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Shoes and Pillows – How Many is Too Many?

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You can never have too many fashion shoes or decorative pillows!

…Or earrings for that matter! At the height of my career I had 87 pairs of shoes.  Today, in my drapery and decor business, 250 different styles of pillows, cushions and shams and many of them in multiples is a very conservative count.  I don’t count because I am afraid my husband might ask… fabric has taken over what was to be his “fishing room”.

Shoe pillows are my latest obsession. These satisfy my need for an addictive fix for shoes and pillows and not surprisingly, they are working for many of my clients too.  My first two  prototypes sold even before I had them assembled.

This novelty line of  shoe pillows actually evolved from a Layla Grace Marsh Fundraiser that Carmen of the Decorating Diva LLC and I collaborated on together.  Many of these special edition pillows, which had the Layla Grace name and the Cancer Ribbon embroidered on them, sold for a donation of $100. Today, each of these shoe pillows sells for around $59 at my Etsy and icraft.ca store and several  boutique  stores in the Vancouver area.

No two are exactly the same and several are on my workroom cutting table for custom orders that are even funkier than those seen in the carousel. I had a special request for something that looked like high end fashion heals by Christian Louboutin which is still on the design table.

So far most of the designs are  embroidered with a shoe digitized by Liz at Janome Canada but this  new shoe design in the works has been digitized by Sew Shine.  Rebecca does amazing work transforming a picture into computerized instructions that make up the thousands of stitches, textures and colours in an embroidered design.

Machine embroidery is not as simple as pushing buttons on an embroidery machine. My studio is equipped with a  domestic and an industrial embroidery machine, both of which require programming intelligence.

As an artisan, it is this creative process that is most exhilarating.  Someone purchasing it and leaving lovely feedback  is validation that your ideas and workmanship are good. Not all of it is good though, as I do have some “seconds” that get transformed into dolly blankets. Only the best of the best make it to market, but all in all, designing, stitching, marketing and even talking about shoe pillows satisfies this insatiable urge to go shoe shopping.

Someone else’s shoes are an even bigger weakness. In an almost, unrestrained fit of  “auctionitis”, I was out bid on these pictured below(wink wink). These are just one of the six pairs made for Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz.  Sold for $666,000 in 2000 and I have been kicking myself ever since. Oh well… you may just see these on an up and coming shoe pillow!

Expensive shoes from the Wizard of Oz

The Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz Sold at auction in 2000 for $666,000

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