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A Look Inside the Future

Hello! My name is Catriona. I am the creator of Little Lulu’s. I hope you like the website and even more, I hope you like the shoes.

I have been a lover of shoes for as long as I can remember. When people asked me as a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer was always that I wanted to work in a shoe shop. As a student I studied footwear and accessory design at the prestigious Cordwainers’ College. The alumni has a very famous name list including Patrick Cox, Jimmy Choo, Emma Hope to name a few.

After a long time love affair with shoes inexplicably I fell in love with handbag design and pursued a career in that. I have worked in the fashion industry for about 11 years as a handbag designer, designing high-end Italian made handbags as well as fast fashion faux leather bags for high street retailers. My career has taken me to Hong Kong to live briefly with international travel to some of the worlds’ fashion capitols such as Paris, Tokyo, Milan. But it was only when I settled back in my hometown of Sheffield and started a family that I decided I wanted to start a business of my own.

It is something I always talked about doing throughout my career but I never really had enough inclination to do it. Then I had my daughter, Layla. For me I think it was such a life changing experience, it helped me to focus my mind and realise a dream I had always wished for. I think I gained the confidence I was lacking beforehand. Initially I planned to hand make baby shoes myself on my leather sewing machine in the attic. It would be a small outfit selling on etsy and at craft fairs but as I made more plans it seamed to take on a life of its own. I was searching for factories and making plans for a website of my own. When I found the wonderful Italian atelier where the shoes are made I was hooked and really wanted to make it work on a larger scale. I went to visit them and the first range was planned. The factory produce luxury baby footwear offering the kind of collectable item that goes beyond immediate need.

The idea behind the name came from my desire for my shoes to be as covetable as the fabulous shoes by the likes of Christian Louboutin or Manolo Blahnik are to ladies worldwide. Of course I couldn’t use my first idea, Little Louboutin’s so instead opted for an abbreviation of Little Lulu’s.

Setting up Little Lulu’s has been a roller coaster of emotion with a lesson learned at every step of the way and I have loved every minute. I have had some wonderful help in getting it all set up. I have been having one on one coaching sessions courtesy of Business Sheffield, which has been invaluable. I couldn’t have done it without them. If you are thinking of setting up your own business I would strongly recommend you get some guidance like this. It is great to have someone impartial to bounce your ideas off. The branding and web design has all been done by the fabulous design agency Tonik. They have also given me some stellar guidance and support in the start up process.

My friend and super photographer, Karina Lax from Richmond Pictures, has done all the beautiful photography. She has also been a great source of support and advice along the way!

Luay, my wonderful husband, has been an amazing support throughout the whole process. He is great to bounce ideas off and has been tremendously patient when I have been less than calm! He’s the best!

I am really proud of what has been achieved. I love the little cutie shoes and I really hope you do too! Please feel free to get in touch any time.

Catriona xxx

 

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