YWCA cashes in on love of shoes
Nobody knows how much women love shoes better than Kathryn Wilson.
Which is why an auction of her designer shoes is the perfect way to raise money for a women’s charity.
Tomorrow, women will have the chance to bid for a pair of Kathryn Wilson shoes in a silent auction raising money for the YWCA’s Future Leaders programme.
The young designer says judging by last year’s event, she expects a frenzied group of women, bidding furiously and guarding their chosen pair of shoes with their life.
Women can bid on 10 pairs of shoes from her summer range, and one lucky bidder will win a one-on-one session with Kathryn to design their own signature pair of shoes.
The Future Leaders programme pairs young women with mentors for up to five years guiding them through goal setting and team building exercises.
Kathryn became involved with the programme after winning an AMP scholarship in 2002 and attending several functions where she met YWCA future leaders and their mentors.
She says she was inspired by the stories.
“It’s so incredible the difference they’d made to their lives,” she says.
The 28-year-old Newton resident has risen over the past couple of years to become one of New Zealand’s top shoe designers.
She recognises the role mentors have played in her own life, from her humble beginnings working in a shoe store after high school where her manager gave her “a kick in the butt”.
“She pushed me into everything. I wouldn’t have had the confidence myself.”
Kathryn says though she would love to be a mentor herself one day, she is too busy at the moment to give it her full commitment.
“You’d want to take it seriously,” she says. “It gives me something to look forward to when I’m a big kid.”
YWCA marketing manager Nikki Draper says the auction was held for the first time last year and made “good money” but they’ll be hoping for “exorbitant amounts” this time around.
The programme’s mentors have included Prime Minister Helen Clark, Dame Cath Tizard, Trelise Cooper and Annette Presley, but they can be any strong, successful women.
Participants can apply for the programme from as young as 14.
“They go on to do great things together,” says Ms Draper.
The women-only auction is in Auckland City Art Gallery’s art lounge, tomorrow from 6pm.
Tickets cost $60, phone the YWCA on 375-9242.
It’s shoe time: Kathryn Wilson, left, and YWCA’s Nikki Draper with some of the shoes up for auction tomorrow.