Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I completed my studies at Philip Green’s Fashion Retail Academy in 2009 before working for my families business, in particular focusing on the import and export aspects of business. I established Yull in 2011 at the age of 21 and since then took the decision to combine my creative side and ardor for fashion with my business knowledge in the launching of Yull.
Can you tell me a little more about Yull shoes?
Yull is classic styling with a twist. The Yull moto is ‘Style over fashion’ a break from the current trend-following flow of impractical and ephemeral shoe brands.
Did you always want to design shoes?
Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to design shoes and start my own business, I’ve always been very creative. The great thing about designing shoes is that I get to wear my own shoes, everyday I get to walk in my own shoes!
What sets Yull shoes apart from other shoe brand?
What sets Yull shoes apart from other shoe brands is that it is one of the only independent shoe brands manufacturing high heels in Britain. What is also unique is the brand philosophy, which is ‘Style over fashion’, as I said, a break from the current trend-following flow of impractical high heels.
How do you manage your time between full time studies and running Yull?
I was at first apprehensive about working and running a business while also studying, although in actual fact I realised that university was where I could establish my independence with all the free time I had besides lectures. Time management is not easy considering assignments, deadlines and revision, running this business I’ve had to prioritise, and I often find myself dedicating myself more to the business, which is not always the best thing to do. But as I continue to put systems and routines in place, I become more and more comfortable juggling these two responsibilities.
Why did you choose to study at Westminster Business School? Have your studies contributed to managing your business?
When choosing which university to attend, Westminster Business School was a very easy choice. I wanted to study Entrepreneurship and Westminster had one of the best courses of its kind in the Country. The course began with a law module around the start up of the business, which helped in the legal aspects and all the necessary protocol. We also studied an online marketing module which turned out to be extremely essential as my business is carried out solely online on our website and as we rely heavily on social media. Studying while running a business is more so an advantage than a disadvantage. If anything it actually benefits my studies as I can base my projects and assignments around the business. I also take advantage of the fact that in the university there are many academics who are professionals and business owners, this specialist help is easily available to me so I need not look far for tips, tricks and great advise on running a business.
What’s your favorite Yull shoe?
How many shoes do you have in your collection?
70 pairs of shoes and lots more in my warehouse!
Toughest challenges you’ve faced?
The toughest challenges have been time management, knowing when to prioritise Yull over my studies or my studies over Yull. Funding for the made in England has also been a challenge.
Where do you see Yull in 5 years time?
I see Yull in 5 years time with plenty more stockists, opening our own retail and flagship stores and making our own handbags and accessories.
If you could collaborate with any designer, who would it be?
Hmmm… I guess a Yull eco-range with Stella McCartney.
If you could design a shoe for any celebrity, who would it be?
Alexa Chung or Kate Middleton. They’re the ‘it’ girls of style and they happen to be British!
Which shoe would you recommend Westminster Business School female students wear to their job interviews and assessment centers etc?
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Each design is named after and inspired by a British place or event.
Being true to English craftsmanship, do you see it being sustainable in the long run due to the costs involved?
The more popular Yull becomes, the lower the price will be. The support for British manufacturers is what will sustain the business in the long run, in the mean time I think that Yull customers will appreciate quality made shoes and the craftsmanship involved to produce these unique heels.
Interviewed by Na’Omi Canart, twitter @NaOmiCanart