Follow us


Hand Dyed Shoe Company named Klarna's "Smooothest Store"

Lauretta Roberts
12 April 2019

Hand Dyed Shoe Company, the Durham-based entrepreneurial shoe-making company, was last night name Klarna's "Smooothest Store" winning a £10,000 prize and free use of the Klarna flexible Pay later service for one year.

The brand's founder Simon Bourne was presented with his prize at a ceremony in London's new VI VI restaurant – hosted by entrepreneurs and Made in Chelsea starts Hugo Taylor and Millie Mackintosh – having fought off 5,000 other entrants for the competition, which supports up-and-coming retail businesses.

Runners up, and recipients of £5,000, were luxury children's wear business Britannical and interiors business Charlotte Jade.

The Hand Dyed Shoe Co, which creates handmade footwear from scrap leather in the furniture industry, has always done things a bit differently. Bourne claims his mission is to change the way the world buys shoes, offering a unique experience and service through all the touch points of the business.

His approach has grown alongside the business, and started with free shoe-shining lessons, fresh coffee, and local gin for G&Ts. With experiences offered in Durham, Dubai and London – the company has focused on putting customer experience, as well as workplace culture front and centre of its brand.

“I come from quite from humble beginnings – a council estate in Scunthorpe actually, and I never dreamed I’d be here in front of everyone to accept such a generous award. This opportunity will really drive  my business into the future - we’ll invest it wisely and I hope you’ll see much more from The Hand Dyed Shoe Co. in the future,” an emotional Bourne said upon accepting the award.

Hugo Taylor, added: “From the moment I met Simon I knew he was incredibly passionate about his business, and rightly so, the quality of the products, and the unique experience he offers is something to be proud of. Working with him over the last few weeks has been a pleasure, and I know he’ll go on to do great things with the support of Klarna.”

Luke Griffiths, General Manager at Klarna UK, commented: “We are delighted to announce that Simon has won our Smoooth Stores competition. The unique experience which The Hand Dyed Shoe Co. creates is above and beyond what many retailers offer, and yet, it’s an intrinsic part of what makes Simon’s business so great.

"Every business we’ve had the chance to work with in this project has shown us that the UK’s retail scene is thriving and evolving. The Hand Dyed Shoe Co. will only continue to succeed, and I hope our prize and ongoing support will help accelerate that success for them - I can’t wait to follow his brand’s journey.”

Free NewsletterVISIT