Weaving Stories through Craft – Danielle

My favourite handmade item is a pair of orange sandals that my husband made for me.

José and I have been married 7 years. We met salsa dancing in Melbourne and were friends for many years. I moved to Spain and lived there for nearly 4 years where José came to visit me, we got together and I returned home for love.

José is from El Salvador where art, music, dance and the Spanish language play an important role in enriching the creative spirit and has lived in Australia 29 years. His heritage includes a long line of artisans from designers to dressmakers, woodcraft makers, actors, artists, dancers and writers.

In 2014, inspired by his culture and passion for life, he realised his dream to create beautiful handcrafted shoes with his business www.rodriguezandrose.com.au .  He is the Artisan and Designer crafting the shoes and I am the marketing visionary, creating the brand strategy and promoting the business.

His original focus was to make shoes for men only but then we discovered an opportunity to make shoes for women too.  I was lucky to be his first female client! I was treated like a VIP and we went to his workshop to talk about the type of shoe I would like and the colour.  I saw some amazing orange leather in his collection and chose this for my sandals.

He lovingly designed and crafted my shoes, starting with measuring my foot and creating a pattern to make the shoes. The next step was a prototype of the shoe. I had to try this on and make sure it fitted and make any adjustments. It was a Cinderella experience.

When the shoes were finished, I was amazed at the technique and attention to detail that he put into creating the design and the finishing touches.

These sandals are so comfortable and I barely took them off during summer. I felt proud that he had made them for me and lucky to have a pair of comfy shoes that really fit.