Community Market for Makers & Shakers

Maker & Shaker Community Market
Maker & Shaker Community Market

The Community Market for Makers & Shakers on Saturday, October 14th was my first live shoe event. Hosted by NextFab in North Philadelphia as part of DesignPhiladelphia, I had a great day of feedback, networking and fun and oh yeah a few sales.

My second generation RoxAnneLava Signature samples in whole sizes 5-11 debuted to the public. I offered 2 options for orders, my holiday leather collection in black or cranberry patent/silver or cranberry crackle/ gold or red metallic,  OR  a new offering of up-cycled leathers that are waste materials from a furniture manufacturer in black/red/brown. My 1st generation Signature prototypes, 3 sample pairs and logo tees were also available. It was great to have people see, try  on and react to my shoes.

These events are always best for exposure and networking and Saturday did not disappoint. I gained about a dozen new email subscribers, sold some product,  got some ideas and feedback and connections on the shoes from people who don’t know me and met some new potential partners for a couple of really interesting initiatives.

The Bonus?

Free Federal Donuts, Coffee, Philly HomeBrew Outlet Breakfast Stout, a lovely Bahn Mi and DJ.

I’ve been a maker and had making businesses for most of my adult life. It’s great to watch this new one grow. I am pleased with the positive response. It’s gratifying to work toward my personal and professional goals. A day like Saturday validates I am on the right path.

 

Back to my Journey

It’s time to get back to my journey and sharing it with you. I’ve had a very shoe- centric 3 months. It’s been exciting and exhilarating and best of all, I’ve carved a path forward with my business.

As many of you know, I had not been able to practice my shoe making skills. My full-time job and personal issues were keeping me very busy. Last summer, I  made a decision to make some big changes that would allow me to focus on shoe making. I’ve stepped down from my full-time teaching position as of August 31, 2016. I’ve beefed up my consultancy, ONO made in the 191.

I attended a Shoe Symposium in Ashland, Oregon and re-connected with my teacher Bill Shanor from Bonney & Wills. The biggest gain from this experience was a bunch of small quantity suppliers. These relationships have been critical in my path forward. I also made a connection with Iron Horse Boots who has a similar business model to me. I am hopeful we can collaborate and support each other as we move forward.

Since May, I’ve been working on making. I started with a recycled sandal and since have moved into 6 styles of women’s sandals. I’ll share each with  you in my next posts. The plan is to work on my craft, work through prototyping and have the prototypes tested. So far so good. I’m concentrating on cement construction just now.

Singer Post Bed
Vintage Singer Post Bed Machine on a Reading Table.

The next batch will include sewing with my fabulous new (to me) Singer Post Bed Machine. I’m partnering with screenprinter/bag maker, Tim Eads. His fabric, my designs to make a men’s loafer style deck shoe and women’s espradrilles. The bases have just arrived via Esty.

I’m back and ready to share my journey with you. Sit back and enjoy.

Works of Art in Leather

Moreschi The Italian Art of Shoemaking Works of Art in Leather book coverEye candy – works of art in leather. It’s arrived. Thank you Amazon Prime. Welcome to my bookshelf – Moreschi The Italian Art of Shoemaking: Works of Art in Leather, edited by Cristina Morrozi, photographed by Giò Martorana and produced by Rizzoli.  This book traces the heritage of artisan culture & craft in Italian shoe production using the premiere brand, Moreschi as a model. Known for exacting standards and unique style, Moreschi produces every pair of shoes from design stage to retailer on-site. Breathtakingly beautiful for your coffee table. Instructive for the shoe purist.

 

Cowboy boots never go out of style

Custom Cowboy Boots
Custom Cowboy Boots

Invest in a versatile shoe, the cowboy boot that never goes out of style. Whether you choose an authentic bespoke model, Ariat, or a designer urban style, this is one of the best investments you will make.

Urban Cowgirl
Donald Pliner, Urban Cowgirl

 

 

 

Statement Ariat
Statement Ariat

These boots are stylish. Many sport a pointed toe that elongates the leg. The heel is a sensible height and sturdy. The range of designs are prolific. There is something for everyone and a good pair really will last forever. Cowboy boots go from casual to office to fancy dress. Quality boots can be endlessly repaired and the best part is they look just as good weathered as new.

Star Wars for real at Irregular Choice

Star Wars by Irregular Choice
Star Wars R2D2 by Irregular Choice

Irregular Choice has been one of the most inspired and unique shoe companies since 1999. Offering creative shoes at an affordable price, influenced by fantasy and travel, predominantly in Asia and Japan, Dan Sullivan hit the news wire this week with the introduction of the Star Wars collection featuring styles that reference the Jedi, Darth Vadar, the Death Star, Chewbacca, C-P30, Yoda and more. Many styles are sold out. Get what’s left while they last.

R2D2 heel by Irregular Choice
R2D2 heel by Irregular Choice

Sullivan doesn’t follow fashion trends or competitive brands. His philosophy is to be original and create stand out shoes. Using ornate heels (like the R2D2 featured on the Star Wars shoe), charms, and interesting color and textural combinations, Sullivan creates over 600 styles each year.

Irregular Choice is one of my favorite brands for statement shoes. I own a couple of booties that suit my style. They invite comments whenever I wear them. They add a little Asian to my style. Let them work a little magic on yours.