Perhaps you aren’t very good at taking instruction (you, rebel, you) or haven’t yet found the right gift guide for you (more coming, don’t fret). Or maybe mulled wine and bratwurst help your decision making faculties.

Whatever, friend, this list of Indie London Christmas Markets might help…

Are we missing an amazing market? Message us on insta so we can include it here!

NOI Christmas Market

24 November, The Curtain, Shoreditch

This festive event is billed as ‘A Christmas Market Powered By Women, Open To Everyone’ – sign us up! Every stall at the NOI Xmas Market is from a women powered small biz who have come together through the NOI Club, founded by the ace Paola Garbini.

The event is free to attend and taking place at the lush The Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch (which you might have seen on our stories recently) from 11am to 7pm on Saturday 24th November. It’s the perfect excuse to get your gang together, shop for some amazing unique gifts and celebrate with a cocktail in the hotel bar.

See you there!

Ealing Christmas Market
21 November – 24 December 2018
Daily from 10am

For the third festive season running, Ealing Broadway shopping centre will be transformed into a winter wonderland with gifts, twinkling lights and – importantly delicious German, Turkish and Indian food to scoff while ticking off your list.

Rustic wooden cabins will be overflowing with eclectic homeware, accessories and jewellery – I’m after some yummy smelling beard products from Sweyn Forkbeard and an alpaca poncho from Mamacha. Oh, and a turkish/german doner kebab, of course. How about you?

Wear The Walk Sample Sale, Covent Garden

5 – 11 December 2018

Luxe clothing rental brand Wear The Walk are popping up in Covent Garden this Christmas, helping you to snap up a luxury sample sale bargain from designers like Starsica, Pozu and Eren.

They’ll be hosting events through the week : a styling event, meet the makers workshops with Designers and a closing Christmas party.

A luxury sample sale, across multiple days?!

It’s Christmas come early!

Oh, wait…

We all know them, the girls that jumped from groupie vibes when we were in our early twenties to bonafide rock star finesse. Perhaps that’s why her hair’s so big – it’s full of secrets?!

Whether they are freaking out about asking for a raise or raising their first born while covered in their first born’s breakfast they look flipping awesome. They also likely have a wardrobe full of oversized sunglasses and drainpipe jeans.

This gift guide is for The Rock and Roll Star


Disclaimer: I have been crazy about Sarah Baily and her work since we took a selfie as I looked just like a friend of hers. Since that point, just a few years ago, her brand has exploded with jacket concessions in Topshop and being rocked by Rita Ora in a campaign for Rimmel.

If your secret santa budget doesn’t stretch to a heavenly tasseled, metallic jacket, don’t fret. You can nab one of these engraved ‘Girl Gang’ leather key chains for only a tenner or star print card wallet for £36.50. More money for jagerbombs that way.


Get creative and commission Yvonne, of Jolie Laide Ceramix, for a bespoke band vase, teapot or whatever. Yvonne sources so-ugly-it’s-amazing vintage crockery from across the UK and then applies the band logo of your choice creating a one-of-a-kind talking point with a purpose.

Prices start from just £18 so you can afford to go in hard and get a whole tea set branded with your school friend’s favourite sweepy fringed, lip pierced bands from when they were 15.

Not what you are after?

Have you checked out our Indie Christmas guides for…

The Pet Lover

The Magpie

The Hygge Devotee

The Shoe Obsessive

The tone of these gift guides so far have been very tongue in cheek and a little rude. That’s how I roll – #sorrynotsorry.

However, we’re going to save rolling our collective eyes at our holier-than-thou Conscious Consumer friend (the one that has been avoiding mass produced fashion like the plague – good! but forgetting about those morals on a 3am McDonalds binge – not quite so good!) and instead offer them some truly meaningful gifts, that make a difference. Just don’t leave them in a fast food joint at 3am after friend Christmas.

