Wallsend business is standing tall after chance meeting

Rob Robinson and Rachel Vassey, founder of Doctor Shoelittle. Picture by Nicola Latimer.
Rob Robinson and Rachel Vassey, founder of Doctor Shoelittle. Picture by Nicola Latimer.

Life is imitating art for a Wallsend business.

As Kinky Boots prepares to make its debut at Newcastle Theatre Royal next week, niche footwear and fashion brand Doctor Shoelittle’s success story mimics the plotline of the show.

The business was set up by entrepreneur Rachel Vasey, who saw business explode after a chance meeting with drag queen Rob Robinson on a night out in Newcastle.

Rachel said: “The story couldn’t be a closer mirror-image. After meeting Rob (aka ‘Mutha Tucka’) on my hen night, and hearing his frustration at being unable to buy size 13 thigh length ‘kinky’ boots, I spotted a gap and went for it!”

Since that meeting in 2014, Doctor Shoelittle has grown with sales primarily from the niche drag queen and pole fitness sector plus the prom and beauty pageant industry.

The online business has customers right across the globe and attracts thousands of hits every week.

Recently, Rachel launched her own clothing brand, DSL which is proving popular with her growing customer base.

The growth has had such an impact on her entrepreneurial venture that Rachel has appointed Rob as her business partner at Doctor Shoelittle – again reminiscent of the plot of Kinky Boots.

Rob added. “I had heard of the Kinky Boots musical and its success in the West End and I think it’s uncanny just how close our business story is to the plot. I can’t wait to see the show when it makes its North East debut.

“It will be very exhilarating seeing our story (or a very close version of it) play out on the stage!”

Kinky Boots has already taken the West End and Broadway by storm, featuring songs by Grammy and Tony winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper.

The all-star cast includes Paula Lane, best known for her role as Kylie Platt in ITV soap Coronation Street as Lauren, alongside award-winning Callum Francis who plays Lola and Joel Harper-Jackson who takes the role of Charlie.

Kinky Boots plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Monday, October 29, to Saturday, November 10, evenings at 7.30pm (Monday to Thursday and Saturday), 8.30pm (Friday) and matinees on Friday at 5pm and Saturday 2.30pm.

Tickets are from £20 and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk
For more on Doctor Shoelittle visit www.doctorshoelittle.co.uk