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Making Shoes Makes Me Happy – I’m choosing to be happy in 2021

“If Leonardo DaVinci was alive today he would likely have invented must of the technology we have today. If he didn’t invent it I know he would ABSOLUTELY use technology as a tool. “
–Anne Cecil, Owner/Designer/Maker, RoxAnneLava Shoes

When I first started my shoe business, it was my intention to use new technology, 3D Scanning, Printing, Milling, combined with traditional shoe making technique to make customized shoes for women of a certain age;) That is the business I wanted and in 2021 that will be the business I will create.

Over the past few years, I have practiced my craft and become a master maker of flat mules. I continue to practice traditional techniques with heels and wedges. AND I keep working within the confines of the concept of ‘mules’. I’m making progress in my practice, design and development.

I’ve invested in some old sewing machines, a 1938 Singer home sewer’s workhorse and a 1913 Singer Post Bed from a local-ish shoe factory. It’s been several years now and NEITHER one is up and running.

I invested in a Fabtotum 3D scanner/printer/miller through a kickstarter. Also NOT yet up and running. (Although I have made some progress with an older desktop computer to run it.)

I invested in a Cricut and you guessed it – NOT YET UP AND RUNNING.

I keep putting these tasks off because of their learning curves. Ridiculous! It’s time to take the time. 2021 is the year. I’ll be tackling these machines and methods, melding new and old into the business I want. I invite you to join me on my journey. Check out my progress – 2021 A Shoe Odyssey.

–Happy New Year! XOA

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ROXANNELAVA HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2020
–Something for every shoe enthusiast on your list

This year more than ever it is important to shop small, shop local and shop your values. As you well know, the pandemic is negatively impacting small businesses all over in a very real way. RoxAnneLava elves have been busy in the workshop creating holiday offerings for every shoe fanatic on your list.  I could really use your support this holiday season.

FOR THE SHOE FAN:
Key ring, Ornament or Pendant – You Decide!

Each quirky style is based on a RoxAnneLava design and made from my leather off-cuts/waste. BONUS – your purchase helps me work toward ZERO WASTE!  Choose your style. I choose your colorway.

$10.00

FOR THE ECO-NISTA:
The Place Mat Slipper
Plastic or foam placemats, combine with other reusable and readily available household items to create your next fashionable slide.

Built around a red/gold insole and rubber outsole combined with a festive upper, your pair is guaranteed to have sparkle, texture and shine.

Order by December 11th to guarantee Christmas delivery!

$25.00

FOR THE COMFORT CONNOISSEUR:
Cozy Wool Slippers
Hand made to get or give. 100% felted wools = Cozy Toes for ALL your ladies.  Pick your size – Pick your fabric – Pick your color – Place your order.

Order by December 11th for guaranteed December 25th Delivery!

$35-$75

FOR THE HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS:
Hostess Slippers
Popular with 17th Century French Courtiers this festive slipper is the best choice for at home entertaining.

Your pair includes a festive fabric upper with a felted insole and lining.

Chic, comfortable, cozy.

Order by December 11th for guaranteed delivery by December 25th!

$150

FOR THE SLOW FASHION PATRON:
Support Your Local Artisan – Become a patron today?

Support RoxAnneLava and solopreneur Artisan Craft Maker, Anne Cecil – Become a Patron Today through RoxAnneLava’s community supported Artisan program. Options to keep or gift: The Enthusiast, The Collector, The Advocate, and The Ambassador.

$40-$675

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS – help her choose her own with RoxAnneLava Badass Bucks! Available in denominations from $10 -$250

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A Shoe Lineage

I am a clinical psychologist by training turned fashion designer, but I’m still doing both. Fashion has always been a love of mine. And it’s so interesting to have this conversation with you. Because really my first love was shoes, even though I have a clothing brand now.

I really fell in love with shoes because of my mom. I continue the lineage of this love for fashion that the women in my family have. My mom had a ton of shoes when I was growing up. Her closet would be over run with shoes, heels, different colors… I remember being so fascinated by them. I knew where they were. I knew where to go to find this pair. We had a hardwood floors in our home. Her room was on one end of the hallway and a bathroom was on the opposite end. I would just love to go in and find a particular pair of shoes and walk the hallway. They were too big and I was always trying to work the runway.

A particular pair that I have remembered throughout my life were a pair of dark grey perforated leather pumps. And they had a small peep toe. For some reason I was very intrigued by that tiny peep toe. There wasn’t a lot of toe out. It was truly a peep at the toes, but it was intriguing to me.

