As part of a new feature on The Bride's Diary Blog, we will be introducing you to individuals who work in the wedding industry... giving you an insight into who they are and why they love weddings!
This week we have been talking to Sheree from Suna Shoes, about her hectic life running the store that has been voted Australia's No. 1 Bridal Shoe Specialist! Sheree also gives us insight into her past life as a jewellery buyer (we are very jealous!) and her love for her children and family...
• Tell us a little about your business…
Suna Shoes offer the largest and most exciting range of bridal and formal shoes in Australia! Suna have been voted Australia’s No.1 Bridal Shoe Specialist and have over 25 years experience in the bridal footwear industry. We pride ourselves on exceptional service, vast range and expertise. It is a pleasure to walk into one of our stores knowing that our brides can choose from a ballet flat, a low heel, high heel, wedge, with lots of bling or none at all, and ranging in price from $80 to $300. Our gorgeous handbags, tiaras and jewellery complete the look. For the brides who cannot get to one of our stores, we offer a fully secured, user friendly website www.suna.com.au where they can shop online at their leisure.
• What is your role in the business and why are you passionate about it?
Being the owners of the business it is our whole life! We live and breathe it every minute of the day and we LOVE IT! We have all brides and their bridal parties in the forefront of our minds when we design our brand Keara Hamiltyn, and also when we purchase from other suppliers. It is important to us and our entire team to ensure the bride leaves our store a happy one!
• How long have you been working in the industry?
Shoes are in Andrew’s blood with both his parents previously involved in both retail and wholesale. We purchased the business 7 years ago and have since expanded in number of stores and the product mix. I have a retail, buying and marketing background and we both work well together.
• What are some of your past business experiences?
In my previous life (pre children & shoes!) my career was in the jewellery business. I was the Diamond Jewellery Buyer for Michael Hill International, buying beautiful diamond jewellery for all Michael Hill stores in 3 different countries. This involved extensive travel, negotiating, and building business relationships with suppliers. I also held the Buyers role within the Opal industry in Australia for some time. I loved the jewellery industry and had been involved in this field since I was 18 yrs old. It took a number of years for me to decide to join our business, as I seriously thought Andrew and I would kill each other! Ha ha… But I am so glad I did, as we work well together and have such a passion for shoes & accessories. After all, what more could a girl want ~ jewellery & shoes!
• What is one of your favourite recollections from your business?
Launching our e-commerce website – it has been a huge success. Some of our bride’s email us their wedding photos which is always nice to see. We receive many happy testimonials which make it all worthwhile. Creating our ‘Keara Hamiltyn’ bridal range has been phenomenal also. We are regularly overseas developing new styles and to ensure quality control over this new and exciting brand… Can you guess where the name came from? (See below...)
• Tell us a bit about your family and home life…
We are based in Brisbane and have 2 beautiful children, Hamiltyn aged 7 and Keara, 4. They have been surrounded by shoes, handbags, and accessories and a hectic lifestyle their entire life, so we are sure they will be involved within the business when they are older!
• How do you enjoy spending your spare time?
Spare time??? We’re like EveryReady batteries that never stop! With the business and our children there’s not a lot of time left over, but Andrew and I have a busy social life and love catching up with our friends and family and having a laugh….and a few drinks of course.
• What is your most memorable life experience?
Definitely giving birth to both of our children – it totally changes your life for the better.
• What are your plans for the future?
We are focused on growth and are about to open our 5th store in QLD in December. This is very exciting and we trust our brides ‘up north’ will enjoy having a Suna store nearby.
Visit Suna Shoes