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Featured Shop: Sevilla Smith

Aug 21, 2015

by Faye Smith

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hi there! My name is Faye Sevilla Smith, and I’m a shoemaker living out of a suitcase with my professor husband and our 7-year-old son (it’s a very big suitcase!). We live in Philadelphia for part of the year, and Barcelona for the other part. My shop is called Sevilla Smith.

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Before Sevilla Smith, I worked in the film industry for almost 20 years, dressing actors and traveling around the world. I always struggled to find the right shoes for the job: something comfortable enough for a 20-hour work day that was appropriate for fitting an A-list actor in the morning, then buying mudcloths at an African stall in the afternoon.

My life took a turn when my son was born prematurely during a work trip; that near-death experience made me rethink how I wanted to live. Then one day, as I was wandering around the medieval alleyways of Barcelona’s Borne neighborhood, I stumbled into a wonderful little shop filled with fabulous shoes. There was something about the shoes that was special, intangible. They weren’t trendy, flashy or luxe, but they had an aura about them that made them unique. I saw a small workshop behind the counter with machinery, zinc tables, and scraps of leather. Curious, I asked the owner, Niccolo, if he made the shoes himself. “Of course!,” he answered, to which I replied, “Would you teach me?” Amazingly, he said yes.

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I began my instruction two days later, sweating and learning in Niccolo’s tiny workshop while a girl upstairs strummed Bob Dylan songs on her guitar. Day in and day out, he taught me everything he could, using hand gestures and drawings to combat our language barriers.

When I returned to the US, I jumped into shoemaking with both feet. I set a goal of making 50 pairs of shoes in 50 days; I told myself that if I could keep up with that pace, for that long, I would enjoy taking on this craft as my career. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure if my muscles could keep up, but I got stronger and stronger, more adept, and through it all, I found that I really loved making shoes.

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My process today for coming up with a design is very similar to when I was working in film. I start with a character – often a friend – and think about her personality, style, wardrobe and life. From there, I think about the shoes she would wear and make sketches, which is a fairly identical process for costuming. Next, I draw out the design on a shoe last to make a pattern. The first prototype I make is always in my size (#perks) so I can test drive it for a while to see if it’s livable and lovable.

I spend three to nine months a year traveling and being inspired by everything – and everyone – around me. Being on Etsy has been absolutely instrumental in creating my business and connecting with a community of makers to share support and wisdom. Many of my shoe clients actually have Etsy shops, too (who better to appreciate handmade than makers themselves?), and most of my work aprons, stamps, clothes, and bags come from Etsy as well. The thing about traveling so much is that you’re inspired aesthetically, while simultaneously yearning to have less “stuff.” You start to appreciate simple beauty and become increasingly selective about the things you call your own. But most importantly, you always ache for comfortable shoes.

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Follow Sevilla Smith on Instagram.

 All photos by Sevilla Smith.

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The april. peony. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The april. peony. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The april. raider black. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The april. raider black. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The bex. mini spotted hair on with raider black. 2cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The bex. mini spotted hair on with raider black. 2cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$305.00 USD
The chiara. raider black. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The chiara. raider black. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The danthu. koniec black. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The danthu. koniec black. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The griffin. undyed. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The griffin. undyed. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The javian. koniec  brown and raider black. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The javian. koniec brown and raider black. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The karina. moss hair on. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The karina. moss hair on. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$305.00 USD
The karina. raider black. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The karina. raider black. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The laura.  wheat hair on leather with large black pebble grain. 2cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The laura. wheat hair on leather with large black pebble grain. 2cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$305.00 USD
The liz. fawn. 4cm wedge. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The liz. fawn. 4cm wedge. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The liz. lukent lux blue. 2cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The liz. lukent lux blue. 2cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The liz. peony. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The liz. peony. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The mariyah. peony. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The mariyah. peony. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The mariyah. fawn and black pebble grain. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The mariyah. fawn and black pebble grain. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The meghan. raider dark brown. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The meghan. raider dark brown. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The rakia. raider black. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The rakia. raider black. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The sandy.  undyed with gold brush. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order || bridal shoes ||
The sandy. undyed with gold brush. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order || bridal shoes ||
SevillaSmith
$280.00 USD
The sandy. classic gold || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order || bridal shoes ||
The sandy. classic gold || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order || bridal shoes ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. fieno. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. fieno. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. ibiza camello || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. ibiza camello || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. koniec brown. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. koniec brown. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. marine. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. marine. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. matte cappuccino. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. matte cappuccino. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. powdery peony. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. powdery peony. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The terilyn. raider dark brown. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. raider dark brown. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The terilyn. rose. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. rose. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The terilyn. sage. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. sage. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The terilyn. tamponato grey. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. tamponato grey. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The terilyn. undyed. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. undyed. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The terilyn. wheat hair on. 3cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. wheat hair on. 3cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$305.00 USD
The wendy. sienna. 3cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The wendy. sienna. 3cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The sandy. undyed with black broad brush stroke. limited edition. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. undyed with black broad brush stroke. limited edition. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$280.00 USD
The sandy. textured antique brown. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. textured antique brown. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. pebbled navy || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. pebbled navy || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy.  undyed with sunset dye stroke. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. undyed with sunset dye stroke. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$280.00 USD
The terilyn. black gloveskin. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. black gloveskin. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The sandy. black gloveskin || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. black gloveskin || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. raider black || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. raider black || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. pebbled claret. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. pebbled claret. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. limited edition. geometric winter hair on. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. limited edition. geometric winter hair on. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$280.00 USD
The sandy. olive || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. olive || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The mussenden. koniec  brown. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The mussenden. koniec brown. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The terilyn. black pebble grain. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. black pebble grain. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The liz.  mini spots hair on. 3cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order || bridal shoes ||
The liz. mini spots hair on. 3cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order || bridal shoes ||
SevillaSmith
$305.00 USD
The terilyn. emerald. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. emerald. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The sandy. black pebbled grain || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. black pebbled grain || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The terilyn. classic gold. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order || bridal shoes ||
The terilyn. classic gold. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order || bridal shoes ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The sandy. gunmetal. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. gunmetal. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The terilyn. ibiza camello. 2cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. ibiza camello. 2cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The mussenden. raider black and undyed. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The mussenden. raider black and undyed. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The liz. fieno. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The liz. fieno. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The liz. rose. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The liz. rose. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The terilyn. undyed croc embossed. 3cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. undyed croc embossed. 3cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The meghan. raider black. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The meghan. raider black. 2cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The mussenden. sienna. 2cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The mussenden. sienna. 2cm. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The terilyn. linen. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The terilyn. linen. 3cm || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$285.00 USD
The sandy. elephant grey || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. elephant grey || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. rose || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. rose || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD
The sandy. large pebble grain black. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
The sandy. large pebble grain black. || handmade shoes, minimal and soft || made to order ||
SevillaSmith
$260.00 USD

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