Sam runs CeeCee & Me, a mobile shoe-fitting service for children.
The Children’s Show Fitter
Sam worked in the City in financial PR for many years but wanted to spend more time at home as her job involved very long hours. After the birth of her second child she decided to stop the juggling act and try something else.
Many mums said that shoe-fitting was a real frustration, so Sam spent six months researching ideas and training with the Society of Shoe Fitters. The idea for her shoe-fitting service evolved from there.
Today, Sam sells attractive shoes and boots, including a preschool range which ranges from birth to a size 10 and children’s school shoes up to a junior size one. Her innovative pop-up group visits playgroups, soft play centres, home visits – anywhere family-friendly as it’s important for children to be relaxed; the fitting takes five minutes, then they can run and play.
The catalyst for change
Sam loves running her shoe-fitting business as the family-friendly daytime hours mean she can drop kids at school and attend school events. She’s usually home by midday.
This career is ideal if you like the idea of flexible working and enjoying more family time. Sam’s business also supports a charity, Sal’s Shoes, which collects and sends used shoes to other countries.
Advice for anyone with the same dream
Fancy starting a shoe-fitting business yourself? Here’s some advice from Sam’s advice is to:
- Spot an opportunity?vGo for it! Pop-ups are unconventional and it can be challenging to secure investment and find suppliers when most are used to dealing with bricks-and-mortar premises. However, pop-up businesses are increasingly common, so it obviously isn’t that hard to secure funding, although it might require some real determination. Sam also found it difficult to find high quality brands that were prepared to supply her on a flexible basis – but she got there in the end.
- You must love working with children. It’s also really important to establish a rapport with parents.
- Believe in yourself and have integrity. Don’t copy others as it will be hard to convince people and trust is essential in this line of work.
- Take time to prepare. Sam spent six months training with the Society of Shoe Fitters, which was absolutely essential as you need a good understanding of children’s physiology and foot development to do the job properly.
- Make sure you have support. It can be hard working on your own, so surround yourself with likeminded people so you have the same support that you would have in an office environment. Sam is part of a small-business network in the local area that is very supportive. It can be great to meet up, talk things through and look at issues from different perspectives, she says.