About The Little Shoemaker
Trained in both the footwear industry and as an artist, I’ve worked in & around shoes for the past twenty years.
After studying Art in Brighton I moved to London to take a place on a Fine Art Ma course, and quickly discovered that London was the kind of place I really needed to find a part time job to support myself. It was at this point I decided to re-enter the shoe industry & found a small shop in Marylebone where I thought I could work part time to support my studies.
The idea was to work ‘part time’ for a few months to pay for my studies whilst earning a little money for myself. However, fifteen years later I find myself still at the shop in Marylebone after rediscovering my passion for all things shoes.
Now living on the south coast, I share my time between London & Brighton where I also work as an artist & Lecturer in fine art.
So, Why Children’s Shoes?
Now that I have a daughter, I find myself in the market for children’s attire. I’ve bought several different pairs of ‘designer brand’ shoes (some of them British), and most of them are quite expensive. However, I’ve started to feel a little uncomfortable that these shoes that I sometimes pay up to £90 for, are being produced for as little as £2 in some far away country on a production line. I don’t even know anything about the person who’s made them.
It’s become apparent to me that most shops have realized that if you’re in the store buying clothes, then you’re probably going to buy shoes to go with them. The problem for me here is that they’re simply add-ons, there’s no substance to them in my opinion.
I also feel a little uncomfortable that a lot of these products are trading on a ‘\British’ theme, yet are using products put together on the other side of the world, and simply increasing the price based on the logo inside the shoe.
I believe I’ve got something quite unique to offer my customers. Everything that you see, everything that you feel, all the stitching, the cutting, the moulding, and the design. It’s all mine! It’s all made and created by ‘me’ and only me. These shoes have not been anywhere near as factory, or a production line, not even another pair of hands. They’re all Mine.
They are so unique that every pair differs from the next pair. If you look close, you can see how each stitch is created not by a machine, but by the hands of an artisan. Every part of the shoe shouts out ‘Hand Made’. There’s nothing synthetic involved in the process, nor in the materials.
I’ve looked at what shoe’s are on the market these days, and I’ve been quite disappointed with the styles and quality of the products around. Especially annoying, is how ‘over the top’ children’s shoes are. It’s almost impossible to source a child’s shoe that doesn’t have something cheesy stitched onto it. From cartoon characters, to mermaids, to stars and diamonds etc. And don’t even get me started on those flashing things I see in children’s heels.
My shoes are contemporary in their ‘design’ yet ‘vintage’ in their style. We so often see children in cheap latex trainer style shoes that are totally synthetic ant not doing the children any good at all.
I’ve designed my footwear totally in Leather & suede, allowing those little feet to breath! The styles are retro looking shoes & boots that are charming yet quirky, whilst maintaining style without losing any of the important aspects of what we’re trying to achieve.