We design and make exceptional shoes and accessories. Emmy London is all about attention to detail and creating the perfect finishing touch to a look.
We are dedicated to making our clients feel instantly elegant and comfortable so she can walk confidently onto any stage.
How did it all begin?
Creative Director & Founder Emmy Scarterfield has always been passionate about shoes and accessories. After working for well-known accessory brands in London and Milan, Emmy spotted a gap in the market, beautiful bespoke bridal shoes. Why Bridal? Bridal suited Emmy’s skill set, her experience in luxury fashion and obsession with attention to detail. Why Bespoke? It made perfect business sense to initially only make what she’d sold.
What sets your business apart?
All our shoes and accessories are designed by Emmy Scarterfield and her nearly all-female team who implicitly understand and experience the important balance of look & feel. We are committed to sustainable growth, by increasing our Made-To-Order quantities and carefully managing stock, we never over supply, and with this we are fair to our suppliers, whist maintaining choice for our clients.
What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?
We create a world where the client can indulge in her shoe love. Where she can look and feel elegant, comfortable and sophisticated. We provide the product, service and environment for her to walk confidently, to support her from the feet up!
Where to next/What is your brand vision?
As a business we continue to go from strength to strength, grown organically by Emmy and her husband Dickie and a fantastic team they call the ‘Emmy Family’. The collection has evolved way beyond bridal and now offers ‘off the shelf’ designs as well as their ‘made to order’ offer which is still very much at the heart of their philosophy.
What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?
I am passionate about making women feel amazing; I believe that the route to true beauty is feeling comfortable and in turn, confident.
Share an example of early life that has shaped you?
One of my earliest memories was sliding wooden blocks into my socks to create my own high heels. I loved the clip-clopping sound they made on the hard floor, it’s a memory that has stayed with me and my passion for shoes only gets stronger with each new collection that I design.
Highlights of your business journey so far?
Moving from what we affectionately refer to as a cupboard in Islington, where they could only do sales appointments one to one, to a beautiful flagship boutique in Chelsea’s luxury lifestyle quarter. Having some of the most famous women in the world choose to wear our shoes, appreciating the attention to silhouette. Comfort and balance and how that makes them feel confident whatever the occasion. Emmy was chosen to design a diamond jewellery collection for the biggest jewellery company in the world and is now sold across the UK, US & Canada.
Key lessons you have learned along the way?
It’s essential to digest the progress that you and the team are making. Your ‘to-do’ list can be overwhelming at times; I think it’s important to celebrate your ‘done list’. I think the key is to listen to your gut instinct in making big decisions and changes. I’ve learnt to trust my gut because it doesn’t tend to lie. It’s not always easy, but I’ve found that it becomes more comfortable with experience and confidence. Stick to what you know, what you love, focus on what you’re good at and become amazing at.
Best piece of advice you have received?
Quite early on in our journey when the business was about 3-4 years old, an experienced designer that I was good friends with said to me, ‘Emmy, don’t ever be tempted to go down in price, compromise on quality (i.e a diffusion line) because once you go down, you can never go back up. Keep your values close and always strive for perfection.’
Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?
My advice would be to plan, look back at your plan and re-plan. Look at everything that could go wrong and work out a solution. It’s what I did when I first started the business, and it has paid off well. Make sure you’re doing something you love. Be prepared to work hard, like the hardest you’ve ever worked – your genuine passion for what you are doing will see you through.
What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?
We have chosen to self-fund and grow organically; it suits our values and the way we want to live our life. You can easily fall into a mindset that success only comes in one form; defined by monetary or revenue success, but I feel there is more to success. I value freedom, and that freedom comes in many ways — the freedom to design shoes in the way that I want to, the freedom to be fair to my suppliers, to not hold vast amounts of stock, I can be honest with my team, that philosophy has worked well for us. Whilst my children are young, I have enjoyed the freedom of growing our business organically and having the time to be the best mum I can be.
Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?
There are always going to be challenges when running your own business, big and small. When things get tough I turn to my husband Dickie, he co-runs the company with me. He knows me better than anyone and is a very good listener.
Why is it important to support women-led business?
I think it’s tricky at times to be taken seriously, it can sound a little old fashioned, but it’s true. I enjoy surrounding myself with other women who are growing brands and businesses, I feel we have a lot to share and to give. We can be completely honest with each other which is refreshing. At times it can be a bit lonely being the boss! It’s nice to be with like-minded women who have a similar agenda, no matter their product or service; there are so many common threads that you can share and learn from.