Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain has been a holiday destination for Brits for years.
The sun, sea and sand have seen tourists flock to its resorts, while the younger generation head for the Balearic Islands. And it’s here on the eastern island of Menorca that a traditional sandal can be found called the Avarca.
These simple, modest sandals are based on the humble, functional shoes that farmers and fieldworkers traditionally wore. Now you can find them in all different colours and designs, from simple to incredibly elegant and expensive.
Melanie Tillett was inspired by Spain and these sandals to bring them back home and sell them in her shops. They are a hand made leather shoe with a rubber sole – traditionally made from car tyres.
“I holiday in Spain a lot,” added Mel, “and it was while on holiday that I did some research and found the factory was down the road from where I was and so I went to visit.”
Spain is renowned for its shoes. It has a large shoe making tradition. Think Manola Blahnik, one of the country’s greatest exports. Shoes in Spain are excellent, stylish, comfortable and affordable – a winning combination.
Mel after much research found a Spanish factory prepared to make her version of the Avarca, which she calls the Madrids in homage to Espana.
The first batch arrived in Tilletts’ shops in April 2016 and went down a storm, being affordable and great for all occasions.
She said: “They’re great for holidays, we even have brides buying the white glitter versions and wearing them at their evening dos.”
In 2017 they have two new designs. The shoes are flat with a rough sole and a strap and come in different colours. They are all hand made out of genuine leather.
Customers are known to travel two hours to get to the shop to try them on.
The Madrids are offered at a great price, but Team Tillett knows there is room for growth. They’re already looking at different styles for next year, as they’ve stayed
basic for the last two.
The team have listened to the customers and are looking to offer different styles and colours.
For Mel branching out like this and being inspired by fashion in other countries is important
“It’s essential to the business that we do this and be one step ahead of the competition and be market leaders,” she added.
“We have a great team behind us and we three are a great team and because of our different ages we can look at what the customer wants in those age brackets and cater for them all.”
Being out there and sourcing different products is key to the business and being inspired by fashion is important to the brand.
Tilletts offers the customer something different that you will not necessarily find on the high street.
In the Madrids, Spain has been a key influence. Next? Italy and France.
Shop here for the Madrids