What is the best thing that I love about my work? It’s something I’ve dreamt of all my life. To finally have a profession that I can let my creativity go wild is awesome but I think my favorite part will always be the sketching.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Sharing this adventure and joy with my spouse. It’s not about money or possession’s. It’s about sharing this amazing experience with my best friend.
What is my greatest fear It use to be cancer. I faced it and beat it. I look at all my fears now the same way. I just go at it head on and I’ll get through them.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Deplore is a strong word. The one I fight with the most is procrastination.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? The first ones that come to mind are Aki Choklat, the man who first told me to pursue my shoe designs, Designer René van den Berg and Peter Popps both genius designers and incredibly supportive of me.
What is my greatest extravagance? Even though I love what I do , I have worked harder on this than anything I have ever done. I think about shoes and my business constantly. It’s those moments I can let it go for a moment and hang with my friends have a drink and lots of laughs are my biggest extravagance.
On what occasion would I lie? Lie? I don’t. Unless someone is asking who ate the last cookie. Actually……..even then I generally confess. Especially with evidence of cookie crumbs in my beard.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Learning every aspect of my business. Finances, shipping, import/export, retail etc. It’s all interesting but it pulls you away from the creativity.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? There have been many. I was 55 when I started this. When I was accepted at one of the best fashion schools in Italy coming from being a repair man, graduating at the top of my class, showing my shoes at my first exhibition in Detroit and honestly every time someone says they love my designs. It still surprises me and brings me joy.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I love myself but I would love to get healthier. I want to live as long as I can because I’m having a blast with what I’m doing.
What is my greatest achievement in work? This may sound crazy but it’s being able to call my self a designer. I spent 55 years doing a blue collar job never thinking being a designer was even a possibility. Even after getting my Masters in Italy I was unable to call myself a designer. I have finally been able to say I’m a designer and truly believe it.
What do the words ‘The Financial Freedom to Create’ mean to me? Financial freedom would mean having the resources to have partners who can handle the business side of all this while I spend my energy on all my designs.
Where would I most like to live? I love living in a small town on the coast. It’s mostly fishermen and shipbuilding. We’ve built a life here. There may be other places in the future that will make more sense as far as business goes like NYC or Italy but my happiness doesn’t depend on the location.
What is my most treasured possession? Probably the very first gift that my husband gave me.
What is my most marked characteristic? Hands down …….my laugh. It’s extremely loud a bit obnoxious and can be heard throughout a building.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? My town has many but a walk down a long dirt road that opens up to a beautiful view of the bay is amazing. Very few people know about it or go there and it’s great being there by yourself.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? My house. My husband cooks better than any restaurant around. Tonight barbecue ribs!
What books influenced my life and how? CoDependent no More. by Melody Beattie. It changed the direction of my life. Also Watership Down by Richard Adams. It made me cry
Who are my favorite writers? Other than the ones I just mentioned , John Irving and Kurt Vonnegut
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Dance music from the 80’s and 90’s of course.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Celie from the Color Purple by Alice Walker
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Right now many are social warriors. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Obama.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Tough one but the Color Purple is definitely a must.
What role plays art in my life and work? It’s huge. Architecture, design, fashion, painting, and sculpture, it’s all about passion and inspiration.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? Steve my husband.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018? Right now its a lone project. I look forward to collaborations in the future but right now I’ve got to establish myself.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? The heroes I’ve mentioned and people like Manolo Blahnik. I have so many questions for people in the shoe world.
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? My debut of my first shoe collection
Where can you see me or my work in 2018? I’m launching at the end of this year. You can see some of my work on my website and Instagram
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I’m never giving this up. It’s too much fun. Why would I ever stop?
How can you contact me?
Through my website or any of my social media. Also there is a great short video of my story done by an organization AARP. They did a great job.