Tag Archives: asheville artists

Get to Know: Stalworth Handmade Shoes & Boots

You may have noticed the brand new handmade Stalworth sandals gracing the shelves of our downtown boutique. Curious about the story behind these shoes? You’re in luck! Read on & get to know the Brommer sisters, the local Asheville designers behind Stalworth Shoes & Boots!

An Interview Between Sisters Jessica and Amelia Brommer About

Stalworth’s  New Spring Sandals 

Stalworth Shoes & Boots

A: So, you are a shoemaker, or a cordwainer if we are being proper. How long have you been doing this?

J: I started studying shoemaking in 2008 at FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology) and then apprenticed with Sharlot Battin, a theatrical shoemaker in NYC.

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A: And you teach shoemaking classes now in, and around, the Asheville area?

J: Yes. I’ve been teaching for 3 years, and it’s awesome. I love teaching. With shoemaking being a dying art, it’s important to share the knowledge in order to revive the art and the industry.

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A: Why shoes?

J: I was raised in a creative environment. People sewing, knitting, weaving, spinning, working with metal and wood. I knew people who could do everything, but not shoes. No one knew how to makes shoes.

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A: What is your personal background with making things with your hands?

J: Well, it started with the pine cones, right? As a kid.

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A: What was your inspiration for these sandals?

J: My background is in men’s shoes. I thought that I would only be making men’s styles. But, over the past few years I’ve had some design ideas for women’s shoes. The ideas were delightful, so I pursued them. This sandal was inspired by childhood memories of the 70s and our mother. Of some beautiful women wearing beautiful sandals. They are in earth tones and evocative of that period of history, of Farrah Fawcett, Diane Von Furstenberg, but filtered through my memories which may not be reliable.

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A: Do you make the sandals all by yourself?

J: No! And thank god. The process is long and they take a lot of time. I make them with you.

A: That’s true. Do you have any questions for me?

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J: What is your history with shoemaking?

A: My first experience with shoemaking was when I worked in costume craft in regional theaters under Kristin Pondy (now Kristin Tidwell) in NYC and San Diego. Mainly we altered existing shoes, added buckles, painted them, created new uppers to fit the characters in the plays that we were working on. More recently I worked with her again doing product development and design and we created a few prototypes for some yoga shoes. But the concepts and tools are all the same.

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J: What are your ambitions for Stalworth and your involvement within it?

A: I love making shoes. I think that you brought up a great point earlier, that this is not a very commonplace craft at this point in history. Given the choice between working on a computer or with wood and leather I will always pick the latter. I’m really excited about helping you to build the business and expand our line of ready to wear shoes.

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J: Well, do you have anything else to say?

A: Yes! Get down to Minx and buy a pair of these babies before they are all sold out!

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Stalworth Sandals are in-store now! Available in two colors, $150 a pair. Hurry on down, these handcrafted treasures are going fast!

local Ready to take on the art of shoemaking yourself? Check out Stalworth Shoes & Boots on Facebook for information on classes! 

Floral Print, ADA Belts, and Mani Designs

It’s Spring right? No, wait it’s snowing out! Oh well: when the world won’t bring a Minx flowers a Minx will have to bring flowers to the world! It’s true that delicate petals will freeze and wither during the winter months. Even flowers reproduced in fabric designs and prints can seem pale and out of place amongst the leather and wool landscape of February.

Still, that hopeful longing for Spring has crept into our bones. We are on a mission for blooming, leafy fashion. We have found some hearty varieties of botanical inspired adornment that can withstand the dim light of the low winter sun, and strengthen our hearts with the promise of Spring!

Ada Obi Wrap BeltThis floral dress can stand up to a winter debut because of its deep blue background, and rich texture of fabric and pattern. These elements ground it within the winter season. The pleating at the neck gives it a depth and weight that adds a complementary juxtaposition with the fun and flirty skirt length. To finish off the look pair this floral gem with a cardigan, a wrap belt, and your favorite Mani Design studs!

Have you met Mani Designs?

If you want to add some more botanical elements to your pre-Spring look there is no better place than local designer Amber Mahler’s jewelry line. Originally from California, Mahler has studied the local flora of Western North Carolina with a true artist’s passion. All the designs are cast from natural forms found on the designers walks. Her botanical collection is comprised of everything from blueberries to flowers to delicate sticks. These small wonders from nature are then cast in silver and gold plated silver to create jewelry straight out of collective imagination of the realm of fairy tales.

Mani Designs

Don’t Forget to Add an ADA Wrap Belt

Our perfect finishing touch is the tried and true ADA wrap belt! With one deft motion of donning a belt and cinching it snugly at the natural waist you can instantly add style and texture to any outfit. Around Minx, ADA Belts are a styling staple. If you’ve been following us, our love for ADA wrap belts is obvious- just check out this post for proof!

Why ADA? The ADA wrap belt line offers a spectacular selection of vividly dyed leathers and unmatched versatility. Tie them into a bow, a rosette, a sailors knot- with ADA, the options are limitless! Besides just beautiful, these belts boast fantastic craftsmanship- each belt is cut from the highest quality Argentine leather. They are supple and soft enough to hug your curves all day!

Ada Obi Wrap BeltAda Obi Wrap Belt

Already an ADA fan? Check out this fantastic How-To video for more styling tips and tricks!

Find this look in our downtown Asheville boutique!

Metallic Open Cardigan, Tulle
Pleated Floral Dress, Tulle – $77
Purslane Studs, Mani Designs – $98
Fringe Soga Wrap Belt, Ada – $62 (online and in-store)
Pumps, Dolce Vita – Model’s Own

Big thanks to our newest contributor Amelia Brommer for the post, Paola Nazati Photography for the images, Battery Park Book Exchange for the location, and Meagan for modeling!

French Connection Freda Parka and Echo Scarf Alamo Tapestry Dress Chelsea Crew Detour Lace Up BootsMost of this outfit is available in our online store. The jacket is in-store only.

Freda Parka in Milkshake, French Connection – $398
Large Lux Point Scarf in Mustard, Echo Design – $77
Zoe Hooded Jacket in Sepia, Kerisma – $108
Alamo Tapestry Skater Dress – $47
Work it Girl Charm Necklace, Ornamental Things – $33
Detour Lace Up Ankle Booties, Chelsea Crew – $75

Special thanks to our model, Hanah, Julie Armbruster for the terrific mural in Magnolia Park, and Paola Nazati Photography.