Shop Etsy

Featured Shop: Tamar Shalem

Nov 18, 2013

by Tamar Shalem

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Tamar Shalem, and I design and make shoes here in Tel Aviv, Israel.

etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-001

My shoe-making story starts during my first year of industrial design studies at Shenkar College: I had to design a sandal as part of a school project, so I came up with a collection of shoes made from fresh fruits and vegetables. I enjoyed working on it so much that I couldn’t wait for my four years of studies to be over so I could make more shoes! When I graduated from college, I got married and decided to make my own bridal shoes. I made a pair of nice flats, but they broke apart in the middle of the event. Understanding that I had zero technical skills, I signed up for classes at The Guild to learn more.

etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-sketch
etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-process01

I select and test all of my materials to make sure they are sustainable and durable, and I am constantly looking for new materials to work with. I examine every piece of leather to see how it feels because I believe shoes should be comfortable – not just pretty. I like buying a small stock of unique leather and letting it inspire me. The number of shoes I make in one style is often a result of the quantity of leather I have, and most of my designs are limited editions.

etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-pro
etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-pr

I pick a theme for every season, which often changes during my design process. I start by sketching on my lasts and paper until something happens. This stage is impossible to explain in words, but when I know I have something, it’s one of the most exciting moments of the whole process. Once I have an idea, I cut a pattern and start sewing it and processing it in 3D. When it turns into a shoe prototype, I measure it on different feet to get feedback and make adjustments until the design is ready for production.

etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-soles
etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-m

I work with a family of shoemakers that have been producing shoes for nearly 40 years. All of my shoes are hand-sewn and assembled the old-fashioned way, with a lot of love and attention to the smallest details. Working with my manufacturer was not easy at first. I had to learn how to communicate with him in order to get what I was aiming for and also trust his technical skills and knowledge when he said a design could or could not be made, or had to be changed. Slowly, he’s started to understand my design wishes, and I’ve started to understand the production limitations.

etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-an
etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-sh

I spend about 3 days a weeks at the workshop, taking part in all production stages. The production of my shoes is very traditional: most of the stages require very simple hand tools and, of course, the craftsman’s skills. I believe that a major part of my product’s character is the fact that they come from a traditional production line, rather than a mass production one. Each and every shoe is designed and assembled by hand with full attention.

etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-ox
etsy-featured-shop-tamar-shalem-shoes-israel-bo

I manage my Etsy shop as if it were an actual shop, rather than a virtual one. I treat my visitors as guests – as if we were meeting face-to-face – and assist them in every way I can, doing my best to offer them a great shopping experience before, during, and after the purchase. I am always honest in my answers to customers so they have a clear sense of what they are going to get. Many of my clients are returning customers, and a few of them have several pairs of my shoes. This is the greatest compliment of all and the reason why I love my job so much.

Studio and maker photographs by Gilad Bar Shalev.

