Zaccys is a new brand of luxury, handmade women’s wedge espadrilles, with the added benefit of comfort, launched in 2016 by former Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon Meg Cope.

Meg’s youngest child, Zac, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012 and successfully completed treatment in 2015, during this time Meg took a career break to look after Zac and as a creative outlet she also started to design her range of luxurious espadrilles, which then launched as a business which she named after him.

Every aspect of Zaccys espadrille design and construction has been considered with the same meticulous attention to detail that Meg operated with in her previous medical career which spanned 20 years.

A contribution of £2 from the sale of every pair of Zaccys is donated to two children’s cancer charities

To win a pair of gorgeous Zaccys espadrilles please send your name and email to [email protected] and title the email Aurora London

Competition closes midnight 26 June 2016

1. How did the idea for Zaccys come about (what inspired the name in particular)?

I really struggled to find a replacement for an ancient and much-loved pair of low wedge espadrilles and came to the conclusion I would need to have some made. I started drawing some basic designs that ultimately turned into a whole collection.

I was on an enforced career break during this time, looking after my youngest child, Zac who had been diagnosed with leukaemia. The drawings were my escape from some of the difficulties we were facing as a family. They were a wonderful creative outlet for me, much of which I could share with Zaccy whilst he was unwell.

2. How did journey to entrepreneur come about?

Aged 5, I was inspired by the beautiful sketches of my father’s cousin, who was living with us whilst she was studying fashion at Central St Martins. They left a lasting impression on me.

However, I chose to follow another great passion of mine – medicine - inspired by my father and my grandfather. There I found enormous satisfaction and a real love of my daily work. I was a doctor for more than 20 years and a Consultant Eye Surgeon for 10 of those.

My life changed direction completely with my son’s illness and instead of returning to my previous career I chose to follow my creative instincts again in setting up my own niche luxury shoe business.

Having spent more time at home with my children during Zac’s treatment I wanted to find a job that allowed me more flexibility and a better work life balance. Launching a business requires an enormous amount of time and effort, but I was able to fit this better around my children’s needs than my previous job.

3. What makes Zaccys sandals so special and how did you develop this?

Zaccys are focussed on comfort, versatility and timeless luxury. They are specifically designed to be flattering and leg-lengthening. The unique deeply-cushioned, combination memory foam insoles provide day to night comfort.

Every pair is constructed entirely by hand, this involves at least 15 different processes. The shoes are all shower-proof, extremely light and the cork provides shock-absorption adding to the comfort. All wedges are leather lined with the finest leathers from Italy and Spain. All Zaccys shoes feature an anti-slip outsole made from a special material with a high abrasive coefficient, meaning it will wear well over time.

4. Who is the Zaccys woman?

The Zaccys woman is busy! Juggling work, family and friends but still wanting to both look good and feel good on the run. Zaccys women appreciate timeless well-made classics that are versatile and effortless to wear. My original thinking was the shoes would appeal to women like myself 30-50 years old, but the appeal seems to be much broader with my existing customers already as young as 13 and as old as 69 years!

5. What’s next for the brand?

I am excited to tell you that as well as working on the SS17 styles, I am also developing a winter collection for AW17, which is likely to include a more classic flat espadrille design for women who struggle with a heel. By popular demand, I am also working on designs for a possible men’s collection!

6. Your tips on juggling work and a young family?

Get organised! Prep and plan as much as you can in advance, I find my i-phone invaluable for making lists. Outsource anything that can be done better by someone else (e.g. website development!) Buy a slow cooker, a high speed blender and a gas BBQ! Ring fence family time, the ‘to do’ list will always be endless, so don’t ever put off spending time with your kids.