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13 May 2008

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Zebedee Shoes opens its first shop

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A new business selling children’s shoes has proved so successful it has opened its first shop.

Liz Guarnaccia launched Zebedee Shoes as a mobile business, making home visits and visiting nurseries and mums-and-tots clubs. But demand has soared and Zebedee Shoes has opened its first shop in London Road, Peterborough.

But mum-of-two Liz, 37, has kept the personal touch and still offers home visits or special appointments at the shop when the doors are closed to passing trade and customers get the shop to themselves.

Zebedee Shoes website

Liz said: “I know what it’s like shoe shopping with two children under the age of three. By the time you get seen you’re fraught and stressed and the kids are worse.

“This way mums, or dads, get to take their time in a non pressured environment and it’s a good opportunity to impress on them the importance of correctly fitted shoes and getting children’s feet measured regularly. Plus there’s free parking and a cup of coffee thrown in!”

Liz, who has had specialist training to become a member of the Footwear Society, started the business in late 2006 and in early 2007 became a finalist in Peterborough Enterprise Programme’s best new business ideas competition, Start Doing Something New Today, to find the city’s new entrepreneurs.

While the competition winner gets £2,000, a trophy and a year’s mentoring from competition judges including an accountant, solicitor, bank manager, and public relations consultant, the finalists also get six months of mentoring.

It was a prize Liz put to good use and although originally hoping to fit home visits around her children, business has boomed and she is hoping to take on staff in the future. She said: “It’s just got out of hand – but in a great way.

Opening the shop seemed like the next step and I can’t carry every shoe in every size around with me everywhere.”

Customers can also view shoes and request a home visit online at www.zebedeeshoes.co.uk.

Brands include Hippy Chick, Funky Feet, Ralph Lauren, Lelli Kelly, Froddo, Ciciban, Hush Puppies, Merrell, Bo Bell, Compagnucci, Step2London, Starchild and more.

Liz, whose two boys are now aged four and three, used to work as a PA at Hotpoint but spent time working at a Saxone shoe shop when she was younger and says she still can’t walk past a shoe shop without going in.

January 2008 - Peterborough UK Community Website




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