Tag Archives: independent shops

Quite Great? More like Blimmin’ Marvellous!

9 Feb


Today ShoesieQ brings glad tidings: her shop Modish has been chosen to be featured as part of Quite Great’s Guide for tourists and shoppers coming to Cambridge – Cambridge Unwrapped!

The lovely people at Quite Great have taken it upon themselves to give visitors to our beautiful city a few inside tips on THE best places in Cambridge for a bit of shopping or a bite to eat. Pete Bassett, the boss of Quite Great, very kindly explained that all the shops and outlets chosen are examples of must go to Cambridge retailers who truly understand both the heartbeat of the city and the way to give shoppers a great experience.

The very slight downside is that this guide is via the medium of You Tube, and if you are indeed ShoesieQ that makes it a teensey weensey bit excruciating to watch.

But she has bitten the bullet (!) and added a link so you can see for yourself. In fact it’s such a great idea here’s the link to the whole thing!

Cambridge Unwrapped: Modish

Cambridge Unwrapped: All



Best way to beat the Bag charge!

17 Nov

ShoesieQ was lucky enough to stumble across this rather lovely stall when she was walking through Cambridge the other week.  Just goes to show how much attention she pays when she ambles around Cambridge – according to the stall owner, the rather charming Dave, he’s been manning said stand for over 40 years!

2015-09-29 11.46.24

So ShoesieQ must have walked past it many many times without paying it any heed whatsoever. Mind you, the design of their fab new shopper is impossible to ignore – even for dreamboats like yours truly. Especially for those of us who take a keen interest in anything footwear related……….

Anyway it seems that shoppers are having a bit of a moment, if the numbers turning up at ShoesieQ’s shops are anything to go by. And the recently introduced carrier bag tax can only encourage such an admirable trend!  So if you fancy giving one a spin, Dave can be  found in Cambridge market most days (usually just opposite Gap). Fraid ShoesieQ can’t remember exactly how much they cost, other than it was definitely under £20. Bargain, eh?

ShoesieQ Shopper

Our most colourful shoes yet!

7 May

Question:  What do you get if you cross this:

Slide 1




With some of these?





Adesso shoes – that’s what!!



This is our first season with Adesso, and my goodness, what an eye-opener it’s been! ShoesieQ has, in all her days as a shoe siren, never come across a line like it. They’re a bit mad-looking sure, but if you’re after something lightweight, colourful and crazily comfortable, then you really can’t beat ’em.

The shoes themselves combine a memory-foam insole with a moulded footbed topped by an upper of woven elastic. And though the styles come up a bit differently to each other, ShoesieQ hasn’t yet come across a foot that won’t work with at least one of the ones she stocks at her shop Modish, which is a bit of a first!

PLUS if they get a bit grubby they can be chucked into the washing machine 5 times at a 40C wash before the elastic starts to go.

And did we mention that they cost just £30? 🙂

As you may image this is just a small selection of our range. Plus these shoes are, not surprisingly, selling like hotcakes!  So if you fancy a pair may we suggest that you, ahem, hot foot it down to Modish Cambridge or Saffron Walden a bit sharpish………..!

The politics of shoes!

1 May

PartiesDon’t worry, this isn’t going to be some long tedious post on the relative merits of Messers Cameron, Miliband and Clegg: aka the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (although not necessarily in that order………….).

Nor is this a post on sexual politics of shoes either, despite the fact that ShoesieQ has occasionally pondered on the slightly bewildering fact that high heels can somehow simultaneously make a woman look more and less powerful.

Nope – today’s missive has been inspired by ShoesieQ looking at her  (shop’s) current Spring collection of shoes and spotting something rather odd. Namely that, without realising it at the time, she managed to order the same shoe in the 3 colours of our main political parties!!

See what I mean?!

Pinto di Blu 2Now as luck would have it this is one of Modish’s best sellers this year. Possibly partly down to the fact that  they’re gorgeous, super comfy and only £65 🙂

Plus they’re by  little known Portuguese shoe designers Pinto di Blu, so Modish is the only stockist of this particular pump………

Anyway ShoesieQ isn’t sure if this has any bearings at all on the outcome of the events taking place on May 7th. But she can share that, at the time of writing, sitting in her stockroom are:

3 Pairs of Blue

2 Pairs of Red


1 pair of Yellow.

So, if the customers of Modish Cambridge are voting with their feet, it’s good news for our current MP, Dr Julian Huppert!


Discover Green Street launches tomorrow!

6 Jan

Cambridge Food Sandwich Sandwich136ShoesieQ was wandering round Cambridge one Sunday last month when she was struck by the fact that although the city was mobbed with shoppers, relatively few seemed to make it to Green Street, where (one of) her ladies shoe shop can be found.

