Hand-Made Sandals @Louise de la Roche
Around this time last year, my mom made me a special birthday gift. She took me to a very special shop close to her house, where Edwige Berthoy hand-crafts sandals! The shop is called "Louise de la Roche", and it is no ordinary shoe shop. Starting from the setting in a beautiful stone house at the heart of a romantic little village few minutes off the A6, down to the "salon" feel inside the shop, it's special.
1) The First Contact
After we got used to the magic came the time for business! Edwige explained how it works. She has very few models made of high quality material. The personalization comes when you pick the leather in different colors, smooth or with fur/scales.
Yes, this is not a post for the animal lovers who buy only vegan shoes. But then, considering the harm done to nature by the fashion industry and the hips of clothes/shoes recklessly thrown away every day, a shoe that can be worn for 15 years is not that ecology un-friendly.
To help with decisions, there were several sandals on display. I also tried a few pairs, and we entered into Edwige's workshop to select the leather.
By then, I knew my Méta® profile is Spring/Fire/Cercle, so I knew that a flange at the ankle would highlight its articulation, great if your shape is Diamond but not for mine. I also knew I needed light warm colors but most of the leather available at that time was dark or cold.
In a sense, knowing my profile should have made the choice easier but it also made me ponder - if we're about to invest money in a high-end item, are you at least 100% sure that it fits your Méta® profile? And is it really ok to make choices with my whole focus on minimizing damage?
2) The Decision
I decided to go all the way through this experience even if it was in a sense, risky. I was curious to go through the process myself and to see the end result.
I chose pink python leather for the front flange, and orange for the back one. I also chose the version with flanges crossing at the front.
This was of course after several rounds of testing, toying leather, consulting with my mom and with Edwige…
3) The Adjustments
By the time we had a decision, I had lost track of time. But the real work was only beginning! Edwige brought a sandal, this time, without any outsole and with just the front flange.
My job was to close my eyes, connect to my feelings and let her know if I needed the flange to be loosened or tightened. We went back and forth a few times, with breaks in between as Edwige eclipsed into her backroom to make the necessary adjustments. We continued through each flange and each foot.
Yes, there were differences between my two feet. And yes, I felt them, down to the millimeter! Talking about the process with Edwige, she says it's not just a matter of measuring the foot. Some people like a loose fange, others don't. She can't know that for the person, it has to be tested live.
4) The Result
Waouh waouh waouh, what a result - what a treat! It's just pure beauty
The finish, down to the packaging was top notch. Edwige was even willing to open her shop super early for a last test just a few hours before I headed back to Israel.
In other words, it wasn't just the shoes that were tailored-made, but the whole experience was high-end. I highly recommend it.
If we want changes in the world, we have to start with us.
But change doesn't have to mean selfless sacrifice (aka victim thinking look-at-how-good-a-person-I-am-now-that-I-gave-up-all-pleasures). And change doesn't have to mean immediate perfection.
It does mean going out of your comfort zone, working with whatever is available at the time, and risking being unsatisfied compared to what you put in.
The reward? A little Cinderella magic? Rightfully so. But also, the satisfaction of being part of a new movement, with women like Edwige all of the world connecting to their passion, creating value, and bringing change in an authentic, professional, and self-sustaining way.