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Posted 20th February 2015 by Fiona
Introducing Kevin, one of our sartorial, ‘men about the office’ he talks about buying, driving trains and his favourite shoes.
Q: Tell us a little bit about what you do?
My role at Shoon is to find the best product for our customer, giving him comfort, style and value for money. To do this I review the trends for the season and then once it has been decided on the type of product which is relevant I visit suppliers and trade fairs to source the right styles.
Q: Where has your career led you before Shoon?
My career started in the footwear trade working on the shop floor selling shoes, followed by managing stores all for a small independent retailer. The company was sold to a national shoe company at which point I joined their buying and merchandising team.
Q: What’s the best bit about your job?
Being shown hundreds of shoes each season and then selecting a few….the stock arriving in store and watching each line sell. It is a great feeling when your months of work relates to happy customers and sales through the till.
Q: What do you find the most challenging?
Not buying too much! Another part of my role in Shoon is to put controls in place so we do not buy too much stock, this does mean I am in conflict with myself as my buying head just wants to get more lines into the business.
Q: What did you want to be when you were little?
Train driver of course! In my later school years I did want to be an architect.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration?
Magazines, Catwalk shows, listening to our managers for customer feedback, and time spent outside coffee shops watching people as they go buy
Q: What can we expect from the Shoon men’s collection this Spring and Summer?
We are launching a range of Shoon branded product, some classics but also a few styles with a great fashion twist.
Q: What will be top of your shoe shopping wish list from the new range?
Shoon Greenwich in burgundy…it will be arriving early March 2015…not soon enough!
Posted 11th February 2015 by Fiona
I do love shoes and everywhere I look around new ones are popping up almost as fast as daffodils when the sun shines. What is a girl to do when constantly surrounded by well dressed women with amazing taste in shoes – on the way to school, at the park, in the coffee shops? Then along comes our very own Valentine knight in shining armour, February 14th a date made for finding your one shoe love. If you are going to get swept off your feet, you should totally do it in style, do not consider compromising on quality or comfort, it never pays off.
Whether your date is a moonlit wintery walk or a cosy fireside fondue, there is no doubt in my mind that the right pair of shoes can make (or break) your outfit. So go all out to find your perfect match and give your valentine swagger a little va va voom.
Here are some top qualities to look for in your soul mate…
Posted 4th February 2015 by Fiona
As far as the garden goes, there may not be a lot going on in the way of flora and fauna but there is plenty of wildlife out there worth watching. Inspired by our countryside – even in winter, for all it’s starkness it is still stunning - we love the way Norfolk Artist, Kerry Buck captures a moment in the life of nature’s wilder moments so beautifully.
Q: You live in a beautiful part of the country, what is it about this area you love most?
A: The Huge skies.
Q: What are your inspirations?
A: The wildlife around me, we only see a snapshot of their lives when we spot a creature on the bird table or in the hedgerow I find it inspirational to wonder what the rest of their day is like.
Q: Do you have a favourite season?
A: I like autumn because of the colours but when spring comes I think about swapping.
Q: Your work creates magical moments in the life of the animals and birds you depict, how do you capture their story?
A: I prefer to think about a picture as a still or a frame from an on-going narrative so people can make up what happened beforehand and what might happen after. I also like to understand the creature I am drawing … I think if you know a little about their behaviours you can capture them better.
Q: Are you drawn to particular scenes?
A: I look around me a lot and I take photographs for reference but I always draw a composition from memory it somehow makes it a stronger design. I am drawn to birds because we are surrounded by them, we have a Rookery at the bottom of the field opposite our home and they are mesmerising. Certain scenes or elements from a scene will strike me as a starting point for a piece but I never know where or when one might jump out at me.
Q: What is the perfect way to spend a creative day?
A: No phone calls, all emails answered, hot coffee, a good audio book and an interruption-free day with a clear image in my head that I can work on – heaven!
Posted 28th January 2015 by Fiona
I like the cold, it’s supposed to be cold – it’s winter. Rather than dive straight for the central heating switch, here are a few low tech but stylish alternatives you could try first.
It’s all about layering.
Wrap up warm, just like your mum always told you to, as do the laws of science. Lots of thinner layers are the answer to beating the cold. That means vest under tee, under top, under shirt, under jumper.
As any true fashionista/polar explorer will tell you – you can never have too many hats, gloves, scarves/keep your extremities covered to avoid frostbite.
It’s not the season of comfort food for nothing. Hot, filling home cooked meals make you warmer. Slow roasts, stews and soups all served with crispy roast potato are the way to go.
Warm from the inside out, fresh coffee in the morning, tea and cake in the afternoon and something mulled after hours. If you are feeling a little under par – a hot toddy comes highly rated (or warm black currant if you are little/young at heart).
Warm toes = cosy toes.
Ye olde shoe folklore cannot be wrong, insulated feet keep you toasty from the bottom up. Furry ones, fleecy ones, fabulous ones, take your slippers with you wherever you go – home from home.
Bed, it is the cosiest place. Especially when preceded by a warm bath and accompanied by a good book and woolly hot water bottle.
Movie days and duvets. Kick back and relax with a box set and copious beautiful blankets, Welsh wool, extreme fleece and hand knitted air-looms, the more the merrier.
Crafts to cut out drafts.
