A Bugbrooke entrepreneur is hot on the heels of a trend sweeping London bringing personalised shoemaking back to the centre of UK footwear - Northamptonshire.
Shoemaker Lucia Girardi is making one step towards making her shoemaking dream coming true with home-based workshops .
Northampton has a long history of shoemaking dating back to the 15th century when shoemakers crafted shoes in workshops in their own homes.
Over time some shoemakers became manufacturers until during the early 20th century the number of shoe factories in Northamptonshire burgeoned.
The 1970s marked the decline of the footwear industry with more imports and factory development.
Lucia is making the trend come full circle with the launch of her first sandal-making workshop at her home in Bugbrooke.
She invited some willing participants to take part in a workshop to design, create and take home their own slider sandals.
She said: “Shoemaking workshops are a growing trend in London with people flocking to design and create their own shoes.
“It’s a trend that’s spreading around the country.
“I thought just why aren’t we doing it here in Northampton – the shoemaking capital of England?”
The guests were also treated to a glass of prosecco and plenty of tea and cake to keep their creative juices flowing.
Italian-born milliner and shoemaker Lucia has been running a dance shoe company since 2004 following in her shoemaker father’s footsteps.
This is her first foray into running shoe-making workshops and she hopes to rival the successes of London workshops.
Her vision is to eventually have a studio in Northampton.
Anyone wanting to take up the challenge of designing their own sandal, cutting out the soles, making a pattern for the upper, to make their sandals at a workshop contact Lucia Girardi on firstname.lastname@example.org.