Meet Rachel

Rachel Simpson is an award winning shoe designer and founder of the brand, with over twenty years’ experience designing for a wide variety of companies. She lives in Oxfordshire with her musician and business owner husband Ben, and their two cats Ella and Louis. Rachel calls herself an ‘accidental business- woman’, having started the business with the sole motivation of creating beautiful shoes. Twelve years on she has a bit more of a plan and a lot more business sense, selling her distinctive shoes all over the world.

Whilst still studying Rachel began her career as a creative yet commercial shoe designer, and by the time she graduated was ready to set up her first company working as a freelance designer. It was during these years Rachel got to travel the world and work with shoe factories in India, China, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Hong Kong, Portugal and Brazil- each with their own unique style and expertise. Not only did she fall in love with the art of shoe making, but with the people behind the craft.

Skip to 2008, and fast fashion had exploded. By now Rachel was an established commercial designer working freelance for a number of wholesale clients, creating footwear ranges for them to sell to high street brands. It used to be great fun but had started to become more about copying than actual designing. Respite was found at the bottom of the garden however, where Rachel had set up a small workshop containing two old industrial sewing machines she bought for £500 after graduating. It was here she made handmade shoes for individual clients- often brides. This counterbalanced the increasingly copycat nature of the freelance design work and fuelled her creative side and passion for traditional shoe making.

And then the light bulb moment happened- what if she could combine the two?

Rachel was passionate about keeping the traditional craft of shoe making alive in a world where production was becoming increasingly price driven. People loved the shoes she created but being bespoke, they were expensive. What if she could upscale this concept and make it more accessible? And so Rachel Simpson the brand was born.

Rachel remains very hands on within the business, but nowadays works with the wonderful ‘Team RS’ who are more like a family than work colleagues. Every member of the Rachel Simpson team has their own area of expertise to make sure customers get the very best experience, from choosing their perfect shoes to caring for them after the big day and every step in between.