Names: Euan Bodie, Lewis Holman, Hannah Thomson.

Ages: 21, 21, 22.

What is your business called?

Shoe Fix Edinburgh.

What services does it offer?

Shoe Fix is a premium shoe cleaning and repair company. We offer three main services which our clients can choose from; a Basic, Advanced or Professional clean. This is determined by the condition of the shoes, and the price ranges from £20-£30. We source our materials worldwide - including America and China. Originally, we offered free collection and delivery only in Edinburgh. Due to the strength of demand we have expanded to cover Livingston, Falkirk and Stirling and most recently Motherwell and Hamilton.

To whom does it sell?

Customers of all ages. Shoes today can cost up to £750 and with the current economic environment we believe more people will look to recondition rather than buying new ones.

What is its turnover?

We had only been trading for four months before we had to close for around nine weeks due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions. When we began trading again we implemented social distancing measures covering the collection and return of shoes. We use protective masks and gloves to protect ourselves and our clients.

However, because of the initial demand for our services we forecast our year one turnover will be in the region of £70,000 to £80,000.

How many employees?

The three of us but with the demand for our services continuing to grow we believe we will have to recruit more members when the time is right. We hope to have recruited two or three part-time staff by the end of the first trading year.

Why did you take the plunge?

One evening we were discussing how we needed to get our Alexander McQueen trainers cleaned and looked into where we could get this done. We could not find a company that could provide the service we were looking for in Edinburgh or surrounding areas so realised there was a gap in the market.

We all have an interest in and passion for trainers, as do loads of other millennials across the UK today, with teens averaging six pairs. With a collection of designer shoes between us, we regularly used to browse the web and supermarket shelves to track down the best product to clean our shoes when they needed some TLC, but this didn’t feel like enough.

As we are students we can’t afford to regularly purchase high-end designer trainers and replace those that we think are beyond repair, and we know we are not alone in this.

So we thought why not try and create the business we had been looking for.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

Up until May we were all completing our final year of our undergraduate degrees at Edinburgh Napier University. The guys were studying Marketing Management, whilst I was studying Sports and Exercise Science. We also all worked together at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre alongside our studies.

We have now finished them and are awaiting our results which come out on July 9. Unfortunately, our graduation ceremony has been postponed. We are hopeful that there may be one in 2021 for us to celebrate the four years of hard work.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

We were determined to fund the venture from our own savings and from our EICC earnings, as we didn’t want to start with any external debt or obligations to a third party. Once we began trading, all income we received was reinvested back into the business.

What was your biggest break?

Within our first week of opening, we were able to attract Heart of Midlothian footballer John Souttar, as well as Hibernian midfielder Fraser Murray as customers. This brought us a level of credibility and profile, as they appeared pleased with the results. We were also fully aware of the power and impact of micro-influencer marketing – an example of using what we learned during our degrees - and we contacted bloggers and influencers in the Edinburgh area to work with us to promote our brand through their personal social media platforms.

What was your worst moment?

Dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we used the period during which we were closed to reflect and help us plan for the future. Now we are back and finished university we have no distractions and our full focus is on growing the business.

We have been provided with support from Edinburgh Napier University through mentoring to help us grow our business. With there currently being a lack of graduate jobs due to the current economic climate, this is the perfect time to put our all into this business.

What could the Westminster and/or Scottish governments do that would help?

Our business ultimately encourages sustainability, decreasing the common ‘throw-away’ and fast fashion culture that currently exists. The Scottish Government could implement more incentives for businesses that operate ethically and encourage sustainability, which would benefit us.

It felt like there was little to no help we could get from the UK and Scottish governments in terms of the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?

Shoe Fix has encouraged us to believe in ourselves and to take risks. We all believed it would be hard to achieve our dream of starting a business but have learnt anything is possible if you invest your time and effort, and that hard work pays off.

How do you relax?

The three of us share the same friendship group and have enjoyed many holidays and experiences together including travelling to Thailand, Spain and across the UK. We share common interests of music, fashion (trainers especially) and travel and all enjoy spending time with our families. In our own time we all have individual interests within football, dancing and photography.