Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Who is LK Bennett?

Despite my vintage loving credentials I have loved LK Bennett shoes since forever (they are the only shoes I can put on out of the box and go dancing in) and this week I fell for a lovely navy pair called ‘Aleshia’ – they did look more ‘Sophia’ to me but I have no idea how shoes are named but they did get me asking who is LK Bennett?

Turns out Linda Kristin Bennett should be on every female entrepreneurs icon list.

In 1990 with £13,000 savings and £15,00 bank loan, the media shy entrepreneur opened her first shop in Wimbledon Village with the aim of filling the gap for "something in-between the designer footwear you find in Bond Street and those on the high street”. 

Picture via the Daily Telegraph

And did she!  

Ms Bennett quickly became the “Queen of the kitten heel” winning Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002; Best Women’s Footwear Retailer (UK Footwear Award) in 2003 and the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year in 2004, not bad for a north London girl who trained as a corwainer in Hackney. 

In 2006, the talented Ms Bennett was awarded a very well deserved OBE for services to the fashion industry and now the lovely Ms Bennett has the Duchess of Cornwall kicking at her elegantly shaped heels – apparently the luxury shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood disapproves of the Princesses choice in footwear – but hey yay me!  Me and Kate actually have something in common!!

Step into 2007 and after 17 years of hard work and dedication Ms Bennett sold a large stake of the business she built single handedly to spend more time with her – yep family and hats of to her. After what could only have been intense non-stop hard work to grow her business into a global brand (166 locations across the UK, North America, Europe and the Middle East) I think LK Bennett deserves to put her very glamorous (but affordable) kitten heels up.

I however still have work to do!

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