Making your own shoes and handbags

May 25, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
For many women, shoes and purses are collector's items...as in, they collect as many as possible!So why not own some that are as unique as possible, ones that you've designed yourself?

Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg has more on a growing trend.

"I'm basically going for a fairy-tale princess look," shoemaking student Shante Feder said.

Feder is a modern-day Cinderella. She found her prince, but she's making her own slipper. And at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, she's learned how to make her shoes for their wedding.

Emily Putterman-Handler teaches 150 steps over 14 classes, her students walk away with their own handmade pair.

"I love the expressions on people's faces when they come out, when the shoes are being made, and they get their first shoes back," Putterman Handler said. "They're so happy, it's like opening little presents."

"Everything becomes a shoe, and life is no longer the same," student Llorine Neithardt said.

Neithardt's shoes are so gorgeous, you'll want to ditch your own and climb into hers. Shoe design has become her new career.

"Shoes really evoke imagination," she said. "And that's priceless."

And across the hall, another class teaches that other accessory that women love - handbags.

Janice Ulan teaches the course, and she finds that some students never buy bags retail again.

"Considering the cost of the tuition, they can make an affordable, unique bag," she said. "And eventually, they can sell it if they want."

"This is actually my [bag] that I made," student Thereze Ovid said. "A couple of them I actually sold, so I'm very proud of myself."

Melanie Carnsew prefers to give her bags as gifts.

But it's hard work to make bags and shoes. For many, though, it's worth much more than the price of the class.

For more information on the classes, visit JCCManhattan.org and JCCArtStudios.org.


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