Shoe designer’s anguish after shop theft

Daisy's on High Street in Dereham had a break in on Friday 13th September, with some designer weddin

Daisy's on High Street in Dereham had a break in on Friday 13th September, with some designer wedding shoes stolen - Shop owner and florist Maria Barber and Shoe designer Sarah Reilly with one of the shoes. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A Dereham mum says her budding business has been ruined after thieves stole her bespoke handmade shoes worth hundreds of pounds.

Sarah Reilly, 26, lovingly spent thousands of hours over the last year creating beautiful and unique shoes for weddings, proms and parties.

But in the early hours of Friday morning the eight samples she uses to sell her designs, worth £1,600, were taken after the side window of Daisy's florist on the high street was smashed.

One single child's shoe was dropped after the burglary and is the only reminder Miss Reilly has of her creations.

'I was a stay-at-home mum and wanted to start my own business – I just started by making samples, in all different sizes and styles and really enjoyed it,' she said.

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'And now this has happened, it makes me feel so horrible and really angry.

'It's ruined my business and set me back so much. Whoever has done this doesn't realise the knock-on effect of it at all.'

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Miss Reilly started embellishing high-heels, flat shoes and girls' pumps for special occasions this time last year.

Using costume pearls and crystals, the shoes are transformed from plain into glittering and glamorous.

After meeting Robert and Maria Barber, owners of Daisy's florist, Miss Reilly agreed to display her shoes in their shop window.

Mr and Mrs Barber, of Wallace Close, Dereham, have run the flower shop, which used to be the toy shop Youngsters' World, since November last year.

Mr Barber said: 'We've had no trade since Friday - people have been wishing us well but we can't help but think the break-in has influenced people not coming in.

'It's demoralising - and we have no idea why they would target a flower shop.

'Other people make the shoes, but nobody as delicately as Sarah's.'

With plans to take the shoe sample's to wedding shows in the coming months Miss Reilly says she is left with nothing and is forced to start making the samples again.

But with each child's shoe taking 10 hours and adult's taking 30 - worth between £50 and £230 per pair - there is a lot of time to make back.

'But I am not going to be broken by anybody', Miss Reilly added.

'The thieves wouldn't be able to sell them to anybody in Dereham - people are checking websites and making sure they're not being sold on.'

Police said a 16-year-old and a 20-year-old were both arrested on Friday 13 on suspicion of burglary. They have been bailed until October 17.

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