Gift for The Conscious Consumer


The founders of MOSS, Rob and Syreeta are an awesome creative couple whose lives were disrupted when Rob suffered a brain haemorrhage and stroke in 2014. Syreeta put her career on hold to care for Rob who unfortunately is still paralysed on one side. Together they crafted their brand MOSS. As they put it, “the brand was born from a desire to create light out of the darkness; an innovative and conceptual approach to dealing with life-changing events.”

I love their hand poured candles with evocative names and stories like No.1 Wander to Man Mo Temple (with notes of pepper, spice and wood) which starts “We met in Hong Kong. Both urban nomads, far from home, living parallel lives, same cities, never meeting.But paths finally cross in Hong Kong.”


Head and Hands is a loving curated indie store focused on self-care and positive mental health. Amanda, the brand founder, has collaborated with Sharla of Sharlala Jewellery on The Oracle Collection, a five talisman rings loosely inspired by ‘the hand of five mysteries’, ‘a Masonic invitation to receive secret knowledge’. Each symbol carries a mystic message for the beholder…

The collection launches on 24 November with a launch do in London on 28 November –

Not what you are after?

Have you checked out our Indie Christmas guides for…

The Pet Lover

The Magpie

The Hygge Devotee

The Shoe Obsessive

The Foodie

I know, I know. It’s only mid-November. Well, I’m sorry, friends we’re going to talk Christmas.

We’re starting Christmas early here at #TeamCoco because…

  1. Why the hell not?
  2. I want some mulled wine, is that so wrong?
  3. We are pledging to #shopsmall this Christmas and you need to give all those independent makers and shakers some time to create those presents. They unfortunately don’t have the support of Santa’s Elves to magic things to you when you panic on 23rd December that you didn’t buy your Secret Santa and TKMaxx is out of mass produced tatt from China that your recipient will take to a charity shop at their earliest convenience in 2019. If they didn’t leave it while drunk in your office christmas party venue’s ladies loos, that is.

To help you to shop small, we’re compiling gift guides for all those annoying people in your lives who expect gifts.

We start with…The Pet Lover (it can’t just be me who think that sounds like a Tarot card, right?)

HoobyNoo :

Us millennials aren’t into kids as much as those that came before us so we are substituting real life babies with fur babies. Which are way cuter(Have you checked out @TeamCocoPup on insta?) and you can leave them with a sitter happily when you want to jet off for some winter sun without being arrested for being a downright awful human.

This Christmas you can treat your best buddy’s pup, kitten or even horse (aside, how RICH is your best friend, do they even need a gift?!) to all manner of so-cute-I’m-going-to-die pet treats like personalised collar tags, name plaques or our favourite, a personalised gift bag from HoobyNoo signed off from ‘Mummy and Daddy’ from £23.

HoobyNoo are an adorable family-run business, based in Kent. There’s a photo of the team on their website ( and I’d like you to give them all of your money.


Does Fluffy have their own insta and are you sick of photos of them curled up on the sofa posing with their owners? Sorry, you aren’t going to beat them so why not join them with a lovingly crafted pet portrait from Katherine at Giftast.

Katherine works with alcohol markers, coloured pencils and ink pens to ‘create the perfect likeness of your beloved ball of fluff’. Prices start at £30 for an A6 (6x4in) piece.

Outside of humouring pet owners she has a gorgeous range of motivational, hand foiled postcards that say things like ‘I love your face’. Maybe a gift for your friend who wants a pet so bad, but big,bad landlord says no? Head to to cheer them up.

Look out for the rest of our ‘The C-Word’ series coming soon and remember, friends, shop small. No-one needs Boots 3 for 2 sets of lotions and potions they will stock pile for years. Also, all that packaging?! As if!

Do you have The Shoe Obsessive in your life? This guide is for them.

It’s the festive season which means booze flavoured coffees (Nero’s amaretto latte, hello my friend) and sequins are acceptable items to drink / wear for breakfast al desko. The dark mornings and even darker evenings mean we all need a little help to feel sparkly and not punch that guy for manspreading on the train.

Enter these small biz jewellery picks to gift to The Magpie – or for you, but you’re only permitted to self-gift if you sing the ‘Shiny’ song from Moana while purchasing.

