6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to EDP Norfolk today click here

Meet “bonkers” shoe designer Emily Jupp

PUBLISHED: 16:31 16 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:31 16 January 2017

Emily Jupp outside her new shop All About Shoes in St Benedicts, Norwich

Emily Jupp outside her new shop All About Shoes in St Benedicts, Norwich

Archant 2016

Affectionately described as “bonkers” by her fans, the incredible shoes created by Norwich designer Emily Jupp are like works of art

Emily Jupp inside her studio in her new shop All About Shoes in St Benedicts, NorwichEmily Jupp inside her studio in her new shop All About Shoes in St Benedicts, Norwich

towering heels in the style of teapots, shoes made of chocolate, personalised leather lace-up boots, cool baseball boots for a bride - her footwear brand Milly J has gathered quite a following, with the likes of Kylie Minogue among her admirers.

Now, Emily is bringing her fabulous footwear to Norwich with the opening of her first shop – All About Shoes - and as well as continuing with her wonderful one-off commissions, she is also creating a range of shoes which combines her unique designs with everyday wear.

Emily Jupp’s new shop nestles next to the Norwich Arts Centre, and is the perfect creative setting to inspire her eye-catching shoe designs.

Some extraordinary Milly J designsSome extraordinary Milly J designs

“My mum had just moved back here and I love the Norwich Lanes area, as it is so creative, so as soon as this shop came up I decided to go for it.”

Emily’s story is an incredible one, and her background has very much shaped her drive and determination today.

“I was abandoned on a bus in Kingston, Jamaica, as a baby and taken to an orphanage. Luckily for me, I was adopted by the most wonderful white British couple who happened to be working in Jamaica at the time,” she says. “When I was four, we moved to Bangladesh and I had an incredibly interesting childhood. I was always a very creative child and went on to study drama and opera.”

Some shoes  from Milly JSome shoes from Milly J

It was a family tragedy five years ago, however, which proved the catalyst for Emily to launch her own business.

“Sadly I lost my brother Dan to suicide. He was an incredible, extraordinarily talented artist and his death really made me think about what I wanted to do with my life. It taught me that life was too short to waste a moment. Inspired by his art I decided to try my hand at doing something completely different. I wasn’t planning a business. I had a pair of plain shoes and one day set about painting them and creating my own design.

“I love shoes, but had no experience whatsoever in fashion or art. I created this mad design and somehow it felt instinctive. I posted a picture on Twitter and the response was incredible. Former model Jodie Marsh got in touch and asked if she could have a pair. She wore them on ITV’s This Morning show and it just went from there.”

A sample of shoes from Milly JA sample of shoes from Milly J

Emily started to get requests for one-off commissions and her reputation and business began to grow.

“I buy plain, unbranded shoes – from high heels to flats and boots. Then I take bits away, add bits and create my own shoe from there. I do all the painting, clay work, sculpting and decorating myself. My studio is like an elves’ workshop. A pair of shoes can take anything from a few days to a couple of months, depending on drying times and the intricacy of the design.”

In 2014, she appeared on the BBC singing competition The Voice and her designs reached a new audience.

Some party shoes from Milly JSome party shoes from Milly J

“While it is fantastic that some of my high profile customers have highlighted my work, I want my shoes to be something that absolutely everyone can buy and wear. So as well as working on specialist commissions, I am creating a range of limited edition themed shoes ready to buy – we just did some for Christmas, starting at around £30, and I am doing some party shoes. The shop also sells lots of shoe-related gifts and accessories as I wanted it to be a real shoe lovers’ haven.”

Since starting her company, Emily has won a host of prestigious awards – including Footwear Designer of the Year in The Footwear Industry Awards 2015. She is also a speaker for different organisations, working with young people.

“It has been amazing to win such recognition, but I want people to understand that I didn’t have a business background. Some people have a fantastic idea but feel they don’t have the knowledge to know where to go with it. I was no different. It has been a real learning curve for me, but every step of the way I have asked people questions and persuaded people to get on board.

Emily's favourite design - Down the CaffEmily's favourite design - Down the Caff

“My mum and dad were very supportive, creative and open to ideas which really spurred me on, but it was very daunting to open my shop. Sometimes though, you just have to run with it.”

All About Shoes, St Benedicts Street, Norwich, NR2 4PG; www.millyjshoes.co.uk

Some shoes  from Milly JSome shoes from Milly J

The famous chocolate shoes from Milly JThe famous chocolate shoes from Milly J

The Milly J teapot shoesThe Milly J teapot shoes

A garden inspired design from Milly JA garden inspired design from Milly J

Emily Jupp inside her new shop All About Shoes in St Benedicts, NorwichEmily Jupp inside her new shop All About Shoes in St Benedicts, Norwich

Emily Jupp inside her new shop All About Shoes in St Benedicts, Norwich with her favourite shoe design - Down the CaffEmily Jupp inside her new shop All About Shoes in St Benedicts, Norwich with her favourite shoe design - Down the Caff


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EDP Norfolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EDP Norfolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EDP Norfolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Norfolk Magazine

Thursday, September 21, 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year so savour every moment and gather your friends and family for a Christmas Day lunch in one of these top Norfolk restaurants

Read more
Thursday, September 21, 2017

A lazy weekend isn't complete without a trip to an artisan bakery for bread and pastries for breakfast. Head to one of these 11 Norfolk bakeries for your tasty baked goods

Read more
Thursday, September 21, 2017

A new feature film brings to life the world of Christopher Robin’s parents, Alan and Daphne Milne. Victoria Manthorpe looks at the biography, written by a Norfolk author, behind the story

Read more
September 2017
Thursday, September 21, 2017

David Hastings recalls the history of the Norfolk and Norwich Aero Club, formed in the early days of flying

Read more
September 2017
Thursday, September 21, 2017

An unusual collection inspired a far from bog-standard business

Read more
September 2017
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Nothing is more welcoming than a plate piled high with roast meats, potatoes, Yorkshire puds and all the trimmings. We have selected 13 places to indulge in a hearty Sunday roast in Norfolk

Read more
Monday, September 18, 2017

In the heart of Suffolk, Hintlesham Hall is a luxury hideaway hotel with a fairytale feel

Read more
September 2017
Monday, September 18, 2017

It began with a dress for her first baby – and grew into a unique evocation of upper class nursery life in what Norfolk based Angela Lynne calls the ‘Christopher Robin to Prince Charles’ years. Now her collection is a delight of dainty smocked frocks and romper suits and tiny, sturdy button-bar sandals

Read more
September 2017
Monday, September 18, 2017

Chris Riddell is an illustrator whose characters populate tens of thousands of childhoods, a cartoonist who distils each week of politics into a searing image, and a lover of libraries, landscapes and Norfolk

Read more
September 2017
Monday, September 18, 2017

Norfolk is so beautiful we just can’t help sharing your stunning pictures! Here are some of our favourite Instagram photographs this week

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
EDP Norfolk Application Link

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Norfolk's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search