Some of the things you told us in the 2002 survey
In May 2002 Janet & Chris launched this website, as a support site only. They asked you to email them and tell them if you could find small shoes anywhere, what problems you had finding suitable small shoes, and so on.
Here are some of what you said, then:
...about your price limit ...
" I am so frustrated at having to pay a lot of money for such a limited range of shoes. I don't believe the manufacturers who say there is not much call for small shoes. When the Saxone shops, who used to do a good small and tall range closed down, I met lots of people in my position who were desperate to find affordable shoes in small sizes. Are we supposed to go barefoot! What I do think is that manufacturers need to advertise if they do make small sizes, because most people find it very difficult to know where to start looking. They can't buy the shoes if they don't know they are there. I think a lot of people make do with children's shoes or packing in insoles in shoes that are too big for them. " (anon)
" I have paid £60 in the past for a pair of court shoes suitable for work. Why can't I get EVERYDAY shoes at NORMAL PRICES like everyone else?" L. E.
" If I had one wish on this earth it would be that I could walk into any of my favourite London shoe shops (Office, L.K. Bennett, Dune and Ravel) and buy something in my size! I hate being made to feel like a commercial non-entity because my feet don't fall into the 'normal' range. I love stylish shoes but I seem to spend weeks, if not months trying to find just one pair that fits - usually I end up settling for a pair that is a size too big. At some point about 5 years ago, every shop seems to have 'up-sized' their size 3. Now size 3 is really a size 4! Who are they fooling? Do they think that those with true size 3 feet have simply just slipped off the earth because the manufacturers have not found it profitable to make shoes in small sizes anymore? The same applies to clothing in small sizes. When will manufacturers sit up and take note: THE ENTIRE POPULATION DOES NOT FIT INTO SIZES 4 - 7!! " H.
" The price difference from buying kids shoes to specialist small shoes is huge." S. F.
" I would happily pay nearly any money for shoes that I like which fit." A. F.
...on your colour preferences ...
" Even in shops that do sell small sizes, you are usually restricted to black or navy. Do they think people with small feet can't see in colour??!! " C. P.
" Usually don't have a choice of colours - just happy to get a shoe that fits in any colour that my friend's 11 year old wouldn't want to wear." L. D.
" Something other than black.Why can't I buy rainbow wedges if I want?" K. H.
" I tend to buy outfits to match my shoes, not the other way round like normal (lucky) people." L. T.
" Looking well groomed begins with the feet. No point buying the outfit if I've no shoes to go with it!" L. E.
" My shoes are generally black or brown because that is all that is available. I would love to be able to choose pink!" S. Mc.
... on your choice of best shoe...
" Shoes that I can go into a shop & buy & not come out without with the comment: 'We don't stock narrow fittings - but we keep on being asked for them' !!!" Mrs M. C.
" Something delicate, feminine and fashionable. A choice of heel heights, colours etc..." E. P.
" Slippers (without 'Barbie' on the front!) " (anon)
" Give me Prada in a small size and at a fraction of the cost!" K. H.
" Anything that doesn't look as if it's for a child." J. T.
" I would like a strappy sandle with a 3 - 4 inch heel, square toe, leather upper, up to #40." S. W.
" What ever "normal" sized people have this season" M. S.
" The shoe I would like the most would be stylish, and up-to-date, depending on current fashion. I'm tired of looking at lovely shoes in shops and knowing that none of them will fit me." G. R.
" I'd like to stop being sent to the children's dept by shop assistants." J. B-W.
" I would dearly like some cutting edge fashion. I want pointy kitten heel shoes, knee high boots that don't look like wellies on me and strappy sandals that look sexy rather than sad!" S.R.
" Any that fit my feet!" A. F.
" Work shoes - black court shoe with a slightly pointed toe in leather with a bit of style." C. W.
... on buying shoes ...
" 'Size-ism' rules most of the shops and if one more baby-faced assistant says "Would madam like to look in the children's department?" there might be bloodshed! " (anon)
" I am 31 years of age and possess 2 pairs of shoes, how sad is that?" Mrs B.
...on your style preferences ...
" I am 22 and want to wear fashionable shoes that people my age wear - not old women's shoes! i.e I want pointy kitten heels, for example!" S. R.
" Shoes for work with a buckle or laces - cumfy courts fall off. Trendy shoes for evening wear - I'm sick of wearing shoes that my mum would like." M. S.
... on width fittings ...
" Sizes are not consistent across the retail trade. I have shoes in sizes 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 in my wardrobe." (anon)
...suggestions for how to improve this site...
" Produce information about what is available in regions e.g. North East." J. P.
" Tell me where to get fashionable shoes that fit!!!" C. B.
" You need to bully the "fashion" outlets and makers to tell them the average population is growing, but us shorties are loyal and we spend " M. S.
" List shops where they may stock suitable shoes." A. F.
[Our reply: Several people have said this, but that's the point - there are so few to list! We have listed all we have found so far - if you know of any more, then please tell us!]
" I love you for doing this site. Thank you from the bottom of my tiny feet." Lindy W.
Thanks for that, Lindy - it means a lot to us to know it's worth doing...and that we aren't alone in this struggle, either! - Janet and Chris
" Start a shoe shop - please!" S. R.
" Perhaps you guys could open up your own company that only sells sizes below a size 3? (:->) smile.." L. F.
[Our reply at the time: We're working on that one..but it's not easy!]
Well, that was back in 2002. They started selling shoes in April 2003, and the rest is history, as they say!
Now their great work is being continued as the site moves to ownership by the Kandy Collectivbe LLP group and the pretty-small-shoes.com team.