In an article in Idealog magazine she says she’d never even considered it.
“Shoes have always been an important part of my life! I’ve wanted to be a shoe designer since I was a teenager.”
Wilson, who was a finalist in last year’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards, graduated from Massey University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Design degree and didn’t want to wait to start her own footwear brand, in case someone else had the same idea. Undaunted by the reality that the footwear industry in New Zealand is in decline, she opened up shop at the age of 22, after working as an assistant knitwear designer at Caroline Sills in Auckland.
An AMP scholarship for shoe design followed and Caroline and Lloyd Sills – who are now 50 percent shareholders in Wilson’s business – were “very supportive”, she says.
“They offered to help finance the launch of a footwear brand to wholesale into stores throughout New Zealand.
“In 2003 the ‘Kathryn Wilson’ brand was launched with seven designs into seven stores around the country – we now sell to more than 100 stores across New Zealand and Australia, with our flagship store in Britomart, Auckland, which opened last year.”
So now she’s kicking back and letting the cash roll in, right? Ha! Not so – her days are busier than ever.
Read the full Idealog magazine article after the jump.
Posted in: Design
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