I remember longing for the day when I could just take her shoes and keep them for myself. Actually, that ended up being my first shoe heartbreak because I grew up in that house my whole life until it was time for college. And then we ultimately moved. Unfortunately there was a lot of stuff that was lost and things that we ended up not taking so I don’t have the shoes.

As I became a young adult, I fell in love with BCBG and BCBG Girl shoes. It wasn’t intentional. I would be in the mall and fall in love with a pair of shoes and then another and another and so on and they just all happened to be BCBG Girl shoes. These blue fishskin sandals harken back to that perforated peep toe that I fell in love with years ago. I love heels and shine and this color really adds a pop!

–Nicole Muhammad, Sew Elevated

Want to hear more about Nicole’s shoe lineage? Listen to our full discussion on my KindredSoles podcast.

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An Iconic Tragedy in Two Parts

As promised, I am adding a bonus exchange between Sarah and me on Instagram DM with Sarah’s permission.

dr scholls sandals
Dr. Scholls all the rage circa 1970s

Anyone remember Dr. Scholls sandals circa 1970? Again given the difference in our ages, I am surprised that Sarah and I shared a love of these shoes. They were all the rage and both of us just had to have them. Here are our stories.

Sarah: Cleaning up my shop and I remembered an earlier shoe-love story!!  Those Dr.Scholls clogs/slides. I had them when we lived in a triple decker in Lynn, and coming down the back wooden stairs from the kids’ apartment above us I slipped down the stairs. My dad came out of our kitchen door on the landing, I was crying and sprawled on the stairs, and he ripped the clogs off my feet shouting “it’s these damn shoes!” and threw them in the trash bin outside. I started bawling harder, for my beloved shoes! We moved from that house when I was 7, so earlier than the white sneakers. I didn’t dare ever get another pair of the Dr.Scholls until I was an adult, I also had them in Italy, and they would CLACK loudly on the cobblestones. The ones I had falling down the stairs in Lynn had navy blue straps .

Anne: I have a tragic Dr. Scholl story too! I was riding my bike in them. I had a glass fish aquarium outside drying. I cut a turn too close to the aquarium and put my foot through it. I didnt damage myself when my foot went in, but It was a major injury. Many stitches and I cut a nerve in half. I have only partial feeling on top of my right foot.  I was bed ridden for all of July and missed horseback riding camp. Mine also had navy straps. I was a bit older 11 or 12 I think. We must be sisters! First reeboks and now Dr. Scholl’s. I never went back to them.

Sarah: I wanted to go back to them, and nostalgically tried buying some before moving to Rome (hadn’t dared cross my dad who forbade them FOREVER all those years!) but mostly I wore the geta because the Dr. Scholls really aren’t all that comfortable! And ironically they always feel like a disaster waiting to happen.

Anne: Agreed on the Dr. S’s. Way too much trauma for me to try again. Both my parents were doctors. They turned white when they saw the cut. I knew it was really bad when I saw their faces.

Sarah: Yikes!!!

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Clean Sneakers – Wearing White Shoes

Original 1980’s Reebok Freestyle the first athletic sneaker made for women
image from ebay

I’ve been thinking about this question since you gave me the prompt. I don’t know that anyone’s ever asked me when I first fell in love with shoes. I parse it into to two different ways of thinking about it. There is the me who loves shoes as objects who has felt that way for as long as I can remember. And I’m a maker too. I’m a very hands-on person. And my journey throughout life so far has slowly led me to become a professional boot maker. I have the love of making of footwear, which is, to me separate from loving shoes.

I have always been drawn to shoes. Everybody in our small community of footwear is, whether maker, collector, or lover of footwear. I’m a child of the 80s and the first pair of shoes that I loved, loved, loved – leather high tops with the two Velcro around the ankle, Reebok sneakers and they were white. If I wore them for two seconds outside, they got dirty. So I carried around this liquid product that you put on the side that cleaned them up. I was constantly stopping and putting my foot up on the picnic table bench in the yard to clean them. All my friends were getting annoyed with me because we were around 10 years old and we were all playing and I had to stop and keep my sneakers white.

That’s the first time I loved footwear because they took priority over all the other things I was doing was keeping them white and clean and beautiful. And I could play in them and they were just perfect. So that’s my earliest memory probably mid 80s but falling in love with shoes.

Sarah and I have common shoe experiences. I was teaching aerobics when the Reebok Freestyle debuted. I had them in pink. Turns out we also both have a Dr. Scholl’s sandal story. I’ll share that one next time. It is NOT on the podcast. You can hear our entire conversation on my podcast KindredSoles.

–Sarah, Bootmaker follow here on Instagram@saboteusebespoke