The Hand Dyed Shoe Company handcrafts and handmakes bespoke men’s shoes – unique to every individual. But it’s not just a shoe shop – it’s a personalised shoe experience.
Men come by themselves, or are gifted the experience by a loved one, for this sentimental purchase. Whether it’s a pair of shoes they’ll walk down the aisle in, or ones that let them express their individuality on a day-to-day basis, they won’t find an experience like it elsewhere.
This truly unique factor has led the SME to achieve tremendous things since they started in 2014. What began as one man’s hobby has led to a five-strong team business, with further growth on the horizon and even an appearance on Dragons’ Den this March. It’s a thriving time for them, but it’s not always been easy…
The Hand Dyed Shoe Company Story
Founder Simon Bourne was working at a furniture manufacturing business when he had an idea. Instead of sending the leather scraps to landfill, why not make them into something valuable like accessories?
So he did, but soon it became more than a hobby – it became an obsession. Crafting accessories eventually turned into men’s shoes. He loved the creativity as well as the fact he was giving people the opportunity to express themselves – with a pair of truly unique shoes.
Customers adored the products, but Simon had one stumbling block. With minimal savings and only the salary from his full-time job, every task was met with the challenge of money. Using his creative flair, Simon created the logo, website, photography and marketing literature all in-house. People on social media started to notice, and The Hand Dyed Shoe Company’s growth gathered pace.
This allowed the business to be able to purchase premises. Instead of Simon going out to meet customers, they could visit the Hand Dyed Shoe Company for the ultimate shoe experience. The media then became interested in the start-up’s success, resulting in accelerated growth.
Whilst the business has achieved incredible things, today, they face the typical challenges that come with managing a business. They have to juggle all the tasks that come with PR and marketing, designing the shoes, serving their expanding client base, ensuring a seamless supply chain, guaranteeing their team members are happy and motivated – not to mention managing cash flow effectively.
One thing that is central to all of these responsibilities is the advanced capabilities of the Mac. As a creative business, they work with graphic design, videography and social media teams and programmes, which require top-of-the-range software and hardware. With their growth only looking to speed up, they realised they would need some technical assistance which ultimately led them to Lease Loop…
“I got very fortunate. I knew that one of my clients, Bryan Holmes (a groom who had required unique wedding shoes) owned an enterprise called iStation. They provide dedicated repair services to Apple products, so I called him up. He had given me business, so I was keen to support his when I needed help with technology in my own.
“Bryan referred us to James and, through him, we arranged our first leased iMac to be delivered. The process was fantastic – it was brought to us as soon as physically possible which was fantastic for our cash flow and productivity.
“What we quickly established was that whilst Lease Loop is in an industry different from ours, we share the same values. One of these is accessibility. There’s no waiting 72 hours for a response – James is always on hand to help. He has the same mentality as our business, something that really benefits how we work with each other.
“The support has been great. Like us, they really care about their customers being happy. If there’s ever been an issue, we’ve found their service and processes align with our needs and so they support us with the likes of tailored advice, upgrading software and new programmes.
“We’re constantly looking to evolve further. I’m a very ambitious person and can see The Hand Dyed Shoe Company going far beyond its current success. It’s fantastic to know we can rely on Lease Loop to help us along our journey.”