 Now to be honest this wasn’t the first time she’d spotted this. Nor indeed was it the first time that she asked herself why on earth more people didn’t pop down and have a mooch at Green Street. Cos it’s certainly not cos it’s lacking in great place to eat and shop.  In fact, and if she says so herself, Green Street is blessed with some of the best stores in town. For example, in the last 6 months, we’ve gained not one but two brilliant Interiors shops in Susie Watson Designs and Catesby’s. Open Air Outdoor shop is a Cambridge institution, not to mention the multi award winning Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery. We have 4 shoe shops in the Street, 2 Hairdressers and great clothes shops in the form of Oska, White Stuff and Jigsaw.

 There’s even an amazing hat and cap shop in Lairds – a year ago they opened their first store outside London here.

 And once you’ve finished shopping we have some great places to eat and snack in Bill’s, Harriets Café and Tearooms, Bangkok City and  the delicious Chill Frozen Yogurt.

Cambridge Food Sandwich Sandwich131But this is where the story takes a twist. Cos rather than just shake her head in bewilderment, this time ShoesieQ decided that Something Must Be Done.

So the very next day she visited all 18 businesses in the street to see if they were up for working together to promote Green Street. And, dear reader, Every Single One of Them was indeed Up For It 🙂

To cut a long story short  we decided to kick things off  by holding a day long event on January 7th called “Discover Green Street”. There’ll be things to do from breakfast to bedtime as many of the shops and restaurants will be open late.

So in case you’re in or about Cambridge tomorrow here’s a list of what’s on offer:

Bills: 20% off retail food sales

Harriet Kelsall Jewellery: 10% off all SALE items,spend over £100 & get free silver earrings

Harriets Café: 25% off afternoon teas, all accompanied by pianist

Sundaes Bedtime Wonderland: Enjoy a cup of jasmine tea while trying on their wonderful felt and sheepskin slippers. And if you’re a size 7 you’ll get a special gift on the day

Buy a waffle special and get a free hot drink at Chill

25% off for all new clients at Directors

10% off plus free fizz after 5 at ShoesieQ’s shop Modish

Susie Watson Designs: 10% off non-sale items (excluding fabrics and throws) plus free consulations on creating your own mood board

Free glass of wine with a la carte meals at Bangkok City

Free refreshments at Jigsaw

Oska will be serving drinks and a free goodie bag with purchases (they have a half price sale at the mo)


But if you can’t make it we’ve also launched a twitter account @DiscoverGreenSt, so why not follow us to be first to know what we’re all getting up to?

NEWSFLASH – October 10-11th – Pop ups come to Cambridge!

8 Oct

ShoesieQ brings exciting news! Cambridge has been chosen to host the final of Test Town: a competition for  young entrepreneurs from across the UK to test out their business venture by giving them a pop up shop.  Entrants are given free trading space, development funding, mentoring support and intensive skills training and in return have to use all this help to come up with imaginative uses for our high street spaces.

And it’s all happening this weekend – the 5 shops will be open for just 2 days on Friday and Saturday!

Cool huh?!

And ShoesieQ is thrilled that Green Street (where she has her shop Modish) is the only location in Cambridge to be granted not one, but two pop ups. And even better we get not two, but THREE  young entrepreneurs!

So if you’re anywhere near Cambridge on the 11th or 12th please please pay them a visit to support this fantastic initiative.

You’ll be able to find the pop ups on Green Street at No.14 which will host Violet Lilly Vintage Clothing and Zymurgorium and next door but one to Modish at No.5 TigerPrint Tees.

In case you’re wondering, TigerPrint Tees will be doing a pop-up jungle coffee shop for kids is trying to save the high street and encourage creative kids. Kids can design t-shirts, badges, mugs, bags, bowls & more. Sounds good eh?!

Violet Lilly, on the other hand, are all about handpicked original vintage clothing and accessories. ShoesieQ will definitely be paying them a visit! And last but not least Aaron from Zymurgorium makes his own alcoholic and soft drinks using locally sourced, foraged ingredients. He specialises in mead and unusual flavours of beers, but also makes oils and vinegars.

And if you can make it past the delights of Green St please pop in to the other pop ups at:

56A Mill Road: The Little Herbalista

4-5 Peas Hill: Bubble CreativiTea and Major London

Grand Arcade: Marsh a la Mode

Graton Centre: GoRookie.

To find out more about Test Town, including more info on the other pop ups, just click on this link http://bit.ly/10lbMtr

 And you can follow the Green St entrepreneurs on Twitter  at @VioletLillyx  @zymurgorium @tigerprinttees

Good luck everyone!

