4.05.2014

Middle English

A few weeks ago, a request came in on our Facebook page for a few photos of our Middle English style on a woman.  It was exactly the reminder we needed to get back into taking regular photos of our shoes outside of the shop and on people's feet!  Here are a few from this snowy April Saturday in Aurora.


Aurora Shoe Co. leather loafers

Aurora Shoe Co. made in USA



2.21.2014

Sustainable Heat

alternative energy, burning wood, sustainable aurora shoe co.

Up here in the Northeast, we have been slogging through an especially cold and snowy winter.  Most (if not all) of January was spent trying to keep our driveways clear and our homes warm (enough) in sub-freezing temperatures.  Many of us heat with wood so the staying warm part is a lot more involved than turning up the thermostat and paying the fuel bill.  

A couple of years ago, Dave bought a high efficiency outdoor wood boiler for the shop and work has been a little warmer (and way more sustainable) ever since.  Out here in the country, where trees are plentiful, we're able to score loads of firewood that would otherwise be left to rot on the forest floor.  Fallen storm damage and the tops and branches left behind by local forest management companies burn just as well as any other wood.  We've been fortunate enough to burn this kind of "surplus" wood for the past two heating seasons and we look forward to more of the same in the future.  

We hope you've all had a warm and cozy winter.  At this point we're more than half way through the cold season.  Cheers to that!



12.16.2013

Introducing Caleb



Caleb grew up on a local farm and says that when he came in a couple of years ago to pick up a re-soled pair of shoes, he mentioned that he'd be interested in working here.  Given Maggie's retirement and an uptick in production, Dave gave him a call over the summer and asked if the interest was still there.  Thankfully, it was.  Caleb finished up the harvest season at our favorite local CSA, and joined us in the shop just before Thanksgiving. 

Caleb studied History, Philosophy, and Asian Studies in college, and when I asked him why, with an education like that, he's still choosing the farm and now our shop, he replied with a Marcus Aurelius quote, "The only wealth you keep forever is that which you have given away".

So he's smart, he's principled, and as it turns out, he's also a regional celebrity.


In case you haven't heard, Caleb is a 2013 Northeast Regional Beard and Mustache Champion (in the Full, Natural, 2-8" category).  Born out of a lazy attitude toward shaving, Caleb's full face has brought him (minimal) fame and glory.  He gets supportive shouts across parking lots, and based on a BILF (Beard I'd Like to Fondle) comment, I'm guessing it goes over well with the ladies.

For those who aspire to their own bearded greatness, Caleb recommends the following:
  • Be patient and push through the first 6 months of growth.  It will look bad and it might get itchy, but you need the guts to achieve the glory.
  • Always carry a napkin and use it - they don't call it The Flavor Saver for nothing.
  • For good fluff and puff, comb regularly. 
 
beard care from a regional beard and mustache champion


You can visit Caleb's family's sustainable and local grass-fed beef farm (and see what Caleb looks like under that beard) via their website.  They're at the Syracuse Regional Market on weekends and are happy to ship or arrange for pick-up. 

Thanks for being such a great sport, and for answering all of my hairy questions, Caleb!





12.12.2013

Last Minute Christmas Gifting


image via

Holiday shopping can be so hard.  You want to get something useful, something memorable, or just something that your recipient does not already own.  So you think long and hard, you make plans, you finally make or purchase something and then, just 12 short months later, you're right back where you started.  At least that's how it all goes 'round in my brain...

If you've ever thought about giving 100% American made leather shoes, then you're in luck.  Giving an Aurora Shoe Co. gift certificate has just gotten easier.  Instead of contacting us and waiting for a certificate in the mail, you can now follow the link to our website and purchase one with a few clicks.  You'll be sent a coupon code via email and can give the gift of comfort and joy at your convenience.  We've pre-set a few different gift amounts and are open to suggestions if you find that the amount you'd like to give is not listed.

Thank you all for your support in 2013.  We've continued to gain exposure all over the globe and know that it is in large part thanks to you, our loyal customers and friends.  Thank you and Merry Christmas!


12.05.2013

Meet Janet

It seems that each of us on staff are here primarily because we enjoy working with our hands.  More specifically, we like the sense of accomplishment that comes from turning simple raw materials into objects of value.  We all make shoes during the day, but many of us also have side projects and hobbies that continue to keep our hands busy after hours.  Janet, who we have been getting to know for the past couple of months, is a fellow craftsperson, small business owner, and now a member of our staff.

Corning Museum of Glass Artist, American Made


Janet moved into a home just down the road from our shop this fall, with a desire to experience life in the Finger Lakes.  She is originally from Long Island and came to the area via Corning, where her passion for glass blowing blossomed into 4 years of work with the Corning Museum of Glass.  Janet continues to sell her work in the Museum gift shop and teaches classes on glass blowing, fusing, and flame working.  When I asked Janet about her interest in leather, she explained the similarities between her glass craft and the work we do.  As Janet says, both require practice and skill, a feel for the materials, and the faith that muscle memory will take over for calculated work, given enough practice and a willingness to let go and feel your way through.


Aurora Shoe Co.


Blown Glass Christmas Ornament

Blown Glass Pumpkin

Blown Glass Pumpkins, Handmade, Artisanal Craft


Art and craft drive so many of us and I love the way that Janet's vision and values have led her to us.  Please join me in welcoming Janet to our Aurora Shoe family.  You can view Janet's beautiful glass work here and can find some beautiful Christmas ornaments on sale at her Etsy shop.




11.27.2013

Shoe Care and Repair


We get a lot of questions about how to best care for our shoes.  We do send a Care and Repair Guide with each pair we ship out, but we know that if you're like us, that piece of paper was recycled/lost/misplaced long ago.  For your easy reference, here's a link to our Care and Repair Guide.
 
And while we're at it, we should let you know that we've stopped recommending coconut oil as a leather conditioner.  There are many great options out there, but Dave recommends Otter Wax Saddle Soap for cleaning followed by their Leather Salve.


11.07.2013

Shoe LOVE in 3 Cities

Talk about travelling shoes - Maki Aruga, who is from Japan and lives in NYC, sent us these photos from a series she did on Robert Indiana's LOVE monument.  Thank you, Maki! 

I went to Japan to see my family in mid Oct.  This time I also visited Taipei in Taiwan with my friend.  The three-city photos that I want to show you are Robert Indiana's LOVE Monument with my lovely Aurora Shoes in Tokyo and Taipei and New York!

Maki Aruga


Tokyo


Taipei




New York


Robert Indiana LOVE monument

Where have your Auroras taken YOU?


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