Hep Audrey:

Hep Audrey’s tagline is ‘To be your sparkly best’ and with these garnet snowflake earrings, your sparkly best is going to be the Snow Queen, but a nicer version, so – let’s say- Elsa when she thaws out?!

They look so much fancier than the £60 price tag would infer so get some for you and your bestie and make them grovel to you forevermore. Alright, maybe it was the Snow Queen…

Kate Gwilliam Embroidery:

Okay, you can go home now. Christmas has been won by Kate Gwilliam and her ‘bar’, hand embroidered, christmas decorations.

Kate has been embroidering all her life and completed a textile degree which enabled her to pursue it full time. Her focus is on ‘making embroidery contemporary, fun and a craft/skill/art discipline that people appreciate.’ Her embroidery machine is called Suzy and is about 80 years old. Enough said.

Is there gin involved in the art of embroidery? If so, count us in!

Here at House Of Coco we love stories and whenever we travel, we aim to uncover the tales beneath the instagrammable sights we snap. Our love of great stories extends to this Girl Boss series where, over the past few years, we’ve heard from incredible women making their mark and elevating other women around them.

Georgie is a fantastic example of a woman doing both of these things. She’s a true multi-hyphenate working across her own brand, Peony Vintage (, supporting other small businesses and also styling for fashion and commercial shoots. This autumn she’s launching her innovative new subscription box which is jammed packed with stories and nostalgia…plus, did we mention?! Her shop is the perfect pink palace in the heart of Margate’s Old Town: book those train tickets now!

HOC: Hey Georgie, so great to meet you! Tell us a bit about Peony Vintage and your journey from opening the business to launching your subscription box?

Georgie: I wanted to turn something I enjoy into something which can be shared for others and Peony Vintage is just that. Peony Vintage is a Margate based vintage brand specialising in women’s original vintage clothing and a carefully curated accessories edit. We are for women who create their own trends and are happy to give a nod to times gone by in their attire. We have grown enormously in two years!

Since opening the physical store in the heart of Margate , online stores have been opened, I’ve exhibited at London fairs and started my own career as a freelance stylist for costume and fashion, which is amazing. I’ve also design and make vintage inspired acrylic jewellery which is available in store and online. The subscription box has come from a place of loving good old fashioned post. It’s a nostalgic thing to receive love letters so why can’t we send them to ourselves with original vintage treats inside?

HOC: Couldn’t agree more! It’s so nice to receive post that isn’t from the tax man…. There are so many subscription boxes on the market at the moment. What does yours offer that we can’t get elsewhere?

Georgie: I haven’t seen any subscription boxes that are in the UK and deliver quality original vintage and retro inspired accessories so this is where mine comes in! This box delivers a nostalgic nod and bundle of smiles every month, with so much detail in the literature inside too.

All items have been personally sourced and handpicked by me and packaged up for lovely souls to open. Pieces range from original hairpins to handmade necklaces, earrings, screen printed totes and belts.Some pieces of my own jewellery range are also included. It’s only £19.99 per month, with some boxes having a retail value of £40. It’s one box per month and each dedicated to one particular era.

As it stands, this is only a 4 month subscription at the moment so can be gifted and also won’t feel like a lifetime gym membership for those subscribers that do fancy treating themselves. One box per month is dedicated to one particular era.

HOC: Wow. Sounds like so much work has gone into these and we love the sneak peeks of the inserts in this photo above! What makes vintage so important to you?

Georgie: Vintage is so important for style, fashion and reducing waste! People underestimate the impact fast and throwaway fashion can have and by buying true vintage clothing you not only know it’s been made to last, or made in a time where things were valued more, but you know it’s not been made in a sweatshop.

You won’t walk down the street in the same item as someone else, and it won’t be something you then are told by various media sources or shop windows that that item has ‘gone out of fashion’. With vintage you create your own trends, your own style, your own you.

HOC: Who is the ideal Peony Vintage customer?

Georgie: Ummm…I guess someone who is open to try new things or OLD things. No pun intended! Haha.

HOC: You clearly have a wealth of knowledge about vintage style. If someone wanted to learn more about vintage clothing and style how would you recommend them getting stuck in?

