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The day I fell in love… with shoes!

purple gogo boots circa late 1960's

In 1970 I walked past a boutique window in the Chalfont-Haddon Hall Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey and fell in love. The object of my desire – mauve suede knee-high lace up boots-rounded-toe, boxy heel, black grommets and laces. Italian, expensive. I could tell the leather was soft as butter. They reminded me of the boots Nancy Sinatra was singing about in “These Boots are Made for Walkin'”. I love that song. I was 8 years old. Sadly our relationship was not meant to be, but my passion for shoes was born.

Since that day I have appreciated shoes as an admirer, customer and collector. I have a wide variety of styles from all sorts of price points. The running theme for me is “bad ass and beautiful”. I spend most of my time in boots, booties or sandals, but I have my share of pumps and slingbacks as well.

Several years ago I decided I’d like to spend the next stage of my life as a shoemaker. Designing and making – yes, MAKING shoes.  I’ve been a creative and entrepreneur all my life. I love to build things so shoes seemed to be a natural next step. I started with strappy sandals made from component parts in 6 hours in London along with a 2-day shoe design seminar. My next stab was a 7-day pump making workshop in Ashland, Oregon where I learned to make almost all of the shoe by hand.  In 2016, I attended a shoe symposium and got the final piece to the puzzle, suppliers of small quantities for small batch shops.

The Brand is Born

signature style on feet

RoxAnneLava launched June 2017 with this BadAss & Beautiful Signature mule. Why this mule? I purchased a size 7 (my size) vintage last at the shoe symposium in June. 2016. On a whim, I decided to make myself a pair to practice cement construction skills. I can’t walk anywhere without women & men asking me where I got the shoes.

Working with my friend Georgene McKim at ShoeDo, I have been able to acquire the rest of the size run of this vintage last born February 26, 1988 to complement my size 7. In 2018 I launched the RL Classic with an almond toe. And finally in 2020 I’m launching my first kitten heel option.

The Plan

A Badass & Beautiful monthly feature available for online order, complemented with  popups, trunk shows, bridal shows and shoe workshops. You select your style, your size, your upper. I (or you) create your mules. Each pair is co-created by you for you.

I create Badass & Beautiful retro inspired mules using a variety of upcycled and imperfect materials that are intentionally sourced, environmentally and socially conscious for the stylish, contemporary woman who prescribes to less is more and fewer is better.

My studio is up and running. My materials are plenty. I’ve created prototypes and and samples. AND I’ve become a master maker of flats. Join me on this fantastic journey as I share with you the Badass & Beautiful mule!

–Be badass & beautiful