Xanthe Anna makes beautiful sheepskin boots and slippers using recycled and responsibly sourced materials.
Tell us about yourself?
Sewing since my childhood, I began making sheepskin boots in 2008. For over a decade I learned about the intricacies of footwear design. I worked with individual customers making bespoke patterns and got to know their feet, needs and desires.
Through hands on experience working with sheepskin I learned to understand the natural variety in the material. It takes hours of practice to cut and sew it efficiently and effectively. It’s difficult, but I love the challenge.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I’ve worked so hard to launch my business, that I’ve neglected time for myself. It’s tricky to get it right, but I definitely would advise my past self to take more regular breaks away from work and spend time with my friends and family.
What problem does your business solve?
I help our customers to keep their feet warm, with comfort and style, while reducing the impact on the environment.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
I’m inspired by slow fashion. I believe in buying clothes that are loved and mended over and again. It’s a better environmental choice, and it also means you have a closer, emotional connection to your clothes. When you love them, you don’t want to let them go and will seek to have them repaired.
It’s so much more meaningful than the throw away fast fashion we’ve all become used to. To help my customers get the longest use out of their boots I’ve designed them to be durable.
The boots all come with removable and replaceable innersoles, because that’s usually the first part to wear out. I’m also proud to offer a repair service.
What is your magic sauce?
I love my job and my business. I pay attention to the details, from the design to the customer service. Through this I’ve created a product that is truly unique and superb quality.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
I have so many ambitions and dreams for the future! I know that our customers would love to visit us easily, try on different sizes and styles and see the colours first hand. I’d also love to meet and chat with the customers in real life! Anyone can visit our workshop with an appointment, but one day we’ll open a real bricks and mortar shop.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
I knew it was good for me to get out of my comfort zone, and it is certainly uncomfortable. It’s been really challenging to put myself out there, especially on social media. I’m getting better with practice and I am so pleased I’m pushing myself.