Georgina’s Red Shoe’s
09 Nov 2014
I was very happy recently to take an enquiry from a lovely lady, Pam, who has a daughter with a condition called Talipes, what used to be called club foot. One of her feet is a 5 and one is 6, therefore buying off the peg shoes is very difficult. On many occasions she has had to resort to buying 2 pairs of cheaply made shoes and then throwing the odd pair away and thus just keeping the 5 and 6 of the pair to be worn.
All her life Georgina has had to tolerate being laced into clunky lace up boots, not necessarily a problem I hear your cry except when you remember that this is beautiful young lady who yearns to wear pretty shoes and wants to be able to wear fashionable shoes. Georgina is also not able to wear heels in any dimension.
Back in the good olden golden days when high street shoe company’s both cared about people’s feet, were independent stores and whose shoes were made in this country it was a little easier to get shoes made.
Pam used to go to Clarks and have shoes made especially for Georgina’s feet. Following the demise of the shoe industry in the UK leaves people like Georgina side-lined with very little choices open to them. Getting hand made shoes made to fit feet is a vastly expensive process. Measuring a foot and having a shoe last made costs several hundred pounds alone, not to mention the actual production, buying leather and hand cutting of individual shoes. The cost to do this is prohibitive for around 99.9% of the population. Rather the hand making of completely original and individual shoes is something left to the very, very wealthy.
I took on the challenge as I felt strongly that I wanted to do something for Georgina, also to attempt to restore a little faith in the UK shoe industry. I am probably one of very few people making a ladies shoe here in the UK, and certainly I am probably the only person who would consider making an odd pair of shoes for someone at not only an affordable price but also to a very high British crafted quality. To take on and complete this project the shoes had to be individually cut, hand-lasted and hand finished.
Fortunately for me Pam and Georgina were happy to have a ballerina style pump, in other words the same style of shoe I currently produce and one which I have a shoe last and knives for. I did not have the right type of red leather that Georgina wanted so I sourced some beautifully soft lambskin for the upper, I also sourced some really soft luxurious lambskin for the inner lining of the shoe in a matching red.
From the original order to delivery it took around a month, which was slightly elongated due to me going to Japan for a week to visit one of my customers and also to meet some potential new stores and merchandisers for my shoes.
Georgina’s shoes went off in the post on Friday afternoon, I am so hoping that Georgina loves the shoes as much as we loved making them for her. It was a real pleasure to be able to help make her happy and enable her to wear something pretty. Something not only British made but something which also had the dual effect of supporting the local economic framework.
All in all a very satisfactory project.