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OUR MAKERS


Sevilla Smith runs a bit differently than we are typically used to as consumers. 
The traditional model of a central production space makes sense financially and productivity wise for almost all businesses.  But I found that the flexibility of where, and when, I worked had profound effects on my personal life, especially after having a child.  This business was a chance for me to change, not only my own work life balance, but to affect this balance on everyone who made shoes for Sevilla Smith. 
So without hesitation, I made sure to set us up as quickly as possible where people could work wherever, and when, they chose.  Some of our shoemakers love and need to work from home so the can alleviate child care costs, or just to have the luxury of wearing pajamas while working.  Others prefer the companionship that comes with shared workspaces.  Every workspace is set up with full sets of our Sevilla Smith shoe lasts but each has it's own unique personality. 
Here's a little peak at the makers and spaces behind Sevilla Smith.....
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    Faye, Founder/Designer/Shoemaker: Barcelona and Philadelphia
      I learned to make shoes by a chance encounter in the streets of Barcelona and started Sevilla Smith with the idea of making shoes that I, myself, found ideal and fitting for my life.  I design and make while trying to address everything from aesthetics to how our shoes smell.  The ability to travel is critical in my life and the comfort and aesthetic flexibility comes to the forefront.
      Workspace: Currently, I create from a small and sunny space in my home in Barcelona in front of it's famous Cathedral.  On warm days I can be found working on the balcony overlooking the mayhem of street musicians below.  In Philadelphia, I work in the 4th floor attic of my early 1800's row home, right next to my son's bedroom.
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        Meghan, Lead Shoemaker: Philadelphia, PA
          Meghan first began to work for me as our son's nanny and proved herself to be invaluable from the very beginning. Her shoemaking experience started with helping me stamp bags and sand the bottoms of midsoles, but eventually she travelled to Barcelona to get a full course of shoemaking with my own teacher!  She returned to the US and began with training on clicking leather, then had the unenviable task of days in and out simply removing nails from the bottoms of lasted shoes.  But she excelled in each undertaking and was soon making Sevilla Smith shoes from beginning to end!
          Now she is our lead shoemaker, every shoe made goes thru her right before shipping to you.  She is thorough with everything she does and never has a problem without a offering a solution. 
          Workspace: Meghan works from her quintessential, brick rowhome in Philadelephia.  The space is full to the brim with wonderfully quirky things like lamps shaped like legs or Twin Peaks paraphernalia.
          "I make shoes because I'm a slacker when it comes to everything else! HA!
          But seriously, I learned at an early age that a 9-5 office type job was not going to be a good fit for me. Being a nanny was fantastic but after 10 years I wasn't sure I wanted to start all over with a new family (and did I really want to be on diaper duty again!?) So the timing was right when Faye presented me with the opportunity to learn how to make shoes. It was challenging, interesting, fulfilling, and freeing...and I got to go to Barcelona! Learning how to properly wield each new tool was frustrating at times but Faye was ever patient with me, and I gained a new found appreciation for my finger nails! With each new skill learned came more confidence and before I knew it I was making shoes. Now I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home. Making something useful and beautiful, on my own schedule with interesting tools, and kewl tunes, and the freedom to take a cat nap with however many cats we have under our roof at the moment. I love every achy joint, and callused finger, and bruised thigh. I love working for someone who I respect and admire. I love having the freedom to work around my own schedule. I love making, whether I'm making bread, or curtains, or shoes. I feel most at peace when my hands are doing the talking. "
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            Keiko, Shoemaker Girl Gang Boss,and our Brooklyn Cooperative:
            Brooklyn, NY and Hoboken, NJ
              Keiko oversees the production of our Private Label shoes.  I have been working with Keiko since almost the very beginning days when both of our businesses were getting off the ground.  I found that, especially with shoemaking, it is critical for small makers to pool their resources together in order to put forward a competitively priced, well made, and domestically produced handmade shoe.  Keiko is able to bring together handmade shoemakers of all different aesthetics and use their talents for our Private Label shoes when shoemakers aren't busy with their own projects.   Keiko is responsible for creating this wonderfully symbiotic space by training each shoemaker in our specific shoemaking ways.  
              Workspace: Keiko sustains this wonderfully idyllic microcosm of makers in Brooklyn or their new space in Hoboken.
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                Zaida, Shoemaker: Barcelona, Spain
                  I met Zaida as she was my shoemaking teacher's business partner.  She is a fantastic shoemaker, methodical and systematic.  She also works as a liason with some of our sources and is probably the most patient person I have ever known!
                  Workspace:  Zaida works from the bottom floor of her residence in an expansive workspace with typical Catalan floors in the Sant Antoni neighborhood.
                  "I am an architect and I decided to move the architecture to another of my great passions, make and design shoes.
                  I am passionate about shoes, design and produce with my hands and the ideal that can be created and produced in a more sustainable and responsible way
                  "
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                    Joe, Shoemaker: Barcelona, Spain
                      I first met Joe thru another shoemaker who made classic men's shoes.  His heart lays in the wonderful tradition of the craft and is always inspired by great design.  He is launching his brand of men's shoes and shoemaking for us has been a wonderful way to keep working on shoes and his own projects.
                      Workspace: Joe makes in the gallery space of his beautiful flat in Barcelona overlooking a sunny terraza.
                      "After leaving the rat race of London and landing in Barcelona I took sometime out. With some time on my hands I searched out an old shoe maker who’d been making since he was 13 (he’s now 70). He spoke no English and I know no Catalan, with a lot a gesturing and watching I picked up the basics and more importantly fell in love with this gentle craft... as they say the rest is history I’ll never go back to a 9-5 job!"
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                        April, Bag Maker: Indian River, MI
                          April is my sister and the sound board for every idea I have ever had since childhood!  Our father is a bag maker and she has been constantly sewing thru most her life so making bags seemed like a natural transition.  She is able to think 3 dimensionally very well so after each bag has been finished of it's prep work here in Barcelona, they head straight to her to mold into the right sculptural shape.
                          Workspace: April makes bags in a wonderful farmhouse in rural Michigan near the very northernmost point.  She makes bags while listening to the babbling river nearby, her horses neighing, predatory birds and even beavers!
                          "I love making... the process, the zone my mind gets into, working with my hands. Making bags, in particular, allows me to work with my sister. I don't think I'm strong enough to make shoes, truthfully. The perks of working with a small makers company are pretty awesome and guilt free. I'm contributing to a social awareness about slow fashion, livable working wage, and sustainable consumerism. I get really excited when people buy the bags, receive them and love them (keep those photos coming), and when I ship them to exotic places. It's fun to see the world shrink."
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                            Ramiro, Bag Maker: Barcelona, Spain
                              I met Ramiro thru a mutual leather source.  He is the person who puts together and sews the components of our bags before it is hand molded.  He is always thorough and after years of working with mega corporations, knows all the ins and outs of production while still staying a true artisan.
                              Workspace: Ramiro makes out of his bustling workshop in Barcelona.
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