“I saved my business from failure during the pandemic – now my shoes are worn by A-list celebrities and the Duchess of Cornwall”

0

For over five years, footwear brand Sole Bliss has filled a much-needed gap in the market: providing comfortable yet stylish high heels for people with wide feet, bunions and other foot issues. The shoes are designed with advanced technology to support the balls of the feet, with hidden depth to accommodate wider feet and a hidden “bunion bed” to conceal bunions or difficult joints, allowing wearers to enjoy fashionable designs and flattering silhouettes with comfort and ease. .

The company started in 2017 after founder Lisa Kay, 58, developed a bunion herself and started having problems with her joints. She realized how many other people – at the time, she says, around 10 million women – were suffering from the same thing and wanted to create a comfortable, fashionable shoe for everyone.

“We’ve grown a lot since then,” said Lisa, a north London resident. “We were becoming very well known as the market leader in comfortable heels, and in early March 2020 we had just launched in the United States.

“Obviously things happened [from] from bad to worse very quickly in March. We came back from our huge press event in New York, and within three weeks everyone was in lockdown. There was no way people would need or buy heels for the foreseeable future.”

READ MORE: Meet the London fashion designer, 24, whose beautiful dresses look straight out of Bridgerton



“Things got worse very quickly in March 2020,” Lisa said, but the savvy businesswoman came up with an incredible new idea that saved Sole Bliss

In February 2020, Sole Bliss recorded sales of nearly half a million pounds. In the last two weeks of March 2020 that figure was £15,000 – so Lisa needed to make a quick change to save her business.

Lisa noticed the growing need for loungewear and flats, and also noticed a potential problem with people walking barefoot or wearing ill-fitting slippers around the house that didn’t support their feet, and she realized that she should transform her entire business. and product offering.

“I contacted my shoe factory in Italy which I have known for almost 20 years. They also manufacture for Gucci and Alexander McQueen and for years were too busy to help me create a brand new invention. But suddenly they had more time for their hands and they were happy to provide me with production space,” she said.



Do you want to stay up to date with the latest news, views, features, and opinions from across the city?

MyLondon The 12’s brilliant newsletter is full of all the latest news to keep you entertained, informed and motivated.

You’ll receive 12 stories straight to your inbox around noon. It’s the perfect lunchtime read.

And what’s more, it’s FREE!

The MyLondon team tell London stories for Londoners. Our reporters cover all the news you need – from City Hall to your local streets, so you never miss a moment.

Don’t skip a beat and sign up for The 12 newsletter here.

A brand new product was born in August 2020: the Sole Bliss Miracle Trainer.

“We decided to call it the Miracle Trainer because we kept getting people to say, ‘Oh my god, they’re like miracle trainers’. Because they’re so comfortable,” said Lisa.

“These aren’t just for people with foot pain, they’re for anyone who just wants really comfortable shoes.”



“We decided to call it the Miracle Trainer, because we kept getting people to say, ‘Oh my god, they’re like miracle trainers’.”

The Miracle Trainers are very deep and wide, although this is disguised and imperceptible. This means that people with wider feet and joint issues have extra room in the front of the shoe while the rear is snug, eliminating the need to buy shoes. a size or two too big to accommodate a bunion or wider foot.

There are also three layers of cushioning underfoot: the top layer softens and cushions, the second layer contours the foot, and the third supports the foot against hard surfaces. This is the case with all Sole Bliss shoes, from high heels to sneakers.

“For the sneakers, we developed an anatomically contoured footbed and luxurious cushioning – so they’re really, really, really super comfortable,” Lisa said.

Buyers certainly agree. The Miracle Trainer sold out in less than 48 hours, quickly picked up by the Duchess of Cornwall (who has already shown her love for Sole Bliss heels), Helen Mirren and Emma Thompson, with 10,000 pairs sold in a year.



Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in Sole Bliss heels at the Royal Cornwall Show

Now that the world is opening up again after Covid, Sole Bliss is reworking its range of heels, “for all the parties that are going to be this year”, and will soon be launching a range of men’s trainers as well.

“I think it’s really important for people to be comfortable, even when they’re wearing high heels,” Lisa said. “It is important to know that there are shoes that can be beautiful and comfortable.”



Sole Bliss high heels are as fashionable as the rest, but they are specially designed to be comfortable and supportive for people with wide feet, bunions, joint problems and other foot problems.
Sole Bliss high heels are as fashionable as the rest, but they are specially designed to be comfortable and supportive for people with wide feet, bunions, joint problems and other foot problems.

Lisa says she’s also noticed that more people are investing in their overall foot health: after two years of comfort at home, many people no longer want to wear painful heels to the office or to parties and choose Sole Bliss for a stylish yet comfortable alternative.

“It’s very exciting to think that so many women are wearing my shoes on their feet,” she said. “I am incredibly grateful to everyone who supported my business during its most precarious time. Looking back on the darkest days of 2 years ago, I could never have imagined this happening.”

To learn more about Sole Bliss and to shop the collection, visit solebliss.com.

Got a story you think MyLondon should tell? Email [email protected]

Share.

Comments are closed.