Designer interview: Sarah Watkinson-Yull from Yull Shoes


Make it British talks to Sarah Watkinson-Yull about her new footwear label and shows one of the styles being made at a UK shoe factory

Can you tell me a bit more about yourself and why you set up your company?

I always wanted to start my own business before I can remember. I decided it would be shoes whilst I was studying fashion in london, I love how putting on a pair of shoes can make you feel so different. Running Yull is a dream come true.

How would you describe the products that you make?

Classic court shoes with a bit of a twist.

In which part of Britain are you based?

I am based in London but the shoes are manufactured in Northampton.

What percentage of  your products are made in the UK?

50% of the full range are 100% sourced and manufactured in the UK. The other 50% are made in China. However we are very clear in our packaging which ones are which and it can be easily told by the price! The Chinese shoes are more fun whilst the British shoes are much more classic.

Yull shoes 'Goodwood' court
Yull shoes ‘Goodwood’ court

Why did you decide to manufacture in Britain?

As the shoes and the brand are all very British I wanted the shoes to be made in Britain. I spoke to a lot of people who all said that it wouldn’t be possible and that the footwear industry in Britain was dead. I thought where there’s a will there’s a way and I eventually found someone who took a risk and said they would make them for me.

Where do you source your raw materials from?

The shoes made in Britain are 100% in sourced from Britain. There is only one last (the mould used to make a shoe) manufacturer left and the heel supplier is the last one in this country too.

What has been the hardest part of getting your shoes made in Britain?

Finding someone who can make them at a reasonable price.

And what has been the best part?

The whole process has been so exciting and the best part is that the shoes can and have actually been made, which has also been a huge relief!

Yull shoes 'Stratford' court shoe
Yull shoes ‘Stratford’ court shoe

4 thoughts on “Designer interview: Sarah Watkinson-Yull from Yull Shoes”

  1. I think this is fantastic 🙂 best of luck to you Sarah. I am also trying to find a factory in England to hand make my own collection of shoes, and reading this gives me great hope 🙂 as I said all the very best – Bella

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