ShoesieQ goes shoe shopping in Milan – Part II

17 Apr

So, ShoesieQ finds herself in the middle of a thriving Italian city full of yummy restaurants, yummy bars, and, ermmmmm, yummy Italians. And what did she do?

In bedWell, completely contrary to form she stayed in her room diligently reviewing everything she’d seen that day at MICAM, writing down who see was going to see when the next day, and then – BED! At 9.30pm!  The last time ShoesieQ went to bed that early she was probably still wearing flowery pink PJs and had been sent upstairs early by her mum cos she’d been a naughty girl. And, for the avoidance of doubt, that was well over 3 decades ago………

Her reward for such unusually virtuous  behaviour was to wake up with a relatively clear head, ready to peruse yet more shoes! So she dropped her bag back off at the Pedro Miralles stand (see pic below), as that had been a bit of a lifesaver the day before, then beetled off to do some serious shoe shopping!

The Pedro Miralles stand, Micam

The Pedro Miralles stand, Micam


And what a day it was! Lots of appointments with suppliers both old and new, with orders placed for over a thousand pairs by the end of the day. All this combined with plenty of wandering around drooling at footwear, as ShoesieQ managed to get through her appointments in surprisingly quick time. Doubtless thanks to being super-organised for a change!

In fact it was all going so well that, feeling ever-so-slightly-smug, ShoesieQ reckoned that she even had enough time before catching her flight home to pay a social call to a couple of her suppliers. So she wandered off to the K&S stand, home of uber-chic uber-comfy ballet pumps and had a good ol chin wag with the lovely Mark.

Having caught up with all the latest gossip ShoesieQ decided that it was  time to call in a day and start thinking about the long trip home. But walking back through the many halls that make up MICAM ShoesieQ stopped dead in her tracks, mouth agape, and doubtless dribbling slightly, truth be told.

£175 €71.33 YKX 906005No, dear reader, she wasn’t having a stroke. But she had stumbled across her find of the show – YKX. No, ShoesieQ hadn’t heard of them either, partly cos they don’t sell to anyone in the UK.  As you can see from this pic (bit rubbish, sorry!) they are brilliant for casual boots, chunky soles and buckles. In fact a bit like what you see in All Saints but for about half the price 🙂 So ShoesieQ  just HAD to place an order. Which she duly did.

So she left that stand with the lovely warm, slightly smug feeling of someone who’d had pretty much the perfect day in the office (not that that happened terribly often when ShoesieQ actually had an office, but we digress), and started the 5 minute walk back to the Pedro Miralles stand to pick up her bag. She looked down at her watch, and with a start realised that  it was almost 7pm, ie when the fair closed. But hey, this is Italy, the land not known for its punctuality. And none of the stands ShoesieQ could see were shutting up shop. So she breathed a sigh of relief, but quickened her pace just in case.



padlock5 mins later ShoesieQ arrived at the Pedro Miralles stand, where her suitcase was being stored. To find it very securely locked. Bugger. She then went to the other stand the Pedro rep was working on. Also closed. She then remembered that said rep’s mobile hasn’t been working for the entire time he’d been in Italy so there was no way of contacting him. Drat and double drat. Or words to that effect.

So she tried talking to the Security team. And no, it seemed that there’s no such thing as a masterkey for the stands. So she tried talking to the Information team. And no, it seemed that they don’t have a list of the mobile numbers for stand reps either. Double and triple bugger!!

So – taking a deep breath ShoesieQ decided to take a look into her handbag to see if there was any chance she could make it home with what was in there. And lo and behold she found her passport, her boarding card, enough money for the metro and coach to get her to Bergamo airport, the keys for her car, house and shop (as she had to go to work the next day). Bit lucky huh?!

Sure it was chucking it down with rain and ShoesieQ’s coat was securely locked away with her bag. And she wasn’t entirely sure if it was still possible to get to Bergamo airport in the 2 and a half hours she had before the gate closed. But hell, she was going to give it a go!

And, dear reader, she made it. Not least due to the help of the very kind Iris, from MICAM’s Information team, who told ShoesieQ which Metro line she needed to take, and where to change. Plus the very patient policeman at Milan Centrale station who managed to understand ShoesieQ’s appalling Italian and tell her where the bus to Milan departed from.

And last, but very much not least, thanks also need to go to the charming Fabrizio from Pam shoes, who on hearing ShoesieQ had left her bag at the fair, extracted it from the Pedro stand and found someone to bring it back to the UK. Not to mention Chris and Rob from Manas, who are the people he persuaded to bring it back home with them!

Finally, and in case there’s anyone out there in the blogosphere wondering what exactly will be coming in to Modish as a result of all of these fun and games – fret not! For over the Easter weekend ShoesieQ will be giving you a sneak preview of just what you can expect to see in the shops come the autumn 🙂