Georgie: For me, I’ve more or less grown up around vintage clothing as I was around a lot of musical theatre when I was younger. Shows like Sunset Boulevard and Phantom of the Opera have really inspired me and my outlook on fashion. Influences and knowledge can come from all different sources: for instance, I love Mad Men and I listen to Fleetwood Mac. Inspiration is all around us but as for one recommendation, I’d say get a book called ‘The Vintage Fashion Sourcebook’ : this was my bible when I first started.

HOC: And finally, can you tell us about a recent ‘Girl Boss moment’ you’ve had?

Georgie: To be honest, any time someone tells me the shop is beautiful or I make a sale is a ‘Girl Boss’ moment for me. When someone comes in and doesn’t buy anything but says how much they love the store this means just as much to me. It means my vision makes people happy. I love watching people smile about the past or hear a squeal of joy from the changing room when they try something on that makes them feel beautiful.

The Peony Vintage Subscription Box launches in September with the 1930s box and a few remaining boxes are available for pre-order now!

The subscription lasts for 4 months so is the perfect treat at £19.99 a month with a value of up to £40 per box. Each box is designed and hand packed to bring life to a specific era of the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Each month is a surprise with at least 2 original vintage items and a retro inspired piece of jewellery designed and handmade by Georgie, complete with fun facts.

To snap up your box head to

We have put together a simple list of luxury travel necessities that we absolutely love here at House of Coco Magazine. We’ve even thrown in a couple of beauts that aren’t really necessities at all, but they are totally and utterly fabulous! For her, for him, and for both.

For Her

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All-in-One Gel, priced at £36, via DHC UK online.

This all-in-one gel is ideal for travelling with as it tones, hydrates, and brightens skin all in one step. The antioxidant astaxanthin, which is considered 6,000 times more powerful than Vitamin C can be found throughout this product, helping to offer moisture, health and vitality back into the skin. The addition of collagen helps to firm, and the hyaluronic acid protects the skin’s natural moisture.

Flora & Curl, Rose & Honey Milk Leave-In Detangler, priced at £19 for 250ml, via FloraCurl online.

For the curly hair traveller, this little hydrating milk may be the answer to all your prayers. Flora & Curl have produced their Rose & Honey Milk Leave-In Detangler which releases knots and tangles with a pampering and softening conditioning cream cocktail of organic rose water, coconut, and sweet honey. Perfect for all curl types.

Boucléme, Intensive Moisture Treatment, priced at £9 for 2 x 50ml sachets, via selected Space NK stores and Planet Organic stores plus online at Boucléme.

An ingenious idea to package in sachets, so that there’s no waste while away travelling. Boucléme Intensive Moisture Treatment is nutrient rich with a deep and nourishing formula to restore much-needed hydration, strength and shine to damaged hair. Bursting with key actives including Marula Oil, Mafura Butter, Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Wheat Bran and so much more. These sachets are super versatile as they can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment, a leave-in conditioner, or a deep conditioning mask.

Glitz n Pieces, Petra Headband, priced at £9 each, via Glitz n Pieces online.

Bring out all the hair accessories this summer, and where better to invest than with a Petra Headband by the team at Glitz n Pieces! We are into both Petra styles and colours but our absolute fave is the green and mustard headband.

Lisa Kay London, Farrah Leather Espadrilles, priced at £69+, via Lisa Kay London online or Charles Clinkard stores.

No holiday is complete without the addition of a pair of super comfy super espadrilles, and Lisa Kay’s designs for 2018 are some of the best. We simply adore the pale pink leather Farrah design, they are chic, understated and full of attitude.

Breton, T-Shirt, Priced at £22, via Crew Clothing stores or online.

A Breton t-shirt is one of those staple wardrobe items that every luxury traveller has in her luggage, whether for a day out shopping or a day spent on a yacht, a Breton is known for style, worn for ease, and oozes sophistication.

For Him

OppoSuits, Shineapple Suit, priced at £64.95, via Opposuits online.

