My daughter, Araminta, is now two-and-a-half years old. Since becoming a mother, I've had to learn to juggle multiple roles. I wake up at 7.30am because I like to spend an hour with her, getting her ready for school. I have a nanny to look after her but I think it's important that I am there for her morning routine. I like to eat muesli or porridge in the morning and three times a week I try to get to the gym and have a quick work-out before heading to the office. I live in South Kensington and my house is about two minutes from the Jimmy Choo office, so I walk to work everyday in my heels, although there are times when the rain is so heavy I have to wear flats. I'd wear four-inch heels everywhere if I could. There are about 30 people in the office, mostly women, dealing with marketing, public relations, wholesale and retail. We have a great atmosphere at work; we all love shopping and shoes. I believe in getting people to work harder by praising them. I have two personal assistants now so I don't have to do a lot of the administrative stuff, like planning the diary or trips. I have meetings with each of the department heads and we pretty much get on with our own work. But it wasn't like that at all when I started the company in 1996, with Sandra Choi, our creative director. I was working for British Vogue when I met shoemaker Jimmy Choo, who was one of the quickest and best in the business. He had a small studio and I used to call them up all the time when I was styling shoots for Vogue and couldn't find the right shoes, and he'd make them for me. Sandra is his niece and we gradually got to know each other because she was always helping me design stuff. I remember the only shoe designer who made luxurious and fashionable styles at the time was Manolo Blahnik, so I thought there would be room for another designer. I approached Sandra, who had learned her craft from Jimmy, and we started putting a proposal together for Jimmy Choo to become a brand, hoping to find some funding. I never expected my father to be my investor but as I was drawing up my proposal, I showed it to him and he began to take an interest and decided to invest in us. I didn't want to lose his money so I was very nervous. Sandra and I opened up a tiny store in London. She'd design the shoes and get them made and we'd do everything on our own, including manning and cleaning the shop, while Jimmy Choo retired from the business and only did occasional special orders. We were so financially tight we didn't even have a computer - we did all the bookkeeping on a word processor. The shoe business is still dominated by males and when we travelled to Italy, none of the big factories wanted to manufacture for us because our styles required so much more work. Everyone was only interested in taking orders of 10,000 pairs of black pumps. Eventually, we found a couple in Veneto who were willing to make the shoes for us. We are still with them today. Our shoes are glamorous, but there's nothing glamorous about the shoe business. We do more than a hundred styles every season and we have to travel to Italy to check on the factories and visit our stores around the world and promote the brand. I grew up in Beverly Hills, so we took out shoes and I started contacting people in Hollywood. During Oscar week, Sandra and I flew out to Los Angeles with a small team to make shoes for the celebrities. We took a whole bunch of white satin high heels that we could dye on the spot and accessorise - it was almost like a couture service. It was exhausting and we worked around the clock because the celebrities wouldn't decide what to wear until the last minute, so the stylists would choose a number of dresses and we'd have to design shoes to go with each outfit. It's like a covert operation for these stylists, keeping these dresses a secret until the big night so we'd get tiny pieces of fabric to colour match. Jennifer Lopez's stylist asked us to dye her shoes at midnight on the day before the Oscars ceremony. We worked all night and the shoes were still wet when she wore them to the ceremony. There's not much free time in our business, except when things slow down a little bit in February. That's when Sandra and I go on trips to get ideas for the new collections. I try to take my daughter everywhere I go. I also bring a lot of shoes. I was in Hong Kong for three days and I brought 15 pairs with me. If it's any longer I have a separate suitcase for my shoes. I love working in London because I have a lot of friends there and I find people to be really nice, although I am really in tune with Los Angeles because I lived there. I see my friends for lunch and my favourite place to eat is Ciprianis. I love their veal piccata. My husband (millionaire Matthew Mellon of the Mellon Bank wealth) and I are no longer together, and Araminta sees her dad a couple of days a week. I try to leave work by 6pm to spend time with her, give her a bath, watch her eat dinner and read her bedtime stories. Many of my friends have children and we don't go out until after they are in bed. The great thing about London is that there's always something going on, like a party or a film premiere. I was initially worried about working full-time but I spoke to a lot of people who had working mothers and they don't feel they were neglected at all. The weekends are all hers. We do play dates and go around the city and visit parks. This morning, Araminta came into the bathroom wearing my red patent high heels. I'm crazy about shoes and have over 400 pairs in perspex boxes. If I had it my way everything would be four-inch stilettos. Women in New York prefer kitten heels because they do so much walking, while women in Los Angeles wear high heels because everyone uses valet parking. I love what I do and I can't believe the company has grown so much since 1996. People think shoes are a frivolous luxury and they are right; we want to make fun shoes. But shoes are also mood-altering. I feel so much sexier in a nice pair of shoes.