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Blueberry Blush is a Durban fashion brand managed by Tamlyn Nurse.
She joined the business in 2018 when it was just a year old, in what was meant to be a temporary assignment. “I was just helping out when one of the partners left quite suddenly” she says,“but those few months of helping out has become two years and counting!”
Design conceptualisation, colour and material selection and marketing planning in particular is done by Tamlyn. “Being an avid traveller I am influenced by the trends and fashions of places I visit. Modern, on-trend styling is what I aim for, but the main focus of our brand is comfort.”
Despite having no background in the footwear or even fashion industry she found that her creative side works well in tandem with her more practical side, and the result is great footwear. “That is not to say that there haven’t been mistakes, dramas and disasters; but they have been a learning experience that has made me grow personally and understand the business so much better,” says Nurse with a chuckle.
Choosing the right manufacturing partners (who have many years of experience) has been key to their success. Their input provides great confidence in the quality of workmanship and they have been a superb source of advice which has proven invaluable in bringing Tamlyn’s vision, plans and designs off the planning table and into reality.
All their local products are handmade by a chosen group of artisanal companies that take as much pride in their work as the Blueberry Blush team do. And having things handmade means they can offer more bespoke items when required. They can customise a few of their styles for ladies with narrower feet or broader feet as required. They even do bespoke colours sometimes!
This year, their growth and expansion strategy has seen the inclusion of accessories and clothing items into their range. The idea is to create a range of handbags, belts, shrugs, branded t-shirts and much more! Their designs will be complementary to their footwear, so you’ll know everything works perfectly together!
Tamlyn has also identified a need for a more stylish range of vegan-friendly footwear. To cater to this niche, each of their collections and seasons incorporates styles and colourways of shoes that are created with fully man-made materials.
They are committed to making their range as local as possible. Their suppliers are almost all SA-based and they source the majority of their materials in and around Durban, utilising small family-run businesses in the creation of their designs.
The style Tamlyn aims for is fun and fashionable with some sparkle in every range, because “who doesn’t love a bit of glitter and bling?” Each season’s range has a variety of styles to cater to every type of foot – some ladies won’t wear shoes with an ankle strap whilst others only wear that style so they try to have a style to suit every taste. That being said, they stick to comfortable sole heights with the majority of their shoes being flats, with only a small range of wedges and heels – but even these are designed to be comfortable enough to wear all day.
Speaking of comfort, all of their office and market staff absolutely live in Blueberry Blush shoes. “We are all ladies and we ensure (through our own use!) that our footwear is comfortable enough for us to wear all day and still end up with a smile on our faces and ready to go out for dinner and drinks straight from work!”
A core philosophy of the brand is that there is no compromise on customer service. At Blueberry Blush they believe in being as proactive as possible to keep their customers happy, turning them into fans. “We admit to making mistakes (I mean who doesn’t make some mistakes?!) and we will do out utmost to put things right and retain the relationship we have with our valued customers. After all, who are we without our customers? Having people adore our shoes gives us a great sense of pride and of course gratitude for the support.”
Their main focus for retail is in the Durban area at markets such as the Shongweni Farmers Market every Saturday morning, and various Pop Up shops throughout the year, and for their supporters who are a little further away, they have an online shop.
Visit their store and see why they consider themselves a Sole Indulgence!