YWCA cashes in on love of shoes

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

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.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

It’s shoe time: Kathryn Wil­son, left, and YWCA’s Nikki Draper with some of the shoes up for auc­tion to­mor­row.

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