Could the Opposuits be any more fantastic, we don’t think so. The one we have swooned over the most is the Shineapple, totally tropical and very cool outfit. The suit comprises a pair of shorts with matching short-sleeved jacket and matching tie. Just fun, frivolous and fabulous.

Marloe Watch Company, Haskell Watch, priced at £745, via Marloe Watch Company online.

For all adventurers, the Heskell watch takes its name from the Haskell Strait and is inspired by the extraordinary first British Antarctica exploration carried out by Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his men; Marloe’s first Swiss Made timepiece exemplifies the company’s desire to pursue design excellence and ensure its watches are fit for the modern day adventurer. Of course this watch could be worn by a woman too, it’s classically beautiful and if you are a large watch fan then this may be ideal for you whatever your gender.

For Both

NIVEA UV Face Shine Control, priced at £8, via Superdrug stores and Superdrug online.

We all need to use sunscreen more often, even on the dullest of days. Wherever we travel our luggage should always carry a little UV protection, and this NIVEA UV Face Shine Control SPF50 is a one-stop protection for the face.

MOLESKINE City Notebook, priced at £16.95, via Moleskine online.

There are six notebooks in this brand new collection from MOLESKINE, they include: Berlin, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, and Rome. Within this notebook there are city maps, underground maps, blank pages, lined pages, stickers, adhesive sheets, expandable inner pockets, ribbon bookmarks and space for storing other documents. A great accessory for a trip to a new city.

Iphoria combines cute statement slogans, colourful prints and motifs, and fashionable functionality to create a quirky range of accessories that are definitely House of Coco approved. From graphic rechargeable phone cases, transparent in flight bags, and funky exchangeable strap micro-bags; Iphoria’s accessories are enough to make any wanderlust enthusiast swoon.

Team Coco sits down with Iphoria’s founder, Milena Jaeckel, who started Iphoria straight out of university. We talk about the challenges of being a young businesswoman, the inspiration behind her latest collection, and what makes her a Girl Boss.

Milena Jaeckel of Iphoria

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, what inspired you to start Iphoria?
I was born 1989 in Niedersachen. After school, I began studying fashion design before I eventually switched to international management. During my studies, I realised that there were no fashionable accessories for all my technological gadgets — and this was pretty much where the idea for Iphoria came from.

2. What kind of woman you are designing for? Who is the Iphoria woman?
The Iphoria Woman is a modern Cosmopolitan Woman who lives in a big city, loves fashion, works hard and travels a lot.

3. Talk us through your latest collection. Do you have a favourite piece?
Our latest collection is very colourful and super fun. Apart from our classic phone cases, bags, sunglasses cases and other accessories, we added some cool new products; such as the wireless QI charger and our new Inflight bags as well. They are so functional and stylish;one of my favourites. However, I also love the cashmere collection as it looks great, has amazing quality, and it is super comfortable.

4. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur so far?
The biggest challenge is to keep on going and believing in your idea. Even if you have doubts, you have to stay strong and believe that it will all work out in the end.
Also for me — as I was pretty young when I founded Iphoria. I had to negotiate with people who were twice my age and had more experience than I did. Sometimes it was hard to be taken seriously as a businesswoman.

5. What’s next for you and Iphoria? Any new exciting projects in the pipeline?
We have some new projects and cool collaborations planned which I can’t really talk about, but I can promise you that they are going to be super exciting – so watch this space!

6. What advice do you have for women who would like to become a GirlBoss like yourself?
Being a GirlBoss means hard work. You have to be tough and confident. Dare to realize your dreams, and most importantly: Believe in yourself and your idea!

“The biggest challenge is to keep on going and believing in your idea. Even if you have doubts, you have to stay strong and believe that it will all work out in the end.” – Milena Jaeckel


Lawyer, model, businesswoman, and philanthropist; Jennifer Ewah has it all. Her brand, Eden Diodati, which takes its name from a combination of the heavenly garden of Eden, and the Swedish Italian theologian Giovanni Diodati; combines fine jewellery with female empowerment. Not only does Eden Diodati donate 10% of dividends to Médecins sans Frontières, their business model creates sustainable livelihood for a cooperative of 5000 women artisans who have survived Rwandan genocide. Beautiful jewellery for an even more beautiful cause? Now that is Girl Boss Team Coco can get behind.

