We had the privilege of photographing some pretty awesome shoes and we are excited to share more on the creative behind them. Our bride Kelsey had TOMS shoes for her wedding day. Not just any TOMS though. She had them painted by an artist with special memories already shared and soon to be shared between her and Dave. We were blown away by the talent of the illustrations and knew we had to reach out to her. Kim is so good at what she does and we are honored to introduce you to Yours Truly Shoes! Here is our interview we had with her! Enjoy and maybe get YOUR shoes decked out by her for your next special occasion or gift!
1. When was the moment you realized that you had an interest in painting/illustration?
I actually have been drawing since I was a child, but I didn’t take it seriously until I was in my late 30’s when I took my first drawing class while attending college at Penn State.
I had just opened my shop and was basically working on custom shoes. Sports theme, children’s shoes, anything that people would request and then one day a woman sent me a message and asked me to create a pair of shoes for her wedding. To be honest with you, I was nervous about accepting but did because I’ve always felt that God had a way with pushing me out of my comfort zones in anything I did. I asked her for a few details of her wedding (venue, engagement, favorite lyrics) and I asked if I could paint them as if they were a collage of her walk with her husband to be. She thought it would be a great idea and so…I just started. I was scared and had no clue what I was doing, but they ended up turning out better than I had hoped and she loved them. I listed them as a sample and they just took off.
3. What is the passion behind “Yours Truly Shoes?”
The passion behind my business is that the gift I’ve been given will BLESS a bride. That it will make her feel special and offer her an opportunity to tell her story at the wedding and as an heirloom.
4. How did you come up with the name of the business?
It took me awhile to come up with the name. I wanted something that reflected a sincere and personal touch. I kept thinking about the fact that each Bride would send me their lists of the steps of their personal love stories, their journey and I appreciate the fact that each would feel comfortable enough to share such sweet and touching memories with me. Yours Truly just seemed the best way to express how I felt when I finished each pair.
5. What do you love most about your job/passion?
What I love most is being able to be a part of someone’s special day. To give them an enjoyable experience. I send them photos throughout the process and they’re able to see their story, piece by piece grow. It’s fun!
6. Where have you/do you get your inspiration for creativity?
I will say nature, images, color, feelings…but ultimately what lies behind all of that is the Lord. Simply put. Many times I am sitting…staring at a pair of shoes…like a blank canvas and I panic a little. Panic may not be the correct choice of word….but it’s close! Ha! I just have to ask Him to clear my mind and help me. I start to look at the list of items that the bride has sent and I begin to see a thread that ties each piece together and then the ideas come. It’s really that simple. When I have 17-20 pairs of shoes sitting to the right of me, waiting for me to start….I can easily feel overwhelmed with deadlines, I have to draw from Him or I’m lost.
7. What products and services do you provide for couples who are getting married?
Right now I offer shoes for both and for the bridal party. I’m open to other items. I’ve been asked to paint a baseball hat for a groom. Using the same theme as the Bride’s Love Story Shoes, but a hat. It was cute, I have to say and he enjoyed it. But, I would like to move onto actual painting scenes from the wedding or reception. On canvas of course from photographs of the couple. I think that would be an incredible item to be able to create.
8. Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m originally from New York where I grew up on a farm. My father boarded horses and we had cows, goats, chickens…and even a crazy turkey that chased us now and then! I left NY when I was 18 and since then have served in the US Army, moved what feels like a hundred times, I’ve had a wonderful daughter who is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts when I turned 40 and my Masters of Education (Health) 2 years later. I’ve taught Psychology at an art school and community college, I’ve worked at a garden center, a candy factory and served pancakes.
My mother is Italian my father is irish, scottish, welsh and swedish. I love to cook, bake and spend time cooking with my husband. He is a good cook, he enjoys it and we appreciate eating with each other. I love that. In 2013 I donated my left kidney to him and now I tell him he’s part italian.
We have 2 cats that are our dysfunctional children, sisters that were rescued from a barn cat. Tessie, a large and dominating snack hound and Chloe, a tiny little thing that has a gift for destroying furniture and whatever else she can get to. I love them. Although I always tell my husband “See, we should have gotten a dog.”…I still love them.
I love to garden and honestly, I wish I had more time to do so. I love to be outside and work on flower beds. I also love birds. I’m obsessed. I talk to them, call them, feed them and watch them. Our cats enjoy them as well. Sparrows seem to be the ones that typically visit. I often think about how God takes care of the sparrows and how much more does He care for us? That verse has been part of my being for many years. It’s the Truth.
I also love Thor, Superman, Adam West – Batman, comic book talk…video games…nerdy pokemon kind of stuff.
Sharing, serving, and celebrating,
Andrew + Chrissy