1. Name & Location:
Kevin Rowley, owner & shoemaker at 'The Little Shoemaker' based in Brighton on the south coast of England.
2. Brief intro into who you are? & what you do?
The emphasis has been to find a way of returning to a more traditional way of producing shoes by hand. After having my first child a few years ago I found it almost impossible to find shoes that weren't mass produced in a factory on the other side of the world. It was at this point I decided to have a go at creating a few pairs of my own for my children, and that's quite simply how it all began.
With a background in the footwear industry, 'Fine Art, and teaching, I wanted to make something that didn't have any mass produced elements to it at all. every part of the process is created by myself, from the design, to the stitching & lasting of the shoes. Absolutely everything including the packaging. I even screenprint the tissue paper in my art studio.
3. What would people be surprised to know about you?
I think the amount of my involvement in the production of my shoes would certainly surprise most people. Every pair that arrive at someone's door serve as a memory of my efforts.
4. Describe the last major change you made. Why did you do it? How did it work out? What did you learn?
I've been looking at how to celebrate the simplicity of a design recently, & have designed & developed a range called 'Baby Bella'. The whole concept was to try and work a way of making a shoe from one single piece of shaped leather, in a way that celebrated the beauty of the leather itself.
The result has been a very pleasant surprise! absolutely everyone loves them, which means more exiting times ahead as I continue it's development.
5. How do you know when a work is finished?
Truth is, I don't! I just can't help tinkering sometimes! But to be honest, it's a very nice situation to be in as I feel and watch as designs develop & morph from one idea to another.
6. If you were the ruler of the world what laws would you make.
I'd like to implement a law where everyone has to learn a traditional skill. It doesn't have to be a great skill, just enough to give everyone the knowledge of how it feels to 'make' something.
7. Are you left or right handed?
I am left handed.
8. As a kid were you ever frightened of a monster under the bed or in the cupboard?
I was afraid of the coats on the back of the bedroom door. In the dark they looked quite menacing!
9. What song describes your work ethic?
'Jo Dolce' 'Shadap You Face'
10. If you could be anyone else, who would it be?
11. When day breaks, who fixes it?
The amount of hours I work at night, there is no day break!
Kevin Rowley - www.thelittleshoemaker.org
Photography by Sarah Winborn @ www.sarahwinbornphotography.com
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