Shoemaking business

My fondest goal is to help people start simple, ecological shoemaking businesses everywhere! Frequently I get a new idea of a type of shoe to make that i think could be the foundation for a business, but of course I can’t pursue them all – so you can do it instead! For instance, someone told me that her family orders all their shoes from a German company, Wildlings, because they are minimalist – well, most all the shoes I make are minimalist! Hers had canvas uppers – so I was reminded of a young man who was a shoemaking intern a few years ago – he had lived in Thailand and admired the fabric shoes he saw there. He wanted to start a business here making them himself – here’s a photo of one of the pairs we made.

And, recently a young woman with a wonderful store in Turner’s Falls, Ma, Flourish, which is near me, showed me a vast collection of upholstery sample books she had – she said I could have all I wanted. I took one but hadn’t done anything with it – until today, when I started thinking that they might be nice for making minimalist women’s espadrilles. Well, each piece was big enough for one slip-on shoe, but I couldn’t see making the shoes with two different patterns, but I realized that I could make the front part of a pair of shoes from one piece, and have a harmonizing piece stitched at the heel end.

I’ll probably never get around to making these, but maybe you can! I have stacks of “idea shoes” (just the right foot) around my studio – and i’m soon to be 75, and I’m having some memory problems, so that is why I’d like to share these ideas with other people who might have a long career ahead of them. Please get in touch if this might be of interest to you.