One of Kildare’s most promising budding entrepreneur is representing the county at the 2011 Student Enterprise Awards National Final in Croke Park on April 14 next.
Tara Haughton, a 16 year old transition year student at Cross and Passion College in Kilcullen has already had significant commercial success from a product she developed some time ago that can transform any pair of high heeled shoes into fashion designer look-a-likes.
Her product is a red, stick-on cover which can be attached to the sole of any high heal shoe, giving the impression that they are made by Christian Louboutin, the luxury French shoe and handbag designer, which are highly sought after by fashionistas.
According to her dad Chris, Tara now sells that product all over Ireland, the UK, Austrialia, Canada, Israel and even Dallas.
And she has started trading under the name Rosso Solini, and selling her products on www.rossosolinishop.com.
She also has a Facebook shop which is attracting 140,000 impressions a month and has seen sales jump by 60 percent.
“She’s about to launch three more products,” Chris told the Leinster Leader.
As well as moving away from red (the home kit now comes in 18 different colours and designs) she has introduced a ribbon wrap for high heels which “totally revamps the look of them,” he explained.
“Next up is the welly wrap which is really fun – for people who attend concerts, the wrap around sticker comes in novelty shapes and makes the welly look like plaster of paris!
“And she’s had very obscure people ‘sign’ the plaster, from Colonel Gaddafy to Nelson Mandela.
Chris explained that Christian Louboutin is aware of Tara’s enterprise and was even asked about it in the March edition of the New Yorker Magazine.
“He was very non-committal. He essentially replied by saying: “What can I do? Tell the parents of a 16 year old girl to stop it?”
Chris also paid tribute to one of Tara’s teachers at the Cross and Passion, Ms. Groome, who he says has been “a tower of strength” to her.
As well as the student entrepreneur awards, Tara is also a finalist in the Kildare Entrepreneur of the year awards which will be decided at Kilashee House Hotel on Friday, April 8 next.
“She’s in the final four of the under 21 section,” he added.
“She’s also being backed by the Kildare County Enterprise board, financially, as well as having a mentor as well.”
Tara will be among the 300 students taking part in the national finals next Thursday, April 14 which is organised by the network of County and City Enterprise Boards.
The winners of the Senior Category will enjoy an educational trip to Paris with their teacher in September.