With the 2019 International Women’s Day theme of #BalanceForBetter we could have posted about the art of balancing a career as a kick-ass woman with the million other things that women get done each day. Or about the need for a better balance of women in senior positions in fashion brands. Instead we decided to showcase the awesomeness of what happens when we #BalanceForBetter. So we've captured the international stories of the amazing women around the world who joined us to learn shoemaking in March.
This is the story of 16 women, across two countries who made 32 shoes in 3 days!
Our three-day shoe making course provides a welcoming and inspiring environment where you can tap into your creative powers and begin a journey of self-discovery, all whilst equipping yourself with shoemaking skills - and maybe exploring a career change.
Taught over the course of six hours each day and providing the space in which to explore shoemaking, the women who joined us in New York and London this month made a pair of shoes each and left with an increased feeling of badass-ness.
Barbara joined us in the London workshop and after completing a few of our courses she’s ready to take that final step in setting up her own shoe brand. With women in footwear design being wildly underrepresented; to see Barbara’s confidence grow in shoemaking since her first I Can Make Shoes workshop is exactly the type of story that makes us continue to push for a greater balance of women running their own shoe businesses.
Sometimes though, it’s just the need to have shoes that you love and that fit you well. Silvia from Milan encapsulated exactly this when we asked her what prompted her to join us at our London course;
“I have small feet and my shoe size is the 2-3 UK. So, I usually find so hard to buy the shoes that I would really love to wear! That’s why I’ve decided to start making them for myself”.
And it’s the art of making for you that we love to see women enter with gusto. It’s great for your mind, great for your confidence and bloody well through-the roof for meeting other women. It’s this sense of confidence that can often lead to a complete career change, as Bilyana from Bulgaria discovered; “I am a designer specialized in watches but I’ve always been so passionate about the shoes! And now, I guess it’s just a perfect time for some career changes!”
In fact, it’s a pretty common theme we hear from the trailblazing women that join us and it's something we've all felt at one point or another; how do I quite this job that I hate and actually start doing something I love. Oh and hello actually having some work-life balance.
Is it just us or does hearing about how a woman is taking a step towards her dreams give you the major chills. Maybe it’s because it’s the kind of stuff that inspires others to take that step too. The kind of stuff that breaks down the barriers for another woman or young girl to dream she can do it too.
Lynn from Leicestershire joined us on our London course and her love for shoes created a desire to learn how to make her own;
“I always try to find some unique ones, so now it’s time to make them on my own!” Something which May from Oxford also echoed when sharing her reasons for joining the course; “I am a dressmaker and a children nurse! Crafting and doing all the stuff is like my daily routine! So, let’s just try something new!”
You can meet all of the 16 changemakers over on our Instagram throughout International Womens Day.
I created a free 40-minute online course called 'Introduction to Shoemaking' to show how easy home shoemaking can be and to give you a little taste of what I Can Make Shoes is all about. Sign up for instant access.