It was 2002. Dad had taken ill and my sister and I flew home to get him to the UK for treatment. Of course Mum came along as well. As we approached the heliport in Aberdeen, I noticed some women dressed in blue. At first, there were only few and as we drove on, their number increased dramatically. When we arrived at the heliport, there was an even larger crowd of women in blue milling around. We checked in and with nothing to do but wait, I turned my attention to what was going on around us. Some of the women sat on the grass singing songs, some were just chatting, and many of them came up to Mum to say a few words. I got more curious about what the gathering was about and so I asked my nephew, “What’s going on here? Is there going to be some kind of celebration? Is someone important passing through?”
He looked at me, incredulous and asked, “Do you not know?”
“How would I know? I don’t have a copy of the community events calendar.”
“They have come to say farewell to Mum. Nearly all of them are graduates of Mum’s school, The Brookfields Community Vocational School. Some are current students.”
I was in awe. These people who had attended my mother’s vocational school were from all over the community, and now they were here to show their gratitude. Why was I surprised I hear you ask? I could not until that moment fathom the reach of Mum’s individual initiative. In this community, everything was done by the people themselves. They did not outsource the important aspects of their lives primarily because they couldn’t possibly afford to.
Mum saw a need and stepped up to the plate. She didn’t wait for handouts, she didn’t dwell on what they didn’t have, but focused instead on what she could give to help bring people out of poverty. Empowering these women to be productive members of society meant that she fostered a movement which delivered more jobs, more and better incomes, better education, better standards of living and prosperity for all. The take away here is this:
“We can find and deliver solutions for the problems that afflict our communities whatever or wherever they may be. When we change our view of ourselves and begin to use the power within us, we soon realize that we are each important and that our actions are too.”
What’s the alternative? Give over control and outsource the most valuable aspects of life? When you give over control (of your life), the holder uses that control for his or her own benefit and people are reduced to functioning like cogs in a machine. We are detached from the outcomes of our actions. Indeed some may not even consider that there are bigger outcomes, or what role they are really playing in the big picture.
So then, there is a case for establishing community-based enterprises that serve us as consumers not only to ensure that we get value for money, but also and more importantly, to release us from negative exploitative practices.
Many items that we use intimately are mass-produced; huge numbers of the same stuff that is not exactly right for anyone. The beauty, skincare and shoe industries are but three examples. Consumers are waking up to the growing number of small to medium sized businesses that, intrinsic in their nature, are doing things differently. These brave entrepreneurs are making products to suit a particular individual. And they are growing because as Joe Pine succinctly puts it, “Consumers don’t want choice. They just want exactly what they want.” They want their needs to be seen to.
There are quite a few companies that have as their central focus the needs of the consumer. Bonobos, Hint, and Doris Michaels were all founded because the individuals behind them had some unfulfilled need and spotted a gap in the market. They needed a product which they couldn’t find, so they developed it and brought it to market themselves. The advantage these businesses have is that they understand their customers: their habits, needs and preferences. They are able to carve out a space for themselves in the market. They can target new customers and open new opportunities because the value of what they are offering is clear.
And so it is with our company, C&C Lifestyle. Our high-end convertible luxury CC shoes developed out of my needs. I have to be in heels for the following reasons:
- I need height. Heels have lifted me literally all through my adult life. I am only 5 ft. 2 in. The best effect I find is to wear serious heels and just let them peep out from under wide-legged trousers. I let my heels work silently for me behind the scenes.
- My confidence increases tenfold as I am elevated on my heels. I look good, I feel good… Also, many people look up to you rather than down at you. It is empowering.
- Heels make one look thinner, and if well-chosen, they can complement an outfit.
CC shoes will take the wearer to the world of real luxury – the state of great comfort and extravagance. Imagine with me, a world in which the user never has to think about her shoes because there is no prolonged misplaced pressure. Imagine again, a world without shoe blisters, a world in which you never have to carry the extra pair of flats rolled up and tucked away in your handbag, a world in which you will never again have to hobble around like a grizzly because your feet are killing you. Imagine once more, a world of pure elegance and grace – the world of CC shoes.
C&C Lifestyle continue to collect data about women’s feet in order to improve sizing and fit. Thank you for your kind attention and please share this article and subscribe to our blog to stay up to date with C&C Lifestyle news and events.
“The Collection” is coming soon.