Featured Shop Archive

CHRISTMAS IN JULY Yellow handmade shoes / Grace Yolk flat leather shoes by Tamar Shalem
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Yellow handmade shoes / Grace Yolk flat leather shoes by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black and white oxford shoes Polly Jean / B&W handmade flat leather shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black and white oxford shoes Polly Jean / B&W handmade flat leather shoes
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Stella Black shoes handmade leather amazing flat shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Stella Black shoes handmade leather amazing flat shoes
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Yellow Pepita oxford leather shoes / Polly Jean flat leather women shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Yellow Pepita oxford leather shoes / Polly Jean flat leather women shoes
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CIJ SALE Yellow Leather handmade boots / High Polly-Jean lace up yolk flat Boots by Tamar Shalem
CIJ SALE Yellow Leather handmade boots / High Polly-Jean lace up yolk flat Boots by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$167.70 USD
CIJ SALE Ellie Silver Leather Ankle boots with stretch side panel  by Tamar Shalem
CIJ SALE Ellie Silver Leather Ankle boots with stretch side panel by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$161.85 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Blush leather ballerina shoes, pink ballerina shoes, brides shoes, ana, pink shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Blush leather ballerina shoes, pink ballerina shoes, brides shoes, ana, pink shoes
TamarShalem
$178.76 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Blush pink leather ballerina shoes, pink ballerina shoes, handmade shoes, ballerina shoes, ana
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Blush pink leather ballerina shoes, pink ballerina shoes, handmade shoes, ballerina shoes, ana
TamarShalem
$178.76 USD
CIJ SALE Crossover sliders, Simone, textured white leather, white sandals
CIJ SALE Crossover sliders, Simone, textured white leather, white sandals
TamarShalem
$128.70 USD
CIJ SALE Black leather slide ins, Helena, handmade flat sandals
CIJ SALE Black leather slide ins, Helena, handmade flat sandals
TamarShalem
$147.55 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vicky Black ballerina shoes, handmade leather  flats by
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vicky Black ballerina shoes, handmade leather flats by
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Navy flat shoes/ Grace/ leather shoes with a side zipper
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Navy flat shoes/ Grace/ leather shoes with a side zipper
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CIJ SALE Ruby pink leather sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
CIJ SALE Ruby pink leather sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Pointy Flat black leather handmade shoes / Stella shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Pointy Flat black leather handmade shoes / Stella shoes
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CIJ SALE Black Sandals, Rose, Black heeled leather sandals
CIJ SALE Black Sandals, Rose, Black heeled leather sandals
TamarShalem
$157.95 USD
CIJ SALE Brown heeled Sandals with a side buckle, Caramel brown, Rose, handmade leather sandals
CIJ SALE Brown heeled Sandals with a side buckle, Caramel brown, Rose, handmade leather sandals
TamarShalem
$157.95 USD
CIJ SALE Brown leather sandals, Helena, flat sandals, handmade
CIJ SALE Brown leather sandals, Helena, flat sandals, handmade
TamarShalem
$147.55 USD
CIJ SALE White leather sandals, Helena, handmade flat sandals
CIJ SALE White leather sandals, Helena, handmade flat sandals
TamarShalem
$147.55 USD
Grey oxford shoes, Polly Jean, handmade, flats, leather shoes, by Tamar Shalem on etsy
Grey oxford shoes, Polly Jean, handmade, flats, leather shoes, by Tamar Shalem on etsy
TamarShalem
$99.00 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black textured leather shoes, black oxford shoes,  Polly Jean flat shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black textured leather shoes, black oxford shoes, Polly Jean flat shoes
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black leather ballerina shoes, Ana, handmade flat shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black leather ballerina shoes, Ana, handmade flat shoes
TamarShalem
$178.76 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vicky Black ballerina shoes / handmade leather  flats by Tamar Shalem
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vicky Black ballerina shoes / handmade leather flats by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CIJ SALE Blush pink leather sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
CIJ SALE Blush pink leather sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CIJ SALE Blue textured sandals, Blue scales leather  black sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
CIJ SALE Blue textured sandals, Blue scales leather black sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CIJ SALE Vivian leather black & grey sandals with buckle
CIJ SALE Vivian leather black & grey sandals with buckle
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CIJ SALE Grey leather sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
CIJ SALE Grey leather sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Grace Black handmade flat shoes   / leather shoes  by Tamar Shalem
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Grace Black handmade flat shoes / leather shoes by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Yellow handmade shoes / Grace Yolk flat leather shoes by Tamar Shalem
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Yellow handmade shoes / Grace Yolk flat leather shoes by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Grace Denim Blue shoes handmade flats leather shoes by Tamar Shalem
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Grace Denim Blue shoes handmade flats leather shoes by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black handmade oxford shoes / Polly Jean flat leather shoes by Tamar Shalem
