A mum says she’s turned passion for designer Louboutin heels into a £70,000-a-year business – and she only works two hours a day.
Charlotte Jones fell in love with the luxury shoe brand – worn by celebrities including Kate Moss, Beyonce and Melania Trump – when her partner gave her a pair as a gift.
The 30-year-old wore the black heels into the ground and, after booking a holiday to Ibiza three years ago, she realised they were so battered she needed new ones.
But she didn’t want to pay £800 and feared she would end up with fakes if she bought them online.
It was then that Charlotte got the idea to set up her own shoe salon specialising in unworn and unwanted Loubs at a fraction of the cost.
She spent a year learning how to properly authenticate the shoes named after high end French stiletto creator Christian Louboutin, who has been designing women’s heels since 1991.
Charlotte now runs her own brand Love Luxe from her home in Barnsley, South Yorks.
Her earnings now trump her partner Dael Baxter, 33, an internet marketer who helped her set up the business officially last year.
It means she can stay home with stepson Jack, 11, and daughters Anyssa, seven, and Briseis, three months.
Charlotte said she has sold upwards of 400 pairs of Louboutins and celebrity fans include glamour model Chloe Khan and reality star Jodie Marsh.
She also sells other high end designer gear like Chanel and Alexander McQueen.
But her real passion is still Louboutins. She now has a network of private sellers, many with collections in the hundreds.
Most of the shoes she sells are boxed and unworn, with their owners being given so many pairs by partners and husbands that they simply can’t wear them all.
Charlotte said: "It’s hard to believe, but there are ladies out there with hundreds of pairs and many of them aren’t even fussed.
"It started by chance really. About three years ago, I only had one pair of Louboutins and I’d worn them to death.
"Me and my partner had a nice holiday planned, we were going to Ibiza and planned to try out some really nice restaurants and I wanted to look good.
"Obviously I needed some new shoes but I didn’t want to buy two or three pairs of Louboutins at full price because they’re so expensive.
"I was looking around and realised that there wasn’t really anything in between.
"You can either buy them full price or you can chance it [online] … but you never really know whether they’re authentic.
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"I contacted some private sellers and managed to get two or three pairs at less than half the price. I just thought ‘There’s a market for this’. It started as a hobby and then just snowballed."
Part of the job is driving hundreds of miles to pick up pairs from across the country and her car is often crammed full of Louboutin cardboard boxes.
As well as selling the brand, she also has her own collection of 11 pairs – including her first ever £495 Irizas – but says her tastes are always evolving.
Her aim was to allow women just like her the opportunity to be able to afford a pair of designer shoes without having to fork out for the huge price tag, which for many was unaffordable.
She even offers prospective purchasers credit if they need it as well as a 14-day return window.
Charlotte said: "A lot of the shoes are brand new, the ladies have been bought them as gifts and they don’t fit or they don’t like them.
"You’d be amazed, some women have huge collections and they never wear them.
"Every lady should be able to buy a pair of high end shoes."
She added: "I don’t make too much of a profit. I try and keep the price as low as possible.
"A lot of them are only past season and they’re half the price.
"One of my main sellers, her husband worked in London and he’d bring her back Louboutins every weekend and she wasn’t that bothered about them. She had hundreds of pairs so she just got rid of them all.
"I love helping people get a beautiful pair of shoes."
Before, Charlotte was a part time debt collector for a mobile phone company but couldn’t see her job going anywhere.
Now she works just a few hours a day around childcare and the school run.
She said: "It fits perfectly with motherhood. I’ve got three children and I work from home.
"It’s easy. It’s a great job if you want flexibility.
"I used to work part time but I can now make on one item what I made in a month before.
"I enjoy it as well. I love shoes and bags so it’s perfect for me.
"I’d definitely encourage other women to consider this job. Just try it, if it doesn’t work it’s not the end of the world.
"I’m living a very nice lifestyle and I’m not in an office for eight hours a day doing a job I hate.
"My motto is work smart, not hard."
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