Image courtesy of Footcandy.
Some of us collect tea cups. Others of us collect dolls. And many of us collect … shoes. How many in your collection – 50? 100? Well, Carolyn Butler of St. Helena has got most of us beat. She has 500 pairs of shoes and still counting. One day having realized just how extensive Carolyn’s collection is, her husband suggested that she go into the shoe biz. So she did. In 2002 she opened Footcandy.
Today Footcandy has stores St. Helena, Sonoma, and Walnut Creek as well as a website. Footcandy specializes in designer shoes, offering such popular brand names as Tory Burch and Kate Spade, as well as the more elegant Oscar de la Renta and Valentino. Footcandy is also very honored to be able offer high-end styles from Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, and Jimmy Choo. In 2010 Carolyn launched her own shoe line.
Carolyn is a busy bee traveling all over the world visiting shoe manufactures, but she took time to answer some questions for Over Dressed for Life.
What is it about shoes?
Shoes will never betray you, no matter how you feel on any given day – fat or thin- shoes will always fit. Pants are not so loyal.
When you became more involved in the shoe industry, what was one thing you learned that was surprising?
The shoe industry refers to something called a Last, better known to the consumer as the shoe’s silhouette. The fit of a shoe depends on the design, shape, and volume of the Shoe Last. It was amazing to me how much creativity and energy went into the Last of a well-made shoe and how a slight variation to any part of the shoe affects the fit.
When buying for your shops, what qualities do you look for in a shoe?
- Does it meet existing trends – there’s always a trend
Congratulations on the debut of your own shoe line. Where did you go for design inspiration?
History! After spending years in the shoe business and scouring my closet’s personal favorites, I gathered what I thought to be the most important elements of a well made designer shoe and developed the Footcandy Shoes line. The Footcandy Shoe line is ultimately a tribute to my favorite designers including Manolo Blahnik and Alexander McQueen plus a few of my own creative tweeks.
What are the shoe trends for fall 2011?
Leading trends for fall are numerous but most definitely the motorcycle boot, platforms, nude hues, a lady-like kitten heel, and animal prints are still in the running.
What is your shoe look for this season?
Boots! The knee-high boot is my personal “go to” this season and I can’t get enough of the Jimmy Choo, DYOTT knee-high in camel available at Footcandy, of course.
Thank you, Carolyn. Here’s to many, many more shoes for us all.
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