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black handmade oxford shoes / Polly Jean flat leather shoes by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CIJ SALE Milk white Heeled Sandals, Rose, brides shoes, leather shoes
CIJ SALE Milk white Heeled Sandals, Rose, brides shoes, leather shoes
TamarShalem
$157.95 USD
CIJ SALE Rose, Scarlet red Heeled Sandals, leather sandals
CIJ SALE Rose, Scarlet red Heeled Sandals, leather sandals
TamarShalem
$157.95 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black leather ballerina shoes, Ana, handmade shoes, black flats
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black leather ballerina shoes, Ana, handmade shoes, black flats
TamarShalem
$178.76 USD
Become a club member it's free!
Become a club member it's free!
TamarShalem
$0.20 USD
CIJ SALE Black leather sandals, Floral print black sandals, Olivia, textured flat buckled sandals
CIJ SALE Black leather sandals, Floral print black sandals, Olivia, textured flat buckled sandals
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CIJ SALE Whisky brown Leather handmade boots / High Polly-Jean lace up Whisky brown flat Boots by Tamar Shalem
CIJ SALE Whisky brown Leather handmade boots / High Polly-Jean lace up Whisky brown flat Boots by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$167.70 USD
Julie Whisky brown shoes flat pointy handmade leather shoes
Julie Whisky brown shoes flat pointy handmade leather shoes
TamarShalem
$99.00 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY White Brides shoes  handmade flats leather shoes / pre order white Stella gorgeous shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY White Brides shoes handmade flats leather shoes / pre order white Stella gorgeous shoes
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black oxford shoes, Polly Jean, handmade, flats, leather shoes, by Tamar Shalem on etsy
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Black oxford shoes, Polly Jean, handmade, flats, leather shoes, by Tamar Shalem on etsy
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Special limited Edition! Purple Shine oxford leather shoes / Polly Jean flat leather women's shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Special limited Edition! Purple Shine oxford leather shoes / Polly Jean flat leather women's shoes
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vegan Vicky Black ballerina shoes / handmade vegan flats by Tamar Shalem
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vegan Vicky Black ballerina shoes / handmade vegan flats by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$136.94 USD
Julie Black shoes flat pointy handmade leather shoes
Julie Black shoes flat pointy handmade leather shoes
TamarShalem
$99.00 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vegan handmade Stella Black shoes handmade amazing flat shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vegan handmade Stella Black shoes handmade amazing flat shoes
TamarShalem
$136.94 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vegan handmade black snake oxford shoes, black oxford shoes, black flat shoes
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vegan handmade black snake oxford shoes, black oxford shoes, black flat shoes
TamarShalem
$143.50 USD
Handmade shoes by tamar shalem
Handmade shoes by tamar shalem
TamarShalem
$189.00 USD
CIJ SALE Vivian leather black & grey flat sandals with a side buckle
CIJ SALE Vivian leather black & grey flat sandals with a side buckle
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Grace Denim Blue shoes handmade flats leather shoes / best sellers  by Tamar Shalem
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Grace Denim Blue shoes handmade flats leather shoes / best sellers by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
Special Edition Susan Mint & Black pointy Flats /  Leather handmade Flats
Special Edition Susan Mint & Black pointy Flats / Leather handmade Flats
TamarShalem
$99.00 USD
Susan White & Black pointy Flats /  Leather handmade Flats
Susan White & Black pointy Flats / Leather handmade Flats
TamarShalem
$99.00 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vegan  handmade Gold oxford shoes  by Tamar Shalem on etsy
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Vegan handmade Gold oxford shoes by Tamar Shalem on etsy
TamarShalem
$143.50 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Flat navy blue shoes/ Grace/ leather shoes with a side zipper
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Flat navy blue shoes/ Grace/ leather shoes with a side zipper
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD
CIJ SALE Blush pink textured leather sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
CIJ SALE Blush pink textured leather sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CIJ SALE Red sandals, Simone, Scarlet red leather, crossover sandals
CIJ SALE Red sandals, Simone, Scarlet red leather, crossover sandals
TamarShalem
$128.70 USD
CIJ SALE Black leather crossover sandals, Simone, floral texture, handmade flat sandals
CIJ SALE Black leather crossover sandals, Simone, floral texture, handmade flat sandals
TamarShalem
$128.70 USD
CIJ SALE Brown leather sliders, Helena, flat sandals, handmade
CIJ SALE Brown leather sliders, Helena, flat sandals, handmade
TamarShalem
$147.55 USD
CIJ SALE White leather sandals, Helena, flat sandals, handmade
CIJ SALE White leather sandals, Helena, flat sandals, handmade
TamarShalem
$147.55 USD
CIJ SALE Pink leather sandals, Olivia, flat buckled sandals
CIJ SALE Pink leather sandals, Olivia, flat buckled sandals
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CIJ SALE Blue scales textured sandals, Olivia, flat buckled leather sandals
CIJ SALE Blue scales textured sandals, Olivia, flat buckled leather sandals
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CIJ SALE Grey textured leather sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
CIJ SALE Grey textured leather sandals, Vivian, flat buckled sandals
TamarShalem
$141.70 USD
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Brides ballerina White handmade  flats leather shoes / Vicky Pre order Wedding shoes by Tamar Shalem
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Brides ballerina White handmade flats leather shoes / Vicky Pre order Wedding shoes by Tamar Shalem
TamarShalem
$154.98 USD

317 comments

Sign in to add your own