Passion for unique shoes pays off

AMANDA PARKINSON
Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014
Suzan Campbell
JOHN HAWKINS/ Fairfax NZ
UNUSUAL FOOTWEAR: Suzan Campbell, of Mismatched, arranges her stall at the Women’s Expo being held in the SIT Velodrome today and tomorrow.

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An Invercargill woman has turned "love at first sight" into a national business in just six weeks.

Suzan Campbell was holidaying with her family in Australia when she discovered a unique style of shoes that were imported from Venezuela.

"It was love at first sight, and I thought ‘wow, New Zealand has nothing like this'," she said.

Campbell said they were just so unique and visually striking that they would stop complete strangers in the street.

"I had people coming up to me asking where I got my shoes so often that my husband began to just walk away and roll his eyes."

Campbell contacted the South American company to arrange a deal to become the only New Zealand importer and distributor of Chocolitas shoes.

"I've sold hundreds of pairs in two months, sending them as far north as Auckland - it was just going to be a hobby, but it has blown us away," she said.

The mismatched designed shoes will be on sale at the Women's Expo at the SIT Velodrome today and tomorrow.

The expo will have more than 120 exhibitors and is expecting 8000 people through the gates.

Organiser Christine Woodhouse said the event was Southland focused.

"We have employed 12 local staff over the weekend, and 80 per cent of exhibitors are Southland business," she said.

People attending the expo will be offered anything from haircuts and massages to home and garden advice.

Woodhouse said the expo, now in its second year, was growing.

"We looked at coming to Invercargill for nine years, but we need to make it economically viable for our business."

The expo follows Dunedin's Women Expo, which was held last weekend.

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