Ruth Emily Davey is a bespoke shoemaker based in rural west Wales, who makes leather footwear hand tailored to fit individual feet.
She applied for a QEST scholarship in order to further her education to gain further understanding of the science and anatomy of the foot. This is to enable her to generate new designs following traditional methods of shoe making with the purpose of making footwear with unique health benefits.
Her QEST award, part-funded by the Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund, funded her course fees for the Professional Reflexology Training Course at The Bayly school, London, as well as a boot design course at the London College of Fashion to extend her range into specific areas such as the equestrian market. Additionally, she used her award to research fabric by investigating cloth and traditional weaving at Breanish Tweed in Scotland. Her inspiration in using textiles stems from a visit to Peru in 2006 where she discovered the intricacies of weaving and the use of leather to reinforce durability of the cloth. Ruth says, ‘My personal inspiration leans toward using traditional fabrics and weaving as side panels on the boots to incorporate the beauty of cloth reinforced with leather for durability.’ Her QEST award enabled her to master this skill.
Since receiving the scholarship, Ruth has been working on the design aspect of her business. She has launched a range of footwear combining the use of tweed cloth and leather, which has been very popular. Ruth is hoping to further her use of fabric and design range with a trip to Japan this year.