Exquisite Shoes for Happiness by Shaherazad Umbreen

The fashionable and in-demand handcrafted brand directly supports the well-being of women living in poverty and empowers them to support each other

The Womenz had an opportunity to interact with Ms. Shaherazad Umbreen, Founder, Shoes by Shaherazad, UK and here’s what she shared with us 


Shaherazad, please tell us something about your shoes

Made in England, my heels are hand crafted, followed by a machine kiss and layer of unique brand innovation.

Flamingos – A brand which is all about empowered women of today, empowering women of the future, its uniqueness, inspired to capture their secret, to create heels for empowered women taking them painlessly from day through to evening.


Much like flamingos, humans like to be together and demonstrate solidarity. As women, it is important that we stand together in empowering each other, and so, every purchase of “Shoes by Shaherazad” heels directly supports the wellbeing of a woman or girl living in poverty through the “Solidarity by Shaherazad” programme. The exquisite piece of shoellery is where the patent leather heels are available in English Black and English Blush that transforms your look from daytime to evening, taking you in style from board room to bar, or for stepping up the glamour when dinner date turns to dance floor.  Wait Up, The Moon is Mine, Dream then Do, Take my Lead, Rock the Board Room, Equally Ever After and Time to Bloom.

Shoes by Shaherazad women mean business by day and enjoy sparkling by night. In today’s modern world of manufacturing, it’s all too easy to automate skilled work. For us, English quality and heritage is key in creating your #18hourheels. The skilled team hand craft every shoe which is then machine kissed and carefully flamingled. It is this process which ensures the brand quality and beauty of our shoes. These shoes are made to bring happiness to the women who wear them; and it is these women who will then go on and bring happiness to other women of the world.


A story


I’ve always been passionate about equality and women’s rights in particular.  I’ve grown up with sisters and my mother always taught us that women can do anything and to not let our gender hold we back.  I knew that I loved shoes, loved equality and loved business, so I thought - why not combine all three passions within one business - that’s how Shoes by Shaherazad came about. It took me about a year to find a charity which I could partner with.  It was important that I partnered with someone who could find projects linked to education and women and girls in particular.  The idea is that an empowered woman who can afford my shoes will empower a woman living in poverty through her purchase.  This means that the women and girls who receive the help will be better equipped to look after themselves with a secure financial future which means that the philanthropy becomes sustainable.  It’s so important to help people to help themselves.  GlobalGiving UK, my corporate partner, is an amazing organisation and have ensured that the money raised gets to work on the ground within 60 days.  We are currently working in Kenya, Pakistan, Palestine and Peru.  The aim is to work in every country where there is poverty as the business grows.


When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?


I launched the brand in November last year (2016) for 3 reasons.  I love business, I love shoes and I love empowering women, so I thought why not find a way to run a business which sells beautiful shoes and empowers women along the way?  Some of the profits from every pair support a woman or girl living in poverty.


What’s your background?


I have background in retail business, having worked at Comet, Boots, Superdrug and The Co-operative, my parents worked hard running a school uniform business and I learnt loads from them about stock, margin, quality and service.

How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?


Gosh, there are so many! I use a lot of freelance support from partners I can trust to ensure that I can scale up and down as required.  I make sure I use lots of highly skilled support such as digital experts, a stock controller, a finance controller, a great local photographer, a brilliant brand consultant and of course, there’s the team at the factory.  I also use “real women” as my models as I believe that it’s a key ethos for a brand focused on empowering women.


If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?


Start sooner - I had the idea quite a long time ago and I’m having a great time in developing the business.


What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?


It has to be product development.  It’s hard but enjoyable work creating a covetable product.  My shoes can be worn plain by day and then change to sparkling by night through my shoellery concept (jewellery for shoes).  That was a difficult product to develop but develop it I did with the help of my factory and some intricate design work.

Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?


I’m tri-lingual.


2017 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?


To more women and more countries around the world, I believe that we do not need miracles to change the world, we only need each other.  


What has been the highlight since its launch?


Profits from the shoes sold so far this year have supported 500 females to gain an education in Kenya, Pakistan, Palestine and Peru.  My aim is to be working to help women in every country where there is poverty by continuing to grow the brand.


Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?


London, of course! I’m a Brit!



What does Style means to you?


You own way of expressing who you are with poise, grace and elegance.



Most memorable piece of advice given to you!


Give as much as you can and as often as you can to help others.


Guilty pleasure!


Natural yoghurt mixed with tomato ketchup on spinach bread.  I’ve loved it since I was a kid and still eat it as a treat.


In future, how do you plan on expanding the company!


I have a clear export strategy which involves business to customer and business to business sales.  I’m kicking off in the UK, Germany and the Middle East and then working further afield from there.


Any message to aspiring female entrepreneurs out there?

My advice is to get some business experience and then to just go for it.  It's important to hold your nerve - it's hard at first but positive conviction pays off.

We The Womenz team thank her for her sharing her story with us. We are sure that her story will certainly inspire our readers.


Shaherazad can be reached on Linked-in, twitter, Facebook, Instagram



First Published: 12-Apr-2017- 12:50