When it comes to shopping for shoes, my criteria is pretty simple. Comfort comes first, followed by eye-catching design that also goes with everything I wear (I know, I can be picky!). And then I discovered Shoeq, a range of handcrafted, ultra comfortable and ultra sparkly shoes! Get 10% off with my code TEZZY10
I met up with Australian-born, UAE based mummy of two and founder of Shoeq, who gave us a wee introduction to her collection instore:
An Interview with Kate Tavener, Founder of Shoeq
What were you doing before starting Shoeq?
I have a University Degree in Property Development and I worked in the industry for almost 20 years, first in Australia and then with a few developers in Dubai
Do you have any prior experience in the fashion industry?
None! I’ve taught myself everything that I’ve needed to know along the way…..but I’m constantly learning and trying to grow and take on new challenges.
Please tell us the story behind Shoeq, how the brand was created, and how you came up with the name.
I came up with the idea for Shoeq when we were on holiday in Spain just after my second child was born. I had take a short career break when my first child was born to focus on my family but found myself constantly itching to use my brain a little more. I didn’t want to go back to work full time while my babies were so young but hard time work is very hard to come by in Dubai! We took a family holiday to Spain when my daughter was 15 months old and my son only a few weeks old. My daughter hated wearing shoes and so I tried out the Avarca sandals on her that are sold everywhere in Spain and to my surprise she loved them, they were the firs shoe she would keep on her feet. I ended up buying myself a matching pair and put a photo on facebook of us in our matching shoes and lots of my friends in Dubai commented saying they wanted a pair also. On a whim I ended up reaching out to one of the main suppliers in Spain and asking if they wanted a dubai partner, and the rest is history. The name Shoeq is something I made up, originally I was going to call it the Shoe Souq but I thought that sounded a little dull so I combined Shoe and Souq together to get Shoeq!
Where are the shoes made, and what materials are used?
All of our shoes are made in Spain in small family run workshops by skilled shoe artisans. We are proud to say that our handcrafted shoes support centuries old traditional shoe craftmanship. The shoes are mostly made out of super soft leathers although we do also stock a vegan range. The soles are either made of recycled car tyres or jute rope soles depending on the type of shoe. Most of our range comes with a cushioned micro fibre innersole as well.
What’s the best selling piece, and why?
Generally our wedges although mummy and me styles sell very well as well. All of our wedges are below 8cm height and they feature our signature micro fibre cushioned innersole so they are super comfy to wear all day and all night. Customers often tell us that they can no longer wear ‘normal heels’ once they have gotten used to Shoeq Wedges as ours are so comfortable.
What’s new at Shoeq?
We have just released a brand new Crossover Slide collection. We had originally planned and designed it for release just before summer but with Covid hitting everyone hard, the release was a bit delayed. We’ve put a lot of research and design into them so we are really happy to finally launch them and so far they have been well received.
Who are your regular clients? What keeps them coming back?
We have a really strong loyal base of customers that are repeat buyers for which we are super grateful for. Some of our customers have been buying from us for almost 5 years now. We aim to provide excellent customer service which I think is something that our customers appreciate. All of our shoes come with a quality guarantee. And we make sure that every shoe in our range is super comfortable which our customers have come to know and love about Shoeq.
Any advice for budding mumpreneurs?
Well its not easy that’s for sure! My children were both babies when I started Shoeq and juggling young kids and a growing business is really hard, it’s a constant struggle trying to find the time to fit everything in. But as they say, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, so if you have a real passion for something that you want to do just go for it. Be prepared to put in the time and effort but you’ll be super glad that you did.
Where can we buy Shoeq shoes?
Our online boutique at www.shoeq.ae is open 24/7. We have next day delivery across the UAE and a Shoeq Concierge service if you are unsure of your sizing. Otherwise you can shop instore at our flagship stores at The Courtyard or Dubai Festival Plaza – https://shoeq.ae/pages/find-us
What is the price range?
Our handcrafted kids shoes start at AED 200. Most of our adults range is between 275 – 350 with wedges at AED 375. Great prices for handcrafted shoes!!