We love celebrating strong, successful women here at The Caviar Spoon, which is why we’ve created ReBelles. These are the women who are working it and owning it! This week, we’re featuring fabulous shoe designer Georgina Goodman.
The most creative and successful people usually have the most interesting and varied stories, don’t you think? Designer Georgina Goodman is no exception!
After leaving school at the age of 16, Georgina went straight to work in a shop which was the start of her fashion and design career. From there, she trained in clothing design, worked as a stylist, and then as a fashion assistant at a magazine, among many other fashion gigs throughout the years.
But it wasn’t until her early 30’s that she decided to become a shoe designer (and we’re so glad she did!!!).
She has since collaborated with, consulted and worked for some incredible names including Alexander McQueen and Tommy Hilfiger, and was recently awarded Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, an honour not often bestowed upon women. (Cordwainers, by the way, are “shoemakers who practised their trade for centuries within the walls of the City of London”.)
Editor’s note: some answers have been condensed and/or edited for clarity.
When did you have your “aha!” moment with your eponymous business concept?
I have those all the time. Fashion is an evolving business and full of “aha” moments…
Business always has highs and lows. What has been the biggest learning curve in terms of being a successful business owner? Do you have any war wounds? (I have a few which lost me my business!!)
There have been plenty of battle scars and wounds along the way, but nothing too fatal. It’s important to learn from the knocks and use those lessons to move forward.
I’ve experienced great loss and high achievement in equal measures and the biggest lesson to be learned in those situations is to take the lesson and use that information to move forward in a positive way.
What’s your DNA? Why you and not others?
I have a strong design style and although it is difficult to define my own style or DNA, I try to include the word love in everything I do, even embellishing the words MADE IN LOVE on the sole of each shoe.
Also, I include hand-painted stripes on the soles and packaging design to remind the wearer and myself that all products I make have been touched and include some sort of handmade element.
How do you measure success?
Success in academic terms can be measured by others through awards and acknowledgment. However, I’ve come to understand that true success is a state of mind…
Do I love what I’m doing, who I’m doing it with, and if I know why I’m doing it?
Then I feel successful.
What do you struggle with now?
I think like any small business and designer-led brand, the difficulty is to balance the commercial questions and needs with the creative output and those of the business. This is a constant challenge to balance these elements.
Where do you gain inspiration?
Inspiration for me is a constant flow. It can come from anywhere.
I think if you stay open, you can be interested in anything you see, touch or feel. I like exhibitions and films and book, but I can also dream a new idea or hear something that will inspire me. Thank goodness I keep being inspired…
What advice would you give to women looking to succeed in the workplace or in their own business?
That is my secret to success.
When the going gets tough, you…
Get a hug from someone I love/loves me, eat chocolate, and laugh my way through the crisis.
What’s your one piece of advice for how to achieve a work/life balance?
Take your weekends off and spend as much time with friends and family…this will balance your mind and heart.
In 24 months time, Georgina Goodman will look like this…
More shoes, a seasonal collection, and a new commercial offering for the luxury shoe market sold all over the world.
Name a start-up company you most admire and why.
Uber – it’s just great. It’s efficient and saves time and money getting around London.
I love Uber as it’s a new idea that challenges the ‘norm’.
The person you most respect is…
My business partner and best friend BJ Cunningham
Your business mantra
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Your life mantra
Love conquers all
Describe your new range in 3 words
Eclectic. Precious. Unique.
We are in ReBelle love with Georgina Goodman! Her grit and determination, her passion for her art, and, of course, her super fab designs. If you love unique shoes made with lots of love, definitely check out her collection—you might just find your “sole” mate!
(Word is someone on the TCS team hit up Georgina’s sample sale on the website as soon as she caught wind of it.)
Feature image of Georgina Goodman taken by Kevin Davies