Jennifer Ewah of Eden Diodati

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, what inspired you to start Eden Diodati?

Eden Diodati is my label of love. It was started at the convergence of two inextricably linked concepts: love and creativity. At the heart of our ethos is the desire to serve others, matched only by the desire to see inner beauty reflected through outer beauty in design. Luxury fashion is an ideal medium. It is a unique communicator of visual and social ideas as well as a conduit of individual and collective aspirations.

Eden Diodati was born out of a fascination and desire to capture the compassion, empathy, and strength that lie at the heart of the beauty of the women that I know – my mother who is a doctor, being the foremost example. The ethical aspect of the brand is not independent of the aesthetic; it informs and inspires it in the most fundamental way. The mission of our brand goes far beyond selling as many pieces as we can. As an ethically responsible business, we have a message to convey, as well as positive social benefits to be accountable for. I was dissatisfied with the status quo of ethical accessories and the perception of fair trade. So after a trip to Cairo with the World Fair Trade Organisation, Eden Diodati was born. We aim to marry elevated design with social justice.

2. Tell us a little bit about Eden Diodati, what makes this different from other jewellery brands in the market?
A piece of jewellery is not just an accessory, but also a conversation piece. Every Eden Diodati piece carries a powerful message of resilience and transformation from those whose lives have been improved through its creation. This is the essence of the future, as that same future embraces and encompasses socially ethical luxury. We are reaching a tipping point of consumer awareness and concern for people and planet; the sustainability movement is the zeitgeist of our era. It will continue to define the spirit or mood of our time in history and will increasingly become of central importance to the luxury industries.

Our pieces are hand-beaded in a social cooperative with 5,000 women artisans who survived the genocide in Rwanda. This group of women have the highest level of craftsmanship skill and creative sensibility. The Hutu and Tutsi ethnicities working side-by-side, supporting each other as artisan sisters of excellence – in a model of peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation. We have provided income to roughly 150 of the women but our goal is to scale up and support more. We also plan to move to Fairtrade precious metals in our production.

3. Talk us through your philanthropic efforts. How does Eden Diodati help marginalised women in Rwanda? 
We provide the social cooperative with extremely lucrative margins per piece, buying stock upfront, but with the added intangible benefit of showcasing the craftsmanship of my partner artisans who have triumphed in the face of adversity.

Eden Diodati is a brand which aims to evoke inner beauty, by actively seeking out socially marginalised women to support, and through an ethical business approach of love and inclusiveness, that is then elevated through design. Our wearable philanthropy means that we donate 10% of dividends to Médecins sans Frontières . We recognise the need to address human fragility on a global scale whilst simultaneously uplifting those trapped in the desperate cycle of economic and social hardship, sustainable enterprise transforms lives.
4. Eden Diodati is proudly a sustainable luxury brand. How do you marry sustainability with luxury? 
The roots of luxury are in slow production and artisanal craft, rather than fast and mass production.
It is Eden Diodati’s aim to challenge the paradigm by creating a luxury brand that is constantly serving those who are socially vulnerable through disability, abuse or marginalisation. Across the globe, luxury consumers are becoming less concerned about symbols and increasingly conscious about the value of a product based on its environmental and social impact.
Currently, there are a number of sustainable brands in the market, but they tend to cater for younger consumers and are focused on casual pieces.

5. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as entrepreneurs so far?
The biggest challenge that I have personally faced is running the brand whilst working full time in a senior capacity as a professional (a lawyer) but we are recruiting!

6. What advice do you have for women who would like to become a GirlBoss like yourself?
Stay true to your vision, draw internal inspiration from it, never give up, and have faith! And especially to social entrepreneurs – love never fails.

