Monday 22nd of July 2024
Pro Secrets

Ally Stevenson & CleanHeels

 

AS and Dragons

 

 

 

We love inspiration at The Gaitpost and admire entrepreneurial success stories such as CleanHeels – the clever little gizmo that horse lover and mum-of-two, Ally Stevenson, set up and won two Dragons over on Dragon’s Den after a successful pitch.

 

Ally’s story is truly remarkable and her journey to success is testament to her positivity and determination.

 

 

 

 

 

Stevenson, from Stubbington, in Hampshire, created the multi-purpose heel stoppers to prevent women from sinking into soft ground when they walk in heels outdoors, and also to protect the heels themselves from damage and dirt. We’ve tried Clean Heels and can’t wait for the calendar of upcoming events where we can ditch the pumps and wedges and don our favourite heels without the fear of getting stuck in the divots.20-241-165-11-0-220-165

 

British made they also make walking in heels easier and more comfortable; thanks to the rubber base providing increased support and allowing better balance. Already flying off the shelves in BHS, Debenhams and House of Fraser, among other respected retailers, the product is now ready to take its next step to success with Dragons Deborah Meaden and Kelly Hoppen, who have agreed to lay out £50,000 in return for a 12.5% share each in the business.

 

Commenting on the investment, Kelly said: “The simplicity and versatility of CleanHeels totally won me over. They’re a discrete, inexpensive item that every woman who wears heels should own. “

“We’re really impressed with Ally’s determination and how she has kept her business going through serious health problems,” praised both Dragons.

 

Deborah added: “They’re a must for outdoors when the ground isn’t great to walk on, they also help women to move around better in heels and they actually extend the life of the shoe itself.”

 

Ally, a mum-of-two, came up with the idea for CleanHeels a decade ago when she was a guest at an outdoor wedding reception. She popped beer bottle tops under her high heels to help her stand on the grass during a speech and decided there and then to come up with a more permanent solution.

After testing out numerous styles and materials, Ally settled on a neat design. Clean Heels are soft, yet flexible, so they provide enough support and are also easy to attach and remove.

She set about launching her business in 2005, but on the day she showcased her invention at the Goodwood Festival, Ally was taken to hospital and diagnosed with breast cancer.

Nine months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment followed, but during that time Ally refused to give up on CleanHeels, which was rapidly attracting interest from customers and retailers. She successfully overcame the disease and is now enjoying a clean bill of health. Ally produces CleanHeels at a small factory in her native Portsmouth and from there the product is shipped all over the world.

 

Portfolio pictureWhat was it like going in to the Den?
“I was really nervous but I had a wonderful time and am chuffed Kelly and Deborah have come on board with my invention,” Ally said.

  

What was your main hope for Clean Heels?
“A gorgeous pair of heels can make women feel more confident and sexy but that evaporates if you’re left teetering on mud or grass. These little tools empower women who wear high shoes and gives them the choice to wear the designs they want, where they want.”

 

IMG_1778Ally hasn’t ridden for a few years but hopes one day to continue her passion.  Tell us about your horses.
I had 5 horses, this was just a hobby but did I compete at Gymkhanas. I had 3 New Forest Ponies, an Arab and a Thoroughbred.

 

Did you used to compete?
At Gymkhanas purely for fun. I had one pony who had been ill treated, so I IMG_1780took him on, he was only 13 Hands, but he turned out to be a winner and won every Gymkhana race. He was also amazing at jumping, his highest jump if I can remember was about 5ft 6!

 

 

What advice would you give someone with an idea they want to develop?
If you think it’s a good idea and it works go for it. But don’t re-mortgage your house for it. 

 

Do you have an equestrian hero?
Harvey Smith, for always giving the V-sign with his fingers, you had to laugh…

 

What is the quality that you most like in a horse?
To be able to ride and blow all the cobwebs after a bad day, I always came back happy. 

 

If you hadn’t developed Clean Heels, what would you be doing?
Still creating something, it’s what I like to do.

 

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given? Who gave it to you?
Enjoy life to the max, treat people the way you would like to be treated with respect and it is what you do for others that will live forever…. wonderful advice from my Dad.  

 

 

1-1-1-192-100Look out for this ingenious gadget, which was selected for inclusion in the Oscars 2014 VIP party goody bags, over the coming months, on the race courses and polo lawns across the country, not to mention sports days, speech days…the possibilities are endless!

 

Order now and have yours handy for Cheltenham!

 

 

For more information visit www.cleanheels.co.uk and keep up to date with Ally’s news on Twitter including details of a competition to win a pair of L K Bennett heels.

 

 

You may also like to read:

 

ebbdb422f74635d88a99216675446f5c Found on sebointeriorequipage.com  photo-6

Gifts: Embrace the romantic in you this Valentine’s Day

Tack room inspiration  Rookie Mum Blog – Part One
 EMBARGOED_UNTIL_OCTOBER_20TH_DOWNTON_EP6_06-2 normal_DSC06130-300x266  © Jon Stroud Media

 

 The Countess & the real Downton Abbey  Britain’s Got Talland  Carl Hester MBE

 

Join us on Facebook




Follow on Twitter