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.
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.
I am black patent crazy. Over the past year I’ve purchased 4 pairs of black patent boots to add to my collection bringing my total to 5. Why you ask? Black patent is one of the most versatile shoe materials ever. It adds a bit of shine to any daytime outfit and glamor to any evening or special occasion attire. It works well in all weather needing just a quick wipe down with a damp cloth and mild soap if necessary. Scuffs and scratches can be removed with special purpose cleaners on the market. Over time, it may loose the high shine, but it will maintain an interesting rubbery look. This black patent go go, Cynira at ShoeDazzle is on point at about $39 for VIPs.
True patent leather starts with a fine grain leather that is coated to create a glossy finish. Imitations are poromeric imitation leathers like Dupont’s Corfam. Whether you choose real or imitation you can’t go wrong with this addition to your wardrobe.
Here is an excellent choice for Men:
As my friend Phil Silverstone says, “Just bought these amazing Converse high top black patent sneaks for an upcoming tux event and then to wear with my white Levi’s in the summer…”
In keeping with the Inuit tradition of using all of an animal, Nicole Camphaug, an Iqaluit designer, uses sealskin to create shoes with lots of panache and style. Considering a pair of her own worn out boots that she was going to sell, she suddenly got the idea to dress them up with scraps of sealskin. 5 hours later a trend was born. Family and friends asked for their own pair and pretty soon Camphaug was buying pelts.
Made by Inuit in Nunavut these babies are popular. Offering Women’s and Men’s styles, Camphaug has had to recruit her husband to help and has even added in some jewelry with Inuit designs.
Even so, at 5 hours of labor per pair, she is still looking for a business model that will lead her to a profitable fashion career. Listen, I’ll help her out. These beauties are to die for. So Anne!
RIP David Bowie, my favorite performer and a major influence on my life. David Bowie gave me the courage to be different and the confidence to continually transform on my terms throughout my life. He was brilliant till the very end and oh yeah, the shoes! Guess I got some of my fashion & shoe aesthetic from him too. These babies are dead on trend right now. Wish I could get a pair and wear them in memoriam.
I love gifting, especially self-gifting and of course I buy myself shoes. I took a break from the hustle and bustle of the season to browse my two favorite local shoe shops for a little holiday retail therapy. First stop, Benjamin Lovell shoes , home of comfort brands and the best kept secret sale in the back of their South Street store. This is my favorite place for a great brand at a fantastic price. Pickin’s were slim, probably because they were coming off a 20% off sale.
So on I went to my fave fashion shoe shop, Bus Stop Boutique. London born owner Elena Brennan curates the BEST brands with just the right amount of interest and edge, John Fluevog, Miista, United Nude, Coclico, just to name a few. I tired on several pairs including Jeffery Campbell’s Ibiza last. I like this shoe – bit of a flatform, patent leather, bootie style and this fabulous extended heel and tongue detail. The overall shape reminds me a bit of an elf boot so just right for the season. Unfortunately, the Ibiza last is not for me. It’s just too thin through the toe box. Boo hiss for me. Don’t feel badly for me though. I did indulge and took advantage of their construction sale. A sexy new, comfy Melina beauty from Coclico AND an edgy new Micky combat boot by United Nude came home with me. Check out my Instagram to get a peek. Shoes of Salvation posted every Thursday.
— customer, Melissa Tevere
What can I say about Roxannelava Shoes? I LOVE these shoes. Not only are they comfortable, but they make a statement – they elevate whatever I am wearing into a complete look. I am a huge supporter of makers and artisans. I believe in spending my money locally, and when I support Roxannelava, I know that I am not only supporting a local Philadelphia maker, but I am also supporting the local makers that she supports. It is a chain reaction. I appreciate the fact that Anne intentionally uses re-purposed materials in her handmade shoes; the leather she chooses is not always perfect, but there is beauty in the imperfections. I am not perfect, (no one is!), but I feel pretty-close to perfect when I am wearing her gorgeous shoes.