“We are reaching a tipping point of consumer awareness and concern for people and planet; the sustainability movement is the zeitgeist of our era.” – Jennifer Ewah of Eden Diodati

Eden Diodati

On a chilly London eve, we head to Bob Bob Ricard to have a glamorous sit down dinner with Snowy Li of S.Novio. A woman of undeniable style and taste, it is no wonder that Snowy has created the perfect shoe brand for the stylish and goal-getting women of today – S.Novio.

Taking its name from the latin word for boyfriend “Novio”, S.Novio is a shoe brand for women that shares the qualities of an ideal boyfriend — warm, protective, and most importantly comfortable. With a pair of high cut S.Novio boots in tow, you are ready to take on the world in style. Snowy herself, is a businesswoman first and a designer second; and is a true embodiment of Girl Boss goals. She understands the need for stylish wardrobe staples that not only transition from day to night, but also season to season. With a good pair of S.Novio shoes, who needs a boyfriend? According to Snowy, she would have both. Why? – because she can.

1.Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? How did you get into fashion design?
I grew up with a mixture of both Asian and Western influences. Having studied and spent most of my life in the UK and coming from a traditional Chinese background, I have had exposure to both cultures. I feel very blessed that through my business I am able to seamlessly bring together both Eastern and Western influences.

From a young age I was always a creative and energetic child, who was full of curiosity – I always loved fashion and had a passion for style. Most of my family work in traditional business, so it would have been a natural step for me to progress into something like finance. Alternatively, I decided to start my own fashion production company instead of working for someone else – I would organise fashion shoots for Chinese magazines and helped Chinese brands shoot abroad and built it from there. Although I really enjoyed travelling, working with beautiful people and even more beautiful clothes, I didn’t always feel completely satisfied. A part of my brain was craving for projects that involved numbers, contracts, statistics and spreadsheets.

Ever since I can remember, I have always been surrounded by business-minded people and I guess, that’s what had sparked by interest in creating a start-up. I found myself wanting to dive in, head first. At this point, I had left fashion and went into finance. However, my passion for managing a company never faded away and years later I founded a luxury shoe brand, S.Novio.

2. What inspired you to start S.Novio, what is the philosophy of your brand?
I am always on the move; I have reached a point where I travel up to four times a week. Naturally, travelling to a variety of countries comes with the burden of selecting the appropriate clothing. I love looking smart during the day; and I always try to dress up to go out for dinners when I am in a foreign country.

I think the philosophy of the brand is embodying a love for shoes which are comfortable, elegant and chic enough to wear for day and night. I wanted to create a brand for independent women like me, helping them look chic while pursuing their dreams. ‘Novio’ in the latin language means boyfriend; I want our S.Novio women to feel warmth, protection, and comfort in our shoes just like they would in a boyfriend. I want them to feel that a good pair of S.Novio shoes is just as good as a boyfriend.

3. In your opinion, how important is a good pair of shoes to a woman’s wardrobe?
In my opinion, shoes and bags show good quality and taste. I believe it is easier to wear a pair of good quality shoes with high street clothing, however it is more difficult to do the opposite. A good pair of shoes is not a good investment — it’s a great one. A good pair of S.Novio over the knee boots is the perfect wardrobe staple.

4. What do you think sets S.Novio apart from other independent shoe brands out there?
We have very strong focus and work ethic. We are not a shoe brand that has limitless styles to offer — we want our customers to come to us for a particular style… the S.Novio style!

For autumn/winter we have focused on creating the best quality over-the-knee boot in the market, which we believe is a definite wardrobe staple. As for spring/summer, we want to have more sparkle and bring out the feminine & glamorous side of the brand. We aim to continue producing a few signature staples every year — which usually are either flat shoes, or easy-to-walk–in heels. For example, we have created gladiator style sandals for spring/summer made with Swarovski Crystals, a new spin on a classic.

5. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as a businesswoman and a designer?
I consider myself as more of a businesswoman than a designer. I think the biggest challenge is managing the business as a whole – I’m still learning and I’m loving the process! I would say my biggest challenge is what makes me out-do myself.

6. Finally, what would you rather have — a good pair of shoes or a good boyfriend?
I would have both, just because I can!