New shoes, new career

Where should I start… I left my job as a professor recently. It was my decision and I think it was a great one. From now I want to spend all of my time in my workshop/store and focus on custom orders and.. this. Ready to wear. Is it even possible? Trust me – I asked myself this question several times. Beside I am a shoemaker by trade, I also hold an economist degree, so I can say I understand at least little how the market should work. It works pretty easy: buy dirt cheap, sell is expensive, then discount it and sell it for less and discount it so you don’t lose too much and sell the rest.

That is not my plan. First of all: I never discounted any of my footwear. Compared to far east products (costs a few buck per pair), these shoes have JR leather insoles, French bespoke grade lining, Dainite soles, British bespoke quality leather stiffeners etc… They are made to last. The concept is simple: no fast fashion, no seasons, no fancy fashion trends, which are cool now, but so uncool in a few months. This should be timeless.

I selected a durable, extremely thick US tanned leather and a timeless design: a derby with stitchdown. I can tell this – after the prototype was done, I removed the last and sold in an hour. That was amazing. I considered that as a sign that it is a good direction.

Here is the shoe.


After the prototype was gone I just felt that something still could be better. First step: changed the upper leather. Now – where do the shoes wear off fast? Around the counter. People don’t use shoe horns. (I am guilty in that too sometimes), so the stitches wear off pretty fast. Cobblers can fix t more or less, but – why wouldn’t I make it just impossible to wear out? So this idea came and added another cool detail, what I always wanted to do.


Now, this shoe is made for walking, to be kicked off, go to a road trip, generally be a good and trusty friend for many years. Not just sturdy, but relative easy to repair if it comes to the point.

We will start to make them as ready to wear soon – and very happy to deal with PHYSICAL stores (sorry no online ones yet). Please contact us at or visit

6 thoughts on “New shoes, new career

  1. I like this shoe! And I’m excited for you.
    We in our trade here in the US need someone out front to show the way to gain back the respect of “Made in America” footwear.
    I’m proud to know you and call you friend.
    Best wishes for great success as you work your path.

    1. WOW!!! They are PERFECT!!. You have inspired me to do the same thing. QUIT THE JOB!!! I am a Master Knitter, Seamstress, Shoemaker, and Artist (Painter) – advanced Needle artist and jack of all trades — I’m repairing a washing machine now and just completed installing a new kitchen floor (all by myself) LOL! So I know where your coming from. Life is to short and it almost was for me. I just kicked Cancers butt! I came away from that experience never wanting to return to work. I work as a Policy Analyst for the government of WV. After that experience with Cancer, all I want to do is what I want to do – the Vintage Arts. Working that full time job just pays the bills feeds the kids, it has no fullfillment, I’m not passionate about, it doesnt stimulate my brain in anyway. AND I HAVE ANOTHER MEANS OF MAKING A LIVING!! I havent met anyone who can do what I do or anyone that has a hobby or pasttime that their passionate about and can make an income from it. How do they live. I actually go through some type of anxiety when I cant find the time knit, or sew, or make shoes. It doesnt have to be for anybody. I just love doing it! I have two young adults in college living with me. I cant wait until they leave to get one of the rooms. But for now, I’ve turned my bedroom into a workshop — downsized my bed and made the other half of the room my workshop. I have earned good money selling my stuff — Ive dreamed of opening a shop and doing what I love all day, everyday. Perhaps when the last of my litter moves away and can downsize my house and open a shop and do what I want to do. For now, I’m just holding on — making sure those two successfully finish college. Then it truly is going to be all about me. Lying in recovery made me think of all the stuff I havent done. And now, I’m about to “croak” without doing a lot of things: traveling, open a shop, buy the name brand products — simple stuff – stuff you don’t get to do because your doing for everyone else. Thats going to end. I’m gonna stop ranting on your blog now. Just excited and inspiring to see some one stepping out on the limb to do what they love doing. Right!?!

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