3 June 2021|Brand Story, Female Founder Spotlight, Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Rosamund Muir is a British designer who launched the Rosamund Muir brand in March 2020. Rosamund Muir shoes are luxury, heeled shoes that are designed and handmade for style and comfort. Here she shares the story for her exciting brand:
Originally from Northumberland, I studied French and Italian at university, and lived in Switzerland, France and Italy before moving to London to work in Design and Advertising. After a move abroad with my husband and then becoming a family of five over some years, I decided to follow my passion for designing shoes and subsequently trained at London College of Fashion (ex Cordwainers) in Shoe Design and Pattern Making.
Can you tell us why was it created? What is its mission?
Working in Design and Advertising in London involved a lot of travelling across London to client meetings and standing around at photoshoots; the years of being a full time mum-at-home, especially at events when you are on your feet a lot (such as weddings and christenings); seeing women carrying a spare pair of comfortable shoes to work or having another pair under the desk at the office made me realise that there was a real lack of stylish heeled shoes on the market which are actually comfortable enough to walk or stand in for many hours a day. Many times, I had been in torture in designer heels which were supposed to be supportive and comfortable! My mission for the Rosamund Muir brand therefore, was to create beautiful, stylish, handmade shoes without compromising on comfort.
Can you share the story of the brand’s journey – from concept to where it is now?
Part of the brand’s journey at concept, was the creation of the ‘star’ in the brand’s identity. This came to me a few years ago when I was reading a children’s book, ‘No Matter What’ to my oldest son where the parent Fox describes, “Look at the stars, see how they shine. Love like starlight, never dies.” It was then that I decided that the ‘star’ would become a big part of my shoe brand to be. It was a few years later while on holiday at our trullo in Puglia, that the inspiration for the Star collection came to me – as my husband, our three children and I were looking up at a perfectly clear night sky, abundant with stars and the odd shooting star, surrounded by star-topped trulli. The Star collection was inspired by family and love.
What are the biggest challenges and how have they been overcome?
Where do I start?! I launched Rosamund Muir in March 2020, right at the beginning of most countries starting some sort of lockdown. Many people were really not interested in learning about a new footwear brand, especially heeled footwear when people didn’t know when they might next be having the occasion to wear heels again. Simultaneously, my three children have been on/off online schooling from home for the past year, and given their ages, this has meant having to juggle developing the business whilst helping my children with their school work. Working from the same table as my youngest child, I have learnt to seriously multi-task between primary schooling and running a business! I know many other working mums have experienced the same as me in this time and you are all amazing!
What are the brand’s biggest successes?
I think the biggest success is that we have delivered on our mission that we have created beautiful, stylish shoes that are comfortable, while being produced in a sustainable and ethical manner. But, of course, recognition is hugely important. Therefore, the brand featuring in Grazia “Best British Brands You’ll Want To Add To Your Wardrobe”, Drapers “Best AW21 Men’s and Women’s Footwear Collections”, Tatler “Best of British” and Evening Standard’s “Best Independent Brands Shop London event” has also been a great success. The brand has been featured in many different magazines and newspapers and has become a popular choice of footwear for some celebrities including Amanda Holden, Maria Bakalova, Daisy Edgar Jones, to name a few.
Can you tell us about any eco/sustainability initiatives the brand has?
I am particularly proud of the efforts we have made in creating a sustainable brand of footwear. I am always looking into how we can make improvements in this area. During this year, I researched more and more about the extent to which fast fashion is damaging for our planet. Fast fashion brands dump millions of tons of waste each year in to mass landfill sites and use vast amounts of chemicals and water in their production of materials. At Rosamund Muir, we love our slow fashion footwear ethos, producing classic and timeless styles. In production, we order minimum amounts of 100% by-product leathers from the most reputable tanneries in Italy, thus promoting zero waste. More leathers are only ordered from our suppliers when required. Scraps of leather are donated to a local school for craft projects. Where we can, elements of our packaging are sustainable and eco friendly – our boxes are made from recycled cardboard and our shoe bags made from organic cotton.
Can you tell us about any key charity/philanthropic initiatives/efforts the brand has?
We are passionate about giving back and being involved in charities and this is very important to us. We will be supporting a charity close to our hearts most seasons and a percentage of proceeds from a chosen footwear model or style will be donated. Last Christmas, we released a limited edition Felixa boot with the proceeds going to Friends of the Elderly charity. We also released the Montana-Hope sandals this Spring Summer – a collection inspired by the rainbows with which my children decorated the house with last year, in support of the NHS. 10% of the proceeds from the Montana-Hope collection will be donated to charities supporting the NHS.
Does the brand use any brand ambassadors/ celebrity partners/influencers?
We work with a very small and loyal group of influencers. They are really lovely and very supportive in their understanding of the nature of our small independent and sustainable business.
What’s next for the brand?
Onwards and upwards! Happily creating more fabulous footwear for amazing women who rock each day with spirit!
Can the founders or senior personnel share 5-10 key pieces of advice for success?
Yes, I do have a few!
It is really important that you truly enjoy what you do, as you are going to devote a lot of time and energy to it! If you feel really passionate and fired up, research every aspect and try to become an expert before you embark on building up your business. But be wise about it. I didn’t research all aspects and I really wish I had done! It would have saved on a lot of time and money!
Which brings me to another point – Don’t be shy to take advice from those running their own businesses. They can have a lot of very useful and valuable tips – and this knowledge can move you in the right direction.
Keep your loyal support group of family/friends close. They will keep you going and help you to believe in yourself when you have off-days (there will be lots and that’s ok!). Keep your distance from the ‘naysayers’ and those who don’t believe in you. They will make you self-doubt and you really just don’t need that negativity in your life!
Do research your market and your competitors thoroughly. Are you offering something different than them to the market? Create a plan about how you want to communicate your new-to-market product.
Accept that you may well need to outsource and delegate when the time comes. There are a lot of areas in running a business and people have a tendency to focus on what they are good at, or comfortable in doing – don’t get overloaded doing everything yourself!
What are the brand’s website and social handles?
Website =. www.rosamundmuir.com
Instagram = @rosamund.muir
Facebook = @rosamundmuir