ARNA TALKS TO SUSANNAH DAVDA THE SHOE CONSULTANT
Susannah Davda developed her love of shoes from a very young age thanks to her father who used to make them as a hobby. After leaving school she studied for a degree in Footwear Design, and has spent more than two decades working with footwear brands and retailers. Susannah used her unique expertise to launch her business The Shoe Consultant in 2015. Since then, she has focused on helping shoe brands to delight their customers, and inspiring women to make more positive decisions about the shoes they buy. She regularly speaks about shoes at events, and writes shoe stories for online and print publications.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? What's your purpose?
Helping women access the comfortable, beautiful shoes we deserve.
What is something you've learned about yourself this year?
That I CAN grow roses!
What do you love about yourself?
That I'm a good listener, and a fast thinker. Useful skills for my personal and professional relationships.
When we do reach gender equality, what does this world look like to you?
I so badly want this to happen, but I struggle to imagine this world. However, we do have pockets of it in the world. Like my house! A gender equal world would certainly be a kinder one with less violence. Men wouldn't feel they have to live up to an unrealistic version of masculinity. Instead, masculinity would include kindness and empathy. I believe that men have the same capacity to be parents as women. Patience is not a gendered attribute.
What do you believe are the behaviours that hold women back?
I actually found it hard to answer what I love about myself without adding a caveat. So that! We sometimes feel we have to make ourselves a bit smaller.
What has been your boldest move to date?
Starting my own business. It was such a leap of faith, but it felt absolutely right. It was time to do something which made a big difference to women's lives.
What's your call to action for women?
Vote with your credit card when it comes to shoes. Buy the ones which feel good as well as look good. We're being exploited by (particularly male) designers, who believe that beauty = pain. In fact, pain distracts us from the change we could be making in the world, and also from having a good time!