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Norwich designer builds booming business creating cake-looking shoes

Beauty and Fashion

Norwich designer builds booming business creating cake-looking shoes

Norwich designer builds booming business creating cake-looking shoes

“I have to tell customers their shoes aren’t edible”

A fashion designer from Norwich has revealed how she built a booming business creating shoes that look just like cake that sell for up to £200 – and how her designs are so realistic she’s had to explain that her shoes aren’t edible to her customers.

Rachel Mattia and her husband Angelo have spent years expertly crafting their own range of shoes decorated with what appear to be cherries, ice cream, chocolate, sprinkles and cookies – and make use of tools used by bakers such as a piping bag to put the finishing touches on their delicious-looking creations.

After the self-confessed “cake enthusiasts” initially began designing shoes in their free time, what started as a hobby quickly evolved into a fully-fledged business when friends, family, and even celebrities began making requests for custom-built dessert shoes.

“We started off just making shoes for our friends who liked the idea, but our daughters encouraged us to set up a website. When we eventually did it went crazy, we had to convert our garage into a workshop which is now packed to the ceiling with shoes. I even saw Ella Vaday wearing a pair of our shoes on Drag Race and ended up messaging her and making her another pair”

Even as the cost of living continues to skyrocket across the UK, Rachel explains that demand for her shoes – which sell for anywhere between £38 – £200 – continues to grow as Christmas approaches.

“The majority of our customers are fashion-obsessed and have an eye for unique statement pieces, and they’re happy to pay a premium for a well-crafted product. As we get closer to Christmas we’re seeing a lot of people ordering shoes for their daughters, too – we have 35 pairs to send out for next week”

Rachel explains that her unusual process involves first baking a real cake, then designing a pair of shoes based on the look of her kitchen creation – and the final product leaves customers so confused that she often has to remind them that the shoes aren’t actually edible.

“I try to bake everything as a cake before we turn it into a shoe. A customer wanted a gold shoe with chocolate sauce and a cherry on top, so I baked a mini gold dust cake with chocolate sauce and a cherry on top so we could look at the icing and how the chocolate drips and use that to inform our design. I probably bake 5-6 cakes per week – it’s great for our designs but bad for our waistlines. People think they’re edible all the time. When we first started, we had to explain to customers at least twice a day that they couldn’t eat their shoes”.

While Rachel and Angelo continue to work full-time jobs while they run their business Bake A Shoe, Rachel has big ambitions for the future. Have your cake and wear it – quite literally! Bake A Shoe make shoes, handbags, pin badges and more that look like real edible cake! Bespoke, customised cake shoes for brides and their entourage, crazy shoe people, drag and even hightops for kids!

“I would love to eventually open up a physical bakery and shoe shop combo. You can eat a bit of cake while you wait for your shoes, then take them out into a photo studio in the back to get some cool pictures in your new kicks. All the hard work of running this business is worth it when I see people having so much fun wearing what we make, because we have just as much fun making them”.

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