Sara Caverley, Shoe Designer

When savvy sales talents, a sharp eye for style and a keen business sense combine, you find such success stories as Sara Caverley – the brains behind the much-coveted shoe label, Sol Sana. At 16, she had already begun carving a lucrative career path she’d one day walk in a killer pair of self-designed heels. We fell head over, well, heels for Sara’s take on style, beauty and the importance of a strong work ethic. 


“I live by the motto ‘Work hard and love what you do’.

I’ve been so fortunate to land myself a career where I love what I’m doing, so I never feel like I’m working. But, it took a lot of effort and time to get to this point. I’m really lucky, but I worked hard to get here.

When it comes to my motto for design; it's got to be cool and comfortable. I really design product that I personally love and wear. I would wear man brogues or a good wood stack heel over super sky high stiletto heels any day.

 

 

 

The best advice I ever received…

…was from my mum. It’s to work hard and take criticism well. This really helped me evolve as a person and it’s the kind of advice I can attribute to a lot of areas in life, not just work. Relationships, friendships… Understanding that no one is perfect and we can all work on something to better ourselves, and not take all criticism personally, but as an opportunity to grow. This has been enormously helpful to me because I went to The University of Life if you will. I guess you could say I am a self-taught designer who learned the ropes as I went. 

 

 

My mum was a model…

…and such a natural beauty. She hardly wore any makeup but taught me the importance of good skin and keeping it hydrated. The first skincare product I ever used was an eye cream I snuck from mum’s beauty stash. She used a lot of Estee Lauder products and I remember sneaking her eyeshadow. Thanks to the early '90s my eyelids were every hue of blue and pink imaginable. Then I went on to basic supermarket brands when I was a teen. I have been using Lucas Paw Paw for as long as I can remember. I still carry one around with me in my bag every day.

 

My biggest beauty tip…

… is to look after your skin when you’re on a flight! My job means I fly a lot – I fly long haul quite often, about three or four times a year to Europe and try and do Asia and America in rounds. So, I always have a face mask and swear by Aesop Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol.  Also, use an illuminating face primer! I can’t believe I have lived without this product for so long. I use MAC Strobe Cream - it’s great for keeping my makeup stay put throughout the day. It’s also a great for faking good skin as it gives me a bit of a glow. Also much needed after long haul flights.

 
Nancy Brogue loafers in Black pony and Chloe Faye bag

Nancy Brogue loafers in Black pony and Chloe Faye bag

I’m a bit of a makeup brand floozy…

I have a real mix of makeup products – I will try anything. Every shoot I’m on I always end up in the makeup artist’s business asking them about the new best thing. Then I have to go out and buy it.

 
Gilded goodies: Sara's own Givenchy Shark tooth bracelet and Chloe art deco ring

Gilded goodies: Sara's own Givenchy Shark tooth bracelet and Chloe art deco ring

The best beauty tool I own is… 

My YSL makeup brush is by far the best I have ever purchased! It has literally lasted me years and I use it all the time. I just love it, it's the best! It's super soft and no matter how many times I wash it the hairs don’t fall out and the brush is a good as new again. It was well worth the little bit extra I paid because it has really lasted the test of time. I tend to just use the brush to apply my bronzer as a contour.

 
Sara’s all-time favourite, Eddie boot. 

Sara’s all-time favourite, Eddie boot. 

Wellbeing, to me, is just being a happy person… 

I love the sun and being outside. I have a good home life and have created a nice environment to share memories with family and friends there. I love picking up things for my home when I’m travelling, and I found a beautiful rug on my very first overseas trip for Sol Sana five years ago. I picked it up from a cute little boutique in Berlin. 

 
Tiki Heel in Sage Suede, it’s from the new Spring collection

Tiki Heel in Sage Suede, it’s from the new Spring collection

I collect quirky coffee table books…

…locally and when I’m travelling. They can give me inspiration. They’re a great addition to the home. My favourite would be Art & Sole by Jane Weitzman (From Stuart Weitzman). It combines art and shoes... I pick up this book from time to time and fall in love with its whimsical content all over again.

 
Sara spends more time in heeled sandals than in sneakers these days

Sara spends more time in heeled sandals than in sneakers these days

I had a whole cabinet of sport trophies…

…when I was growing up. I did a lot of netball, soccer and swimming and was really sporty. Now I stick to reformer Pilates. It’s awesome because I’m so busy, but can sneak in two or three classes as they’re only 45 minutes long. It keeps me in shape and I do it with my sister, so it’s bonding time too."

 
Story by Rikki Hodge-Smith