Every Autumn, there is that eternal search for a great pair of boots. A pair of boots that will keep you feet cosy throughout Winter, that look stylish and cool. A perfect pair of boots should see you through all types of situations, from work, to play, to kicking autumn leaves in the park. Yes, a perfect pair of boots is what we all deserve, right?
Well, let me introduce you to my latest sponsors, Seven Boot Lane. A local West Country family business who make the most stylish boots in the softest of Spanish leather…..
|Owner of Seven Boot Lane – Sebastian Edwards|
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?
After working for 15 years at a major shoe company I began to dream about setting up my own footwear brand. I had worked with some of the best manufacturers in Europe and there was no doubt in my mind that boots would be our specialism. There is something beautiful about a great pair of boots: the shapes, the leathers, the hardware, and I love the way boots seem to hold a superior status in people’s wardrobes. Since then (2 years ago) we have enjoyed a roller coaster of excitement as our young company has gradually become established.
What is your inspiration behind opening the shop?
Our business is mainly wholesale and online, but we felt it was really important to have a place where the brand could ‘live’ in a tangible environment: somewhere where the whole collection would be available in all its glory. We chose Bath partly because it has become a major shopping destination – both regionally and internationally – and partly because the city feels like a good fit for our brand.
How would you describe the feel of your shop?
The shop is simple and beautiful. It has a clean layout, which is designed to make the most of our boots. We are lucky to have a big space that allows us to display the collection really effectively. We also stock a Danish clothing brand called Second Female, which complements our footwear perfectly and gives the store a really warm feeling. I hope it is a welcoming and relaxing environment: shopping for boots is not something that should be rushed.
I love your lookbook, could you tell us your inspirations behind the collection?
This autumn’s collection showcases what’s most important to our brand: effortlessly simple design that is timeless and transcends seasonal fashion; beautiful materials and colours, complemented by individual details that set our boots apart from the rest; the key profiles that our customers are looking for this year – bikers, heeled western boots, Chelsea boots, equestrian styling… I particularly love our rich deep suede colour palette – the charcoal and bordo, and the copper trims we used – which worked really well on our shoot and lend a strong autumnal feel to the collection.
Your boots are made in Spain, could you tell us a little about your factory there?
One of the greatest things about starting your own company is that you choose who you work with. And one of the greatest things about our company is our factory. Our partnership with them has only been going for a couple of years but already we are like family to each other. Not only do we share the same values on design and quality, but we also have become close friends and we love working together. Theirs is a small family-run operation, just like ours. All the people who work there are highly skilled craftsmen and women who take great pride in their work. Rightly so, because the end product is stunning.
What is a typical working day for you?
There is no such thing! Each day throws something new at us because we are small and growing fast. It can be frustrating because time is hard to manage, but it’s also revitalising to have different challenges all the time. In one day I might well spend a couple of hours planning the next collection, then a couple of hours doing some accounts, and finish up by packing and shipping the day’s orders. Because we have a large wholesale business, and we sell to the trade up to 6 months ahead of the season, we are always managing 3 different seasons at once so there’s never a dull moment! Customers take a lot of looking after too, and we pride ourselves on providing the best service possible: when you run your own business, your customer is your boss.
What do you love most about what you do?
Making beautiful boots and seeing people wearing them.
You regularly donate to two charities, could you tell us a little about this?
We have a lot of pairs of samples and end of line stock which we are really glad to be able to donate. The two organisations that we work with have managed to establish a premium charity shop model which generates considerable income for the charities. Mary Portas was instrumental in creating the concept of the Save the Children Living and Giving stores – there are 15 of these now and they are as beautifully merchandised as some of the best boutiques you will see. If we donate to these kinds of shops, they are able to command a higher price for the product, so everyone’s a winner.
If you could see a pair of your boots on a celebrity who would you choose and why?
Kate Moss, because she has style and coolness that has endured.
What do you think is going to be a ‘hot’ fashion trend for this season?
Well you should always dress from the shoes up – obviously – so make sure they are making enough of a statement – chunky is good. Then go for super skinny or boyfriend jeans, and a big shearling coat. These contrasts work well, they are flattering and they lend a touch of attitude.
Where do you like to shop for clothes and interiors?
Mimi Noor in Bath is one of our favourite stores. Mimi has an amazing selection of denim as well as some great every day casual wear. We are always sending our customers there for jeans to go with our boots. Interiors are tricky – many of my favourite things have come from Glastonbury Reclamation.
If you were stranded in the wilds what item would you want with you to survive?
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would be very happy to be here, managing a successful shoe brand. Or possibly two!
Seven Boot Lane’s boots are just perfect. You all want a pair don’t you, I can tell! Well Littlegreenshed and Seven Boot Lane have teamed up to giveaway one pair of boots of your choice to a lucky Littlegreenshed reader! OMG! It’s true, really!
All you need to do is fill in the little raffle widget below. Winner will be announced next Friday 7th November. Good luck!