In­sight into shoe brand suc­cess

Havelock North Village Press - - Home Living -

What does it take tomake it in highly com­pet­i­tive in­ter­na­tional mar­kets?

CroweHor­wath’s IN­SPIRE Women in Busi­ness team, in part­ner­ship with busi­ness de­vel­op­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion The Ice­house, is soon to de­liver the an­swer, along with a hefty dose of in­spi­ra­tion.

The team is host­ing ac­claimed shoe de­signer and busi­ness­woman Kathryn Wil­son, who is to speak at the group’s midyear event in June.

The Crowe Hor­wath IN­SPIRE Women in Busi­ness group was started in 2013 byMichelle Valler and Wendy Hutchins, both man­agers and busi­ness ad­vi­sors at CroweHor­wath in Hast­ings.

The group quickly ex­panded into the Napier area, boosted by Crowe Hor­wath Ahuriri of­fice open­ing. The com­pany’s Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay of­fice also runs aWomen in Busi­ness net­work­ing group, and the concept has since reached Auck­land, with groupsmeet­ing each month to lis­ten to a range of speak­ers.

Kathryn Wil­son has es­tab­lished her­self asNew Zealand’s pre­mier footwear de­signer in just a decade, grow­ing from a fledg­ling de­signer to be­com­ing an in­flu­en­tial busi­ness­wom­an­with a brand that is in high de­mand. Pre­sent­ing to IN­SPIRE Women, Kathryn­will share her brand story, the de­sign process and trends.

“We’re de­lighted to have se­cured Kathryn as a speaker,” says Wendy Hutchins.

“The fash­ion world is no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to break into, brands are in­ter­na­tional and win­ning the hearts and minds of clien­tele in this en­vi­ron­ment is a Her­culean task. Kathryn has taken that on and suc­ceeded. Her in­sights are bound to res­onate with our guests— and of course, we’ll hope to see some great shoes, too,”

Kathryn’s story is re­mark­able.

After grad­u­at­ing from Massey Univer­sity and win­ning anAMP Schol­ar­ship, she honed her de­sign skills and set about cre­at­ing her own line of footwear. In 2003, un­der the guid­ance of suc­cess­ful New Zealand de­sign house Caro­line Sills, Kathryn Wil­son the la­bel­was born. Since then, Kathryn Wil­son has emerged as one of the fastest-grow­ing fash­ion brands in New Zealand. Stocked in over 100 lo­cal bou­tiques and with an ever-grow­ing on­line mar­ket, the la­bel is on the front foot in the fash­ion in­dus­try.

Beyond de­sign, Kathryn is recog­nised for her busi­ness acu­men which has earned her recog­ni­tion and brand am­bas­sador sta­tus, gar­ner­ing the at­ten­tion of global brands like BMW, Veuve Clic­quot, Orly, San Pel­le­grino, Voda­fone and Moroc­canoil.

Crowe Hor­wath has re­cently been work­ing closely with The Ice­house on projects as their re­gional busi­ness part­ner, saysKate de Lau­tour from The Ice­house Hawke’s Bay.

“Over the last two years we have seen a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of­women in Ice­house pro­grammes, in­clud­ing the Owner Op­er­a­tor Pro­gramme in Hawke’s Bay and the Owner Man­ager Pro­gramme in­Auck­land, and th­ese own­ers are cer­tainly punch­ing above their weight on a na­tional level,” she says.

Kate notes that fash­ion out­lets in­Hawke’s Bay have car­ried Wil­son’s shoes for more than a decade, with lo­cal­women keen fol­low­ers of her on­trend styles.

“Kathryn’s story will res­onate with our in­no­va­tive and fu­ture­fo­cused Hawke’s Bay busi­ness­women. We’re thrilled to be a part of this event, par­tic­u­larly now thatwe’re host­ing a speaker with the pro­file and ac­com­plish­ments that Kathryn brings with her.”

SUC­CESS­FUL: Ac­claimed shoe de­signer and busi­ness­woman Kathryn Wil­son will speak in Have­lock North this month.

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