British shoe and jewellery designer Freya Rose turned her passion into a sustainable commerically successful business with the help of The Prince's Trust. When Freya started her business over ten years ago, she dreamed of creating world-respected shoe designs that would be worn by the most celebrated, style-revered women.

"I'd been working as a shoe designer for a few years, but always knew I wanted to set up my own business. There's something so special about the transformative element of shoes and the impact they have on women's confidence. I'm also mesmerised by jewellery and I was really keen to create a shoe collection that would incorporate both: shoes with bejewelled elements.

"Creating a sustainable business was also really important to me. I wanted to work carefully with skilled artisans to produce slower, more considered designs, with people who would become almost like family. I started my journey in Bali where I met local craftspeople who could create the bejewelled and artistically crafted heel designs, which have since become my signature. I then found a family-run factory in Spain that could produce the shoes, but I still needed guidance on how to turn my creative vision into a business reality."

Freya took part in The Prince's Trust Enterprise programme, where she received practical support and advice on how to run a business alongside mentoring and a loan to help her get her business off the ground.

"I found the course really gave me the confidence to go out there and do what I'd always dreamed of. It really was invaluable for me in those early days." 

Since then her business has gone from strength to strength, but like many business owners, the pandemic was challenging to navigate.

"It really helped me change my mindset and look for new and innovative opportunities. People weren't really buying high heels during lockdown so I refocused my energy into designing jewellery, and it's been really successful. With a return to socialising and weddings, we are experiencing a positive, renewed interest in the shoe collection too, as people become excited about dressing up again.

My advice to anyone keen to set up their own business is to make sure that it's something you feel really passionately about. It's not always easy to begin with, so it helps to be motivated when you're doing something that you love.

"Get in touch with The Prince's Trust as the organisation is full of inspiration and wisdom which has been an essential part of my journey."