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Birmingham-based woman launches shoe line for larger feet

IN BUSINESS: Arabel Manners started her designer shoe company to prove her mother, Petronella

BIRMINGHAM-BASED designer Arabel Manners has launched a luxury women’s foot-
wear brand with the aid of crowd-funding which has its origins in trying to prove her mother wrong.

Arabel, 31, initially set out to prove to her mother, Petronella, 61, that it was possible to purchase stylish shoes for women with larger feet. That initial failure ended up growing into an enterprising business that has already engaged with international markets by supplying an overlooked gap in the market that has appeared in women’s accessories.

Arabel said: “Finding shoes in larger sizes can be a real struggle for women. High-street stores have limited choice if you’re over a size seven. This brand was inspired by my mother, who struggled to find shoes that she liked in her size due to having larger feet.

“Unfortunately, most high-street and designer footwear labels don’t cater for larger sizes. We decided to try a crowdfunding campaign to launch the collection that raises the funds will enable us to put the styles into production.

"Most retailers only stock shoes up to a size nine for women, however the average shoe size in the UK is increasing. While in the 1970s the average shoe size for a woman was a four, today you are much more likely to find a woman wearing a size six on her feet.”

The Arabel Manners brand offers a stylish collection of shoes in larger sizes, from seven to 11, for every occasion, including stilettos for evening wear and a more classic range comprising loafers, ankle and riding boots.

Looking to bridge the gap between style and affordability, Arable said: "All of the pieces are are to the highest quality with Italian handcrafted colouring, giving a unique hue as part of a high-end, luxurious finish at an affordable price. In response to our ongoing market research, we are set to include wide shoes to the range.”

The whole collection is now available through the brand's new crowd-funding campaign, Kickstarter, which has a funding goal of £10,000. Backers, who can pledge from as little as £10, will receive a range of stylish rewards including their chosen pair of shoes as well as handy add-ons to keep fancy kicks in tip-top condition such as shoe sprays and suede protectors.

Kickstarter helps artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the re-
sources and support they need to make their ideas a reality. To date, tens of thousands of creative projects – big and small – have come to life with the support of the Kickstarter community.

Arabel concluded: “Launching in this sector is a very expensive and difficult task but we hope that our offering will continue to resonate with our target audiences and make it much easier for women with larger feet to have equal access to the wide range of footwear that those with smaller feet do.”

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