3.24.2015

Birds of a Feather: Nukumori Designs

It's the end of March.  Spring has officially begun, but here in upstate New York, I think we all feel like we're stuck in a never-ending winter.  Boston may have gotten more snow, but we have had a very long, very cold, and very home-bound winter.

So.

When these super cozy baby-wearing coats from Nukumori Designs came in the mail, and we had a sunny day to work with, we got over the idea of waiting for spring and got out there, baby (or maybe a two-year-old big boy) in tow to snap some photos. 

Nukumori is Japanese for warmth and it was immediately clear that these sweet coats and pretty scarves deliver warmth both literally and figuratively.  Elias was thrilled to share a jacket with Mama and they both LOVED the cozy snuggles. 

Middle English, Navy
Middle English in Navy - they always look great with jeans.
handmade in the USA
This is the coolest package I have ever received.  Each coat came individually wrapped.
handmade in the USA

handmade in the USA

handmade in the USA

handmade in the USA

handmade in the USA

handmade in the USA

handmade in the USA

handmade in the USA

Middle English in Moss - this color varies a bit and can look quite brown in bright light.

Emily, owner of Nukumori Designs, is a long-time customer of ours and we were thrilled to partner with her for this photo shoot.  We've been wearing our babies for as long as we've had them, and love her jackets for the warmth they have added to our lives.  Thanks, Emily!


1.27.2015

The Economics of Quality



We say it all the time because it's true - there really is no economic substitute for quality.  Products that are made well have a lower cost-per-use, and a much higher true value than those made poorly.  They may cost more upfront, but their value goes on and on.  This is why we're committed to simple, classic styles.  They'll continue to look good for as long as they last because they're not trying to keep up with current fads.  They look good, they feel good, and they'll take you just about anywhere. 

In the 6 years we've been selling shoes online, we have worked hard to keep prices consistent, even through a 30% increase in leather costs.  We refuse to allow higher costs to impact our employees, and are committed to a wage that keeps up with inflation and the increased cost of living.  At the end of the day, we've found ourselves having to decide between increasing our prices or compromising on our quality.  As we hope you know by now, we always choose quality.  If you check out our website, you'll see that our prices have gone up by about 10% which is enough to cover our increased costs, while maintaining the high quality shoes you've come to know and expect.

The relationships that we have with our customers are built upon sincerity and mutual respect, and it felt like it would be wrong to adjust prices without explaining why.  We love getting to know you through the letters and photos that you share, and your tracings often come in with little notes or doodles that make us smile.  Thank you for supporting our small business for the past 24 years and for understanding our plans to ensure we'll be around for at least 24 more.




1.20.2015

Winter Sun

Living in upstate New York requires an open mind and lots of layers.  Summers are hot and muggy, thanks to the beautiful lakes that surround us on all sides, and it's common to see snow on Halloween and then rain on Christmas.  We thaw out around March, but April can sometimes bring a snow that covers everything but the pretty little daffodils.  You just never know...

A few weeks ago, after plenty of snow and cold weather, we were lucky enough to get a 60 degree day on the weekend after Christmas.  It took a little magic, but we pulled together a quick photo shoot and the results are worth sharing.  Can you see the winter sun shining on everything?

handmade leather shoes new chinese





West Indian made in USA






12.19.2014

Merry Christmas! and Holiday Hours






If you've ever wondered who's making or re-soling your shoes, this is it.  We're a team of eleven artisans, working together to make leather shoes in small batches with great care.  It truly is an art form and a tradition that we are proud to be a part of.  

In this week leading up to the Christmas holiday, our factory outlet will be open today along with next Monday and Tuesday, from 12-4:00 p.m. Local folks are welcome to stop in for a pair of shoes or a gift certificate during those hours.  Everyone else can follow the link and order a gift certificate online.  It's super easy and can be done at the very last minute, which we all know is helpful this time of year.  

Starting Wednesday, the 24th, we'll be off for a while, and plan to spend our time staying warm and enjoying good food with our families.  We hope that you are able to do the same. 

Merry Christmas!



12.13.2014

On Location at Ledyard Farms

Today was the perfect day to get out into the snow and take a few photos.  Carrie and I met up at Ledyard Farms where we were able to meet Ledyard's Tiger Lily, a 4-year-old Morgan show horse. The farm is one of our favorite spots for picking up local eggs, lamb and beef.  It also happens to be really pretty in the snow...

Morgan Show Horse Ledyard Farms

Morgan Show Horse Ledyard's Tiger Lily







Where have your Auroras taken YOU?   Share your everyday adventures with us!





11.12.2014

North Pacific (our boots are finally here!)



They've been a long time coming, but we're really excited to be sharing our first new shoe design in more than 20 years!  We stuck with the same roomy toe box and added a beefier Vibram sole so these boots can work and play as hard as you do.  Each pair comes with a set of both cotton and leather laces so you can customize your look. 

We make each pair to order, so please allow for plenty of time - we're a small group of artisans, working by hand.  Don't worry, what we lack in speed, we make up for in quality!







10.20.2014

Flax + Leather =

Sometimes, if you're lucky, you can get away with doing something super fun and legitimately calling it work.  These photos document a day I like to think of as "Playing Dress-up with Friends".  Ever since our magazine feature, I've been wanting to put together some photos to highlight one of my favorite local shops, a Flax, linen, etc. consignment shop called Dinosaur Dry Goods.  My friend, Bird, and her husband, Raph have been putting Jackie's clothes and our shoes together with beautiful results for years, so it was a great excuse to get together and get creative for the sake of some fresh photos.  

I'll be sharing more shots from our day together, both on our website and Facebook page, but for now, and in honor of what feels like the end of warm weather in upstate New York, I'll start with the summery stuff.  Jackie's collection of Dinosaur Dry Goods is constantly changing, but if you like what you see, you can check in and see what's new on a regular basis here



Dinosaur Dry Goods



Dinosaur Dry Goods Flax

handmade leather shoes

Aurora Shoe Co. Dinosaur Dry Goods



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