DEBORAH CARRÉ RUNS THE BESPOKE SHOEMAKING BUSINESS CARRÉDUCKER, ALONG WITH HER BUSINESS PARTNER AND FELLOW MASTER SHOE MAKER, JAMES DUCKER. TOGETHER THEY CREATE HAND SEWN, BESPOKE SHOES FOR PRIVATE CLIENTS WORLDWIDE AND DELIVER THE BESPOKE SHOE SERVICE AT GIEVES & HAWKES, NO.1 SAVILE ROW AND JAMES PURDEY & SONS, LONDON.
Carréducker’s workshops are in Central London; at Cockpit Arts in historic Clerkenwell where they make handsewn shoes to commission, using only hand tools, at their traditional workbenches; and at Chocolate Studios in Shoreditch, where they teach shoe making to enthusiasts keen to learn this centuries-old craft. Courses have grown from just one a year to a packed school calendar of day, evening, weekend and intensive courses and classes in shoe making, shoe care & polish, footwear pattern making and leatherwork. A team of industry experts help to deliver the syllabus which includes experiences for groups, parties, corporate team building and continuous personal development; as well as masterclasses for shoemakers keen to enhance their expertise. To date, nearly 150 students have taken Carréducker’s courses, many continuing to make as a hobby and some going on to become shoemakers themselves.
Without QEST Deborah would not have been able to pursue her passion for shoemaking or to create Carréducker; this young British shoe company celebrates 15 years in business in 2020. QEST’s scholarship was the tipping point in her career, from “Marketeer” to “Maker”. Together with James, she has built Carréducker into a business that sees client numbers grow year on year; that is sending out shoemaking ambassadors into the world; that is training new makers; that supports specialist, British suppliers; and that makes the handsewn craft relevant to a modern world by collaborating and consulting with manufacturers and designers at a global level. Today their work is part of the permanent exhibition at the Design Museum, London.
To further champion their craft, Deborah & James participate in and demonstrate their skills at select shows and exhibitions in the UK and overseas including London Craft Week; the Vicheron Constantin Masters of Craft exhibitions at Somerset House and the Royal Academy; the Victoria & Albert Museum for the Heritage Craft Association; the GREAT Festival in Istanbul; and with QEST at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace and Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace.
Deborah received the QEST Award for Excellence 2018 and the Balvenie Masters of Craft: Leather award in 2011; and Carréducker received the Marsh Heritage Crafts ‘Made in Britain Award’ 2017.