Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 15 September 2017

Shoemaking School - 10 years on

Welcome back good shoe folk of the world.

We had a lovely party on Wednesday night  celebrating 10 years of the Shoemaking School. We were so busy chatting and drinking that we didn't take any pics - sorry!

New York 2012

It was great to welcome new students joining us this and next term, to catch up with past students and to welcome our new Intermediate Evening Class tutor to the London team.

We reckon we have taught over 250 students over the years, here in London with Fiona and Alistair and with Jesse and Marika in New York.

London 2015

We're proud that the courses have proved so pivotal for so many people, spurring them on to realise their own ambitions, to take the plunge and change career, to simply give themselves a fresh challenge and to  continue shoemaking.

Our alumni include:

Alistair Raphael who has just finished his apprenticeship with us

Jesse Moore who co-founded  Brooklyn Bespoke and has relocated to Catskill to run her own shoe shop and studio.

Marika Verploegh Chassé, footwear lecturer at RISD and FIT. Also runs her own bespoke shoe company Stiefelwerk in Brooklyn

Kevin Rowley who founded children's shoe company, The Little Shoemaker, along with the 'elves' on the south coast

Tom Murphy who founded Chapter 2 shoes amongst other things

George Georgiou who runs our favourite repair shop in London, George Shoe Repairs

Ved Dhadphale who runs sneaker brand SVED

Frances Tobin who founded The Maker's Atelier which sells clothing patterns and making kits, very chic

Nicole Everett who has launched her own label "Shoes of EVRT"

Seiji McCarthy who runs his own shoemaking business in Japan

Nathan Baxter who runs a high end repair shop in Sydney, Baxter and Black

Michelle Quick who lectures in shoemaking in Savannah, Georgia (not strictly an alumnus but we mentored her while at Cordwainers in London)

We know a lot of our students make shoes in their spare time which is quite an undertaking. If we've missed anybody out, we apologise, memory not what it used to be! If you have studied with us and are making shoes, please let us know. We would love to hear from you.

This week we also finished a one to one course with the lovely Zada Ong from the Philippines. She was a great student and made a pair of shoes to be proud of.

Here's a pic of the finished shoes - nice job!

And that is it for this week. Have a great week and see you next time. Until then, happy shoemaking!

Friday, 8 September 2017

Win a Tor Boot

Welcome back shoe fans of the world. Forgive us, but this week's post is a blatant plug. We're excited to have reached our Kickstarter campaign target, BUT we'd love to have an even bigger order book. 

The campaign ends on 25th September so there's still plenty of time to grab a bargain
If someone backs us on Kickstarter...
  • They get to pre-order their boots for delivery January 2018 onwards
  • In a size and colour they want (don't worry, we will exchange boot sizes if necessary)
  • At great prices from £225 (the boots go on sale next year for £450).
Now here's where you could help AND be in with the chance to WIN a pair of Tor Boots.

Simply share the campaign via social media AND mention us, so we know that you've shared: Facebook @carreducker; Twitter @bespokeshoe and Instagram @carreducker or #carreducker

...and we'll enter your name into a draw which will take place on 25th. The first name out of the hat will win a pair of Tor boots in a size and colour of their choice.

Many many thanks for your support. We're back to regular shoemaking news next week, we promise. Until then, happy shoemaking!

Standard UK prize draw rules apply:
  • Entry to the competition is restricted to one entry per person
  • The closing date is 8.00am UK time on Monday 25th September 2017
  • Entrants must be 18 years of age or over
  • One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries
  • We will not pass on your details to any third party without your prior consent
  • The draw is final and no correspondence will be entered into
  • There is no cash alternative
  • Members of the organiser's family are excluded from participating in the draw

Friday, 1 September 2017

Tor Boots are go!

Welcome back dear shoe folk, it may be mayhem with the Tor Boot campaign on social media but all is calm here in the workshop.

Zada joined us earlier in the week for some one-to-one shoemaking and got straight down to it despite a 7am arrival after a lengthy flight from Manilla via Hong Kong. There's true dedication!

James has been making alongside her...finally finishing the show pieces that we shoed at London Craft Week. They were in a very deconstructed state back then!

We thinking they are shaping up to be a really elegant pair of handsewn shoes.

Some great news....we hit our Kickstarter target in a record six days, so the Tor boot is going into production. And there are still great early bird rewards to be had - vastly reduced priced boots - so please do share the campaign far and wide - especially to friends in colder climates - and pledge if you fancy a pair!

We celebrated this afternoon in true Carreducker style with much mirth and a little jig!

That's all from us for now. Until next week, happy shoemaking!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Tor Boots On Sale!

Hello everyone, we hope you have had a great week.

We have been madly getting our Kickstarter campaign ready and we are very pleased to say that is is now live.

This is where you can buy them at fantastic launch-only prices

Please take a look.

For you shoe fans, they have an amazing and unique construction - watch the video on Kickstarter to see.

And if you are a reader who has used the blog to help make a pair of shoes, or even if you have just enjoyed reading it over the years, we would like to ask a huge favour.

Could you copy the link above and share it on your social media?

That would be amazing. And incredibly helpful to spread the word and get the Tor Boots made. Thanks in advance guys.

We are very proud of these boots and we would like the see them worn right around the world.

Carreducker Tor boots, designed in London, made in England, travelling the world

Friday, 18 August 2017

The countdown begins - the Tor Boot Kickstarter launches next week, Saturday 26th August

Welcome back good shoe folk of the world. We are feeling a little out of sorts this week after the hustle bustle of the summer's's always so quiet when the students have gone...but didn't they leave on a high.

Fortunately, there's much to be getting on with so we don't feel too lonely. This week's post is unashamed publicity for our next Kickstarter. Next Saturday at 9am, we launch the campaign for the Tor Boot - Derbyshire-manufactured, brass riveted, felt-lined and sturdy, leather-soled.

The boots are made by heritage boot manufacturer, William Lennon

inspired by Derbyshire's Peak District and named after its rocky summits or Tors
In developing, the Tor we tried a number of different toe springs and boot styles...

opting for a last with a semi-sprung toe and deep, rounded toe box 

Over the past six months we have been developing, sourcing and sampling the final style before our sample pairs were made in a selection of Horween and Tempesti leathers with 100% wool upholstery felt linings.







Then it was time to shoot, script and develop our Kickstarter campaign. We've spent a lot of time in the woods recently, going to great lengths to capture just the right amount of country and urban vibe.

We'll be sharing more information about the campaign during the week - so if you'd like to support a great British heritage boot manufacturing project and help to get these boots made - please 

  1. Follow us here on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
  2. Help to spread the word by sharing with your own network of friends 
  3. Get set to pledge. 

There are some amazing early bird rewards for the boots and smaller rewards from winter socks to natural horn shoehorns. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to make sure you're the early bird that gets the worm!

Until launch day next Saturday, happy shoemaking!