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An Interview with Jemma Cotterrell @theshoelovingstylist

I was delighted to interview the wonderful Jemma recently for our 'Reach For The Stars' series, where I speak with creatives about how they carved their path in their industry.

Jemma and I speak about using your inherent gifts and passion to create a career along with the perks of her job as a stylist.

I really enjoyed speaking and learning about Jemma's career and how she got there, and hope you find it inspiring, too!

Enjoy, and do make sure to follow Jemma on Instagram, as she has such wonderful content on dressing for your body shape.

Charlotte x


Jemma, we have followed each other for some time and recently met over a cup of coffee, which was so special after following and admiring your content for some time. It was so interesting to hear about your career progressions, and how you have forged your own path as a result of doing what you love most. As a stylist you specialise in making people feel confident, energised and excited about life through the use of complimentary colours for their features. Over the past few years you have grown an Instagram following of 18k by authentically creating content about your style and further styling tips. I would love to learn more about how you got where you are today! First things first, you are known as ‘The Shoe Loving Stylist’, tell me about your favourite pair of shoes (you can say a few if it’s difficult!)

Jemma I will always love my wedding shoes from British brand ‘Gina’ They are bespoke, very sparkly and I still have the box with my maiden name on it! Completely opposite but I love a cowboy boot too and have a few pairs and I have been wearing my black suede keen high boots from Nicole Farhi for 15 years!

Charlotte Did you hold a strong desire to be in the fashion industry from a young age? If so, did you feel supported by the education system to follow this creative industry when you left school?

Jemma I have always loved fashion and following trends. At school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and I remember a school questionnaire told me I should be a librarian. Definitely not me! I would say school wasn’t particularly helpful as they didn’t acknowledge other interests such as fashion.

Charlotte You worked in the designer footwear industry for 20 years, working for brands such as Lulu Guinness, Nicole Farhi, LK Bennett and See by Chloe. What were your greatest highlights of this time, and for anyone wishing to go into this field, what does a typical week in the job look like?

Jemma I started the wholesale for LK Bennett but then left to head up the designer division at Concept LH a company that had the license to design, manufacture and distribute Lulu Guinness and Nicole Farhi shoes. I managed the wholesale, design, logistics and pr teams so everyday was full on. There was always a lot of planning before showing the new collections: booking client appointments, checking samples were perfect.. The selling seasons were the most fun travelling to Paris , Milan, New York and Vegas twice a year to show the next collections. Opening shops in Japan and Russia was also really exciting. 

Charlotte You went on to run your own designer Boutique, nestled in the countryside of Amersham. Through your time of assisting customers in your store, what did you learn from them and about how women want to feel through fashion?

Jemma I helped people step out of their comfort zone and understood everyone needs advice and assurance. Women want to feel confident and empowered and finding the perfect pair of shoes can really make an outfit and make you feel fabulous all day.

Charlotte You now work as a stylist, specializing in making your clients feel re-energised, positive and excited about life again. You offer Colour Analysis services, where you assess your clients features to know which colours compliment them best, so that they can build a wardrobe that truly suits them. What are the best parts of your job, your stylist secrets (the great no’s in dressing) and how transformative is it to a clients life when they find a wardrobe that makes them feel more themselves again?

The best part of the job is definitely making someone feel confident and happy knowing they have a new found clarity in what they’re going to wear everyday. I love taking the journey with them, so a colour analysis will usually result in a wardrobe edit and personal shop to really nail that perfect capsule wardrobe that results in a stress free morning getting dressed. I would say the key to dressing your best is knowing your body shape and how to dress it to create a flattering silhouette and wear the colours you are most suited to near your face. You won’t look back!

Charlotte Why is fashion and what we choose to wear an important part in our life? Would you say it is an act of self care to invest in what we wear?

Jemma It is definitely self care. If we feel we look our best, and have developed a solid style personality it boosts our self esteem, we’re happier so perform better in work and life in general.

Charlotte How do you work with a typical client on creating their new wardrobe?

Jemma I would perform a colour and body shape analysis and then refine their wardrobe taking out pieces they haven’t worn for a while, probably because they knew deep down they didn’t suit them! I would make fresh looks from their existing items and then add suggestions of pieces that will make a lot more outfits to suit their style, body shape and colourings. This would either be done as an online shop or a personal shopping experience. The key is to create a capsule wardrobe. That is a set of clothes that you can mix and match. Everything can be worn multiple ways.

Charlotte Over the past few years I have watched and admired the growth of your Instagram through your lovely photos and videos. I love your content because you choose such bright, happy clothes and encourage other women to dress in a way that makes them feel most confident. When did you recognise that your Instagram could become a business in its own right? How did you begin to work with other brands? 

Jemma Thank you! I began with just shoes and then moved onto clothing and ways to wear and how to wear. I started accepting gifted items from brands I admired, I always choose sustainable pieces I would wear myself. I think as my following grows brands are happy to pay for me to promote their collections. I love to do fun reels and this is a great way to see pieces in motion.

Charlotte If you could go back to your younger self and give her advice on getting to where she wants to be, what would you say to her?

Jemma I would say you have to put the work in, keep doing what you love and remain positive and be flexible to an ever changing world.

Disclosure we have gifted Jemma our handbag styles over the years, so this is gifted content. However, having lived very close to Jemma and meeting at a cafe, I feel this is a very authentic collaboration.


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