gave both customers and staff a little more room to breath.
Black Truffle continues to trade at the heart of the Broadway Market community and is now proud to be celebrating over 12 years on this lively and vibrant street.
The Black Truffle online store brings customers another opportunity to purchase some of the pieces we so passionately offer in the Broaway Market store.Black Truffle has been the winner of The Drapers Footwear Awards for Best New Shoe Store in the UK and also shortlisted for it's UK Independent Footwear Store of the Year Award.
Time Out has also voted Black Truffle amongst its top 50 stores in London.
We are a big fan of all the gorgeous piggies around the store and we especially love this painting below, it is well worth a visit if not to try on the Yull Chelsea and Fulham boots!
They also have some amazing red wellies on sale, perfect for Guy Fawkes night coming up.
Stylist Live is a four-day festival of culture, catwalks, cocktails and conversation hosted by Edith Bowman and Dawn O’Porter. From Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 October at the Business Design Centre in London’s Islington, experience everything you love about Stylist magazine brought to life with fashion, beauty, music, books, celebrities, food and drink, and much, much more….
We've been picked by the Stylist team to exhibit at the event due to Stylist Live’s very own co-host, Dawn O’Porter being a fan.You can view our classic and contemporary styles – all finished with a Made in Britain stamp. Come along and say hello, we are next to the champagne bar on stand M13.
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)!
We've just had these lovely photos of some bespoke wedding shoes we made for Becca and Alex's wedding.
Alex runs The Cotswolds Tailor so the Groom's party were dressed to the nines in matching tweed. Bex got in touch with us to make some matching shoes and here are the gorgeous photos.
Congratulations again to the Bride and Groom!
Celebrate all things British this Saturday, 3rd October as it is Buy British Day. Backed by the House of Commons it's a day where everyone should play their part and buy something British. If everyone spent just £10 on something made in Britain the multiplier effect on the economy would be astronomical!
Ironically the stamp Made in Britain has long been seen as a badge of quality overseas but less so at home. Buy British Day has been launched to try and change that.
What better day to share some photos of our factory in London with you! #BuyBritishDay
The gorgeous up and coming London based model Eni Majek is a newly converted fan of Yull. She described Yull as 'Now a fast-booming business that has caught the attention of many – including mine' Thank you, we love you!
Here she is modelling her Yull Boroughs which she says are 'the perfect pair when it comes to relaxing those feet after a long day of castings, but to still add that extra-height and feel comfortable whilst out and about.'