A Birmingham shoe business has won the prestigious “Exporter of the Year” award at the National Small Medium Enterprise Awards in London this week.
Shoes by Shaherazad is the brain child of Birmingham born business woman Shaherazad Umbreen and features unique designs made in Birmingham and Norwich. The concept, which only became available two years ago, beat off tough competition from a number of other national brands to become this year’s winner.
The judges at The National SME Awards said:
“This was an absolutely outstanding entry. Not only are the winners product being exported all over the world but are also ensuring they are sustainably made in the UK, indisputably comfortable, and that 100% of profits are donated to good causes. Truly awe inspiring.”
Shaherazad, who lives in Kings Norton, said she originally came up with the idea 10 years ago and has seen a massive surge in sales following the announcement of Brexit.
“The uncertainty caused by Brexit hasn’t dampened the world’s appetite for British made product,” says Shaherazad as she explains the demand for her product. “I had a dream of empowering women by providing heels that not only looked good but were also good for their feet and comfortable to wear. Many business women are now working longer hours and we want to look good without having to suffer for it. I’m exporting my shoes to countries all over the world, including Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the USA and Singapore.”
A number of UK businesses have been struggling with exports caused by the uncertainty of Brexit, but Shaherazad claims that the weakened pound has actually increased the attractiveness of British product as importers from other countries are getting a far better deal than they would have done before the Brexit vote took place.
Shoes by Shaherazad have been popular in Europe and beyond because of their versatility, their comfort and their quality, factors which appeal to women across all cultures. Profits from the shoes go to directly helping women and girls living in poverty through the business’s partnership with GlobalGiving UK. So far, the shoes have helped over 3000 women across the world to gain an education making it a truly global shoe.
“I wanted to create a product which could be for and to empower women,” says the 41-year-old. “Every time someone buys a pair of my British made heels a woman or girl living in poverty is empowered to gain an education. Guilt free heels! What more could anyone want from a pair of shoes?” The Birmingham entrepreneur has arrived back from an export trip from Spain this week to collect her award and will be heading off on another export trip to Portugal later this month. Her mission is to empower women and girls in every country in the world through the profits from her shoes.
More information on Shaherazad and her 18 Hour Heels is available at www.shaherazad.com
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