Be a winter sewing bee and block out those icy drafts with heavy curtains and homemade draught excluders for the doors. Upholstery fabrics are great for weight and texture.
It’s the new staying in. Support your local café/pub and brave the elements. A short walk in the fresh air, a change of scene and the prospect of a hot chocolate (with all the extras) is a warm thought.
There is nothing like a little exercise to get the blood pumping and 10 minutes with a hoover, some light dusting and a few rounds of washing later and you will be peeling the layers off.
Candle lit dinner.
Create a magical ambience and a little warmth for supper and set your table with tea lights. Always pretty, always romantic.
Spread the warmth.
Posted 23rd January 2015
For most of us, the New Year is a chance to start afresh. The turn of a new year promises new opportunities and here at Shoon, we want to make you feel positive as you step into 2015. So whether you’re already embarking on your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions or you’re still stuck for inspiration, we want to make this your year for success.
Follow our ideas and tips and discover the footwear that will help you reach your goals in comfort and style.
Photo by Mike Baird/Flickr
Secure Your Dream Job
Perhaps the one aspect in your life that you would really love to change is your career. Whether you want a complete career change, to move up the career ladder or you’ve decided to take the plunge and start your own business, use the New Year as an excuse to kick start your next career move.
There are plenty of resources available to help you tailor a killer CV and polish your interview skills, while professional networking sites such as LinkedIn can prove vital for making valuable contacts.
How you look has a significant impact on the way you feel, meaning the right outfit and shoes will go some way to making you feel self-assured even in the most pressurised situations such as an interview or business pitch. Make sure you dress to impress, after all, we tend to base our first impressions within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, which means that appearances really do count!
For Ladies: Madison by Hispanitas – with its classic court shoe this looks fabulous teamed with skirts or trouser suits.
For Gents: Nevis by Barker – a quintessential English shoe that has been beautifully handcrafted using only the finest leathers.
Get in Shape
If there was a list for the most popular resolutions, this would almost certainly be at the top. Whether you resolve to join the gym or fancy taking up a new hobby, the possibilities for getting fit are endless. Exercise comes in many forms, which means it’s very easy to integrate an activity into your lifestyle without dipping into your finances. According to the NHS, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week is more than adequate to keep you fit and healthy.
Walking at a fairly decent pace is classed as this type of activity, so why not make this the year that you walk more? Just by making simple changes such as getting off the bus earlier, taking the stairs or walking instead of taking the car on short journeys can make a significant difference.
For Ladies: The Babett Lace Up shoe by Ecco – features a flexible rubber sole and designed for those who are always on the go.
For Gents: Intercept by Merrell – specifically built for walking and those who love the outdoors, these provide great support.
Do you often find yourself wishing you were more adventurous? Do you listen in awe as your children recollect their tales of gap years and travelling to foreign climes? Why not start closer to home? From Edinburgh to Bath and the Big Smoke itself, there are plenty of historical sites to savour and enjoy. Plus if you book early, you’re likely to get a better deal.
Look out for concessions and use the Internet to research the best places to stay and dine. There are plenty of resources available to help you plan your next big adventure. Make this the year you sample new sights and cultures.
For Ladies: Barhya Slip-On by Arche – this easy to slip on shoe is smart whilst still being comfortable enough to make the most of wandering around new cities.
For Gents: Stormbuck Plain Toe Oxford by Timberland – comfortable and waterproof, these shoes are ideal for casual wear but look great for smart occasions too, such as going out for dinner.
We also have a wide range of accessories for travellers such as this Healthy Back Bag Reversible, which cleverly distributes the contents that you are carrying evenly to reduce any back pain.
Enjoy More Family Time
Make 2015 the year you enjoy more quality time with your family. We all know children grow up quickly so it’s even more important to make the time you spend together as special and memorable as possible. Plan some fun outings, whether it’s a trip to the theatre, an outing to the zoo, or even a picnic at the park. It doesn’t have to be expensive but make sure it’s an activity that will appeal to all and provides a form of entertainment that everyone has to participate in.
For Ladies: Irina by Softinos – a casual shoe that doesn’t compromise on style or comfort, meaning you should have little trouble keeping up with even the most energetic members of the family.
For Gents: Urban Lifestyle Casual Shoe by Ecco – ideal for even the most adverse weather conditions, these shoes feature a rubber sole for excellent grip and are comfortable enough for all day wear.
New Year, New You
After the school run, work commitments and trying to squeeze in everything else that modern day living throws at us, there is often little time to spend on ourselves. Whether you find yourself hankering for some quiet time, a spot of pampering, or want to reinvent your image or accomplish a long-held ambition (however big or small), it’s time to march forwards with optimism and make a plan for exactly how you intend to make this the year you become a new, improved you.
Set plans in place and make sure you tell your family and friends so they are forewarned about your new enthusiasm; whether you’ll be out every Tuesday evening enrolled on a college course or need a few hours shut away in the office to start writing your novel. And if you want to revolutionise your look, you’ll be amazed at how a new hair-do or outfit can do wonders for your confidence and how differently others will respond to you as a result.
We have a wide range of women’s and men’s shoes to suit all needs, which have been selected for their excellent design and quality.
Throughout our Shoon Stores we have experts who are on hand to help find the perfect shoe and fit for you.
We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to make 2015 one of your most fulfilling years yet.
What will you pick to help with your New Year’s Resolutions?