October 13, 2019 0 Comments

Shiny shoes spark conversations about compassion

Empathetic. Generous. Trailblazer

Lauren Cahill had never heard of the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis (NF) until a brave girl with a tumour on her brain stem came into her shoe store.

Young Emme touched Lauren’s heart and, in a spontaneous act of kindness, she decided to design a girl’s shoe in her honour and name it after her.

All profits go to the Children´s Tumour Foundation of Australia.

Now, thanks to the charitable small business owner, girls all over Brisbane are wearing the hand-made rose mocha glitter shoes, not only raising much-needed funds but also raising awareness and compassion about NF, which can be both debilitating and disfiguring.

The shoes are also available on the internet and have been bought for girls all over the world, raising awareness about NF in other countries.

Being voted a Westfield Local Hero made Lauren cry with happiness. She is delighted by the community support, which she says is like “two gigantic arms wrapping themselves around Emme and her family”. Of course, Emme is also a local hero in her own right, she says.

When trying on the shoes, mothers often take the opportunity to have a conversation with their daughters about compassion.

“They talk about Emme, about her illness, and that their contribution is making a difference. That they are helping others, through the act of giving,” says Lauren.

She has also produced a video featuring Emme and her mother, which she not only uses to market the shoes but also to tell the girl’s brave story.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation.

The Children´s Tumour Foundation of Australia will use its grant to cover the cost of employing an NF specialist nurse at the Queensland Children's Hospital to offer weekly support to up to twelve families.

Lauren says being voted a hero also raises awareness about Emme’s shoes.
“The more we sell; the more conversations parents are having with their girls about neurofibromatosis.”

To purchase our Emme´s Shoes click here

Getting the right fit
Petit Barcelona Fit Guide


We often talk instore about the perfect fit. What we’re looking for, how it should feel, and how to overcome any niggly foot problems you may be having. 

So, we asked Lauren, owner of Petit Barcelona, to sit down and answer a few questions that we’re asked regularly. Questions around fit, leathers and care of our sandals. 

How do I find my size?

The first thing you need to consider when buying a pair of Spanish sandals is the length of your foot. The length, not the width, of your foot will determine your size.

Petit Barcelona Shoe Size Guide Women
Petit Barcelona Shoe Size Guide Children

Does width matter?

Our Spanish sandals are made from the highest quality Spanish leathers, and will gently soften and mould to the shape of your foot. This will happen whether you have a narrow foot or a wide foot. Our Avarcas will give only as much as they need to.

Tip: to speed up this process you can wear them around the house with a pair of socks (or two!).

While our Avarcas are made to a standard size some leathers will better suit narrow or wide feet. 


My shoes have arrived and are feeling very snug, is this ok?

It sure is! We want them to feel a little snug across the front of your foot! This is the part that will soften and mould to your foot with wear.

If your feet are within the stitching on the insole of the shoe you have the right size. Long toes may peep through the front of the shoe, others may not. This is a normal variance.

If the shoe feels a little snug but you’re not experiencing actual pain, you have the right size.


The back straps are quite loose or won´t stay up. Is this the right fit?

Your back straps should sit firm on your heels. They will naturally fall to the widest part of your heel as they wear in. They will at first feel like they might fall off, but they won´t completely. If your straps are gaping, or sliding up and down as you walk, but your length is fine, then our shoes are not the right fit for your heel shape.  

Many people who can´t wear back straps normally, choose our Platform Avarcas or Wedge Espadrilles, as the incline of the shoe means that the back strap stays up higher than the Flat Avarcas. 


Should my toes be visible or not?

As all feet are different shapes, the length of your toes are too. Whether or not your toes are visible is not an indication that your shoes fit or not. We like to think that when you haven´t had a pedicure, our shoes hide a multitude of sins! 


I don’t think I have the right size. What should I do?

If your Spanish Avarcas are snug to the point of pain you may need to go up a size. If your foot is within the stitching but the back strap is falling, you may need to go down a size.

But don’t despair, our desire for the perfect fit is supported by our generous returns policy. 


Easy, hassle free returns & exchanges!

We offer free returns on your first pair of shoes.

To get the returns process started, email us at Returns@petitbarcelona.com and let us know your order number and what you´d like to return or pop into our boutique store at Camp Hill.