♥ What's your background?
I moved abroad when I was 13 with my family and I went to an English private school which I absolutely hated with a passion. I felt like I was wasting my time, as every art lesson I did we either drew an orange/apple or pear and there was no creativity in any subject within school including art, which I found annoying!
The only lesson I did enjoy was Business Studies, and this was only subject I was any good at! I always felt that although school helps to a point, the need for qualifications in life is not necessarily the right path for everyone. So I decided to leave at the age of 15 without any qualifications at all. I then moved back to the UK at the age of 16, to study hairdressing at a local college which I did for 1 day a week whilst working at a hair salon for the remainder for 3 years. I enjoyed the creative side of hairdressing and the social side of it – I wasn’t cut out for a 9-7 job. And I have never been very good at being told what to do! So, I wanted to get out of hairdressing, as I felt life was passing me by and I wasn’t doing something that I wanted to do. I wanted to make my mark doing something more creative and enjoyable incorporating my love for business. This then led me on to what I’m doing now.
Bubbly Gum pump
♥ How did you decide to start designing shoes?
It kind of happened out of nowhere really! One Sunday, I was really bored, so I decided to sketch some designs for shoes. I had always been interested in fashion and sketched to pass the time (although I wouldn’t say I’m very good at drawing) and see what I could create. The first designs are pretty much exactly the same as they appear in the Created in Candyland collection. From design to manufacturing it has happened in just over a year which I find really amusing, as it was just an act of boredom that developed into a real passion for the fashion and in particular the shoe industry.
♥ What's the inspiration behind your shoe line?
The main inspiration behind the whole label is Candy, whether it is colour, texture of material used, packaging and so on. I used vintage shoe shapes to inspire certain elements of the shoes in the current collection. Overall the inspiration was encompassed by the need to provide Kandee shoe wearers with a beautiful, almost edible, extremely well made shoe.
Dolly Mix Wedge
♥ Tell me more about the process behind making a shoe line.
Where to start... I think I could write a book! When I started, I thought it was a simple line process of designing, getting them made and selling them. But as the label has developed, I have learnt it isn’t that easy and actually the process of designing and manufacturing shoes is one of the hardest things to do within the fashion industry.
The biggest issue was finding a good quality manufacturer which shared my ethos of the brand – which is amazing quality, quirky colours yet wearable. That was hard! Making the samples with redesigns/new colours/quality control actually took over 7 months – which seemed like an eternity but I know understand the shoes needed this process to reach the level that is seen in the collection now. Developing the website was another hurdle – and I’m actually still finishing it as I type – I am never 100% content with anything, I want everything to be perfect and expect that with everything I do. After all of that, the next issue on the agenda is promoting the label and collection. I have had to find a PR company to work with, create packaging and also the day to day running of a label, including paperwork/import and export and even updating the Twitter profile! I would say it is not just as easy as being a designer or creative – 80% is business knowledge but that doesn’t mean if you have a dream you shouldn’t do it.
♥ Who are you favourite designers?
I don’t have a list of favourite designers per se. I like the classic look of Chanel, the futuristic look of Balenciaga and the dramatic quality of the late Alexander McQueen. But for my personal style, it’s really dependent on the day!
Peppermint cream pumps
♥ What were you like growing up?
I have always been told I was really good growing up as a child, as I was quiet child and generally only had one or two outbursts which is similar now! I think I have always been interested in business, from selling sweets from outside of school to kids who weren’t allowed out to drawing clothing and selling potential designs to my family. Although the latter didn’t turned out as well as they never brought any!
♥ What did you want to be when you were a little kid?
From a young age, I have always changed my mind on which job I would like to do. At the age of 6, I wanted to be a cleaner. At the age of 8, I wanted to be a singer (although I can’t sing!!!). At the age of 15, I wanted to be a hairdresser – just so I could leave school! And now, I’ll stick with my label Kandee!
♥ Top 5 best animals
♥ Top 5 movies
• Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke
• Richie Rich
• Child’s Play
• Slumdog Millionaire
• The Holiday
♥ Top 5 bands
• Florence and the Machine
• Lady Gaga
• Michael Jackson
• Cheryl Cole
♥ Who is the Kandee woman?
The Kandee woman is any woman who is fashion forward, quirky, enjoys a good quality pair of shoes and isn’t afraid to wear what she likes, when she likes.
Kandee shoes is due to launch this Summer.
For more information about the official launch date, follow Kandee shoes on Twitter.
You can see the line on Catwalk Genius.
All photos © Mademoiselle Robot