November 11, 2021

student making shoes

Students of shoemaking courses online

95% of students of my shoemaking courses online are total beginners that never made shoes before they started my shoemaking  courses. 

Knowing this, I created such shoemaking courses that could allow anyone who has 0 knowledge in shoemaking to learn it in the most efficient way on his own following my instructions. The end result is to make shoes that are comfortable and beautiful, meaning to make shoes professionally (you can see  different works of my students)

What are my shoemaking students goals?

- They want make shoes for themselves and for their family

- They have "problematic" feet and they can't find shoes for themselves, so they need a solution, to learn how to make comfortable (and beautiful) shoes for themselves 

- They want to have their own shoe business

Is that something that you can achieve? Definitely, yes! Don't take my word for it, see the shoes my students do. 

From 0 knowledge in shoemaking to making shoes professionally

In today's post I will share with you the journey of one of my students, Marcia Brown, who successfully finished my shoemaking courses online and now she launched her own shoe brand- "Marcia Brown Footwear".

The knowledge and skills of shoe making she gained, helped her successfully navigate to manufacturing her own shoes. She creates her own prototypes, choosing the best quality materials and controlling her footwear brand production.

Marcia Brown before she started learning shoemaking at my shoemaking courses online never had any experience in shoemaking and right now she has her own shoe brand.

It is always hard to make the first steps, as beginners in shoemaking, but if you hear to Marcia Brown experience (in the end of this article you will watch a full interview) , you can see a path for you to make your own shoes or even launching your own footwear brand.

First steps for beginner in shoemaking

So how to get started learning shoemaking?

For Marcia Brown it took 6 months to gather her courage to actually practice shoemaking, to get her hands dirty so before that she was only watching my shoemaking classes.

The most difficult and in the same time most important step in shoemaking is the first one. 

This is not a rocket science, Shoemaking is a craft and until you start doing, applying what you have learned nothing will happen. 

Just as Marcia said in her interview, you just need to do it- "just do it!"

You need to understand how simple it is. When you practice, you do more, you get experience. When you get experience you do better, each time your shoemaking progress as a beginner in shoemaking will become easier for you. 

Note: one of the barriers could be also collecting shoemaking tools and materials because it have been thought that you should have many different shoemaking tools. Apparently you can start making shoes with minimum set of tools and materials. If it your case, check this post "Beginners Shoemaking Tools and Materials: The Definitive Guide 2019".

student--first-shoes--Marcia-02

This is the first ever shoe pair (flat ballet shoes) Marcia made.

You can see in this image that the work is not perfect and this is how it supposed to be when you just stared making shoes. 

- The throat line is not ideally curved and as result the seem seams not even

- The heel surface required to be more smother and shiny

* The sole finishing is absolutely great (bravo, Marcia)!

Despite these tiny imperfections, these flat ballet shoes are real shoes that even were worn, I guess by Marcia. And this is what is important, I think, for any beginner in shoemaking because all these incorrections that defenetly are natural for any new student of shoemaking will be fixed with each next pair. 

With that have been said, take a look on this black pair of flat ballet shoes. This is also flat ballet shoes that Marcia done when she practice and got the expirience. Can you see the difference?

student--pattent-balletsr-Marcia

This is absolutely different story, these flat ballet shoes looks adorable.

student-

Marcia focused on making shoes for people with problematic feet and in the interview she explained the big demand for this kind of shoes we have in the luxury footwear segment.

Marcia made shoes for herself, taking this in consideration and for her sister, and that was the starting point-

"I can make shoes for other people."

Follow shoemaking program from simple shoemaking to advanced

I constantly emphasize the importance of order in shoemaking learning. If you are a beginner in shoemaking, if you just started learning to make shoes, what you do first is very important. 

You can ignore my suggestion and jump right away to make boots, or sneakers, or whatever else but you will only hurt your progress in making your own shoes.

In the interview Marcia told me that she just decided to follow the shoemaking program of my online courses and to do all footwear types. Eventually she understood how beneficial it was for her progress in making shoes to learn different shoemaking techniques, different approaches to have a freedom to make any footwear she wants.

Take a  look at different shoe types she made: High heels pumps, Sling back pumps, Mule Sandals

Marcia Brown progress in making shoes is the prefect example why I created such a program.

You have 0 knowledge as a beginner, no experience, so correct order of learning will be your foundation to make shoes professionally, meaning shoes that not only look good but comfortable as well.

If it is 1Year Shoemaking program where I take you from basic footwear constructions, like flat ballet shoes through the entire process of making variety 15 shoe models to give you the skills to make the most difficult footwear types (English welted shoes, for example).

.....Or my Beginners Program where you will get the right shoemaking foundation and skills to make classic footwear types ( Flats ballet shoes, Pumps, Oxford shoes, Derby shoes) that will give you the opportunity to create more on your own. 

We focus on order of learning because we are focused on results.

I don't want to teach you DIY projects, my intention is not to make "follow" along classes.

I want to give you the freedom, the skills, the knowledge to make the shoes that you want.

Shoemaking student launching footwear brand

Here is the right approach to understand what type of shoes you want to produce as a business. 

Marcia focused on a niche "footwear for people with non standard feet" focusing on making luxury footwear with top quality materials. 

She decided that the footwear she gonna make are sneakers for that niche but important thing to remember here that she arrived to this decision after making all other footwear types.

She understood what is the footwear that she can make in the best way

The footwear she wants to design and have good ideas for it and 

Footwear that she have the most freedom in a making.

What do I mean? What is sneakers?

The sneakers based two footwear constructions: Oxford shoes and Derby shoes

so even before she started making sneakers she had the experience and knowledge how to make the other patterns, now believe or not but that is the most important part in sneakers.

Now, you can see here below few of her beautiful sneakers designs. 

student-sneaker-Marcia
student-sneaker-Marcia-02
student-sneaker-prototype-Marcia

Smart shoemaking

I make shoes, I design shoes and my time is very valuable. So the approach that I have for shoemaking is what I call "smart shoemaking". I will not go into it, you can read a full post about it "Smart Shoemaking: How To Turn From Being a Beginner To Making Your Own Shoes"

One of the main ideas of this approach is to create basic pattern, working, done well basic pattern.

Now, when you have this good basic pattern you can and should reuse it for other shoe designs that you want to make. This is how I work and this is how I teach my students.

I gave me so much pleasure to hear Marcia say that she using this approach in her work. 

This is bullet proved system, we should all use it.

Conclusion

If you want to learn shoemaking and you want to make shoes that are comfortable, wearable and not just DIY project, you will need to get your hands dirty. 

Anyone, who willing to learn and work, practicing and sharping the skills of shoemaking, can do it. 

I am very proud of what Marcia Brown achieved and where she is about to go next, it was so important to share this with you. 

If she can do it, you can do it. 

You have problematic feet, learn how to make yourself shoes,

You thinking about your own shoe line, shoe business, learn the craft, make your own prototypes, control what you are making.

It is all up to you and it is doable.

To quote Marcia "Just do it", make your first step to your make shoes.

This was a long interview and there are so many great advises that Marcia shared that I am 100% sure will help each and everyone of you.

Watch the interview and please comment to let Marcia know and appreciate her work.

You can find Marcia on her website and her social account:

Marcia Brown

@marciabrownfootwear

About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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