Waterloo Shoemaker a Big Success

By Eric Olson

June 18, 2010 Updated May 8, 2008 at 1:56 PM EST

Lori: We went from living paycheck to paycheck, living in a 17-hundred foot mobile home to this. We're not rich but we don't have to worry anymore and that has really changed our lives.

WHAT CHANGED LORI FUELLING'S LIFE AND THE LIVES OF HER HUSBAND AND CHILDREN IS A SURPRISING DISCOVERY MADE A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO..LORI'S PENCHANT FOR LEATHERWORKING, SPECIFICALLY CREATING CUSTOM HAND-MADE LEATHER SHOES, SANDALS, POUCHES, PURSES..JUST ABOUT ANYTHING.

Lori: These are all my own designs they're completely of my own head its just stuff that pops in.

LORI DISCOVERED HER TALENT WHEN SHE AND SOME FRIENDS WERE PREPARING FOR A GAMING CONVENTION AND LORI NEEDED A PAIR OF MEDIEVAL SHOES..SO SHE MADE THEM HERSELF, FOR HER AND HER FRIENDS. WHEN SHE LATER SOLD THEM ON EBAY FOR BIG BUCKS, A HOME INDUSTRY WAS BORN. LORI'S BEEN SEWING AND SELLING HER OWN LEATHER DESIGNS EVER SINCE.

Lori: This is the Electa sandal one of my new designs. Two part Roman sandal I went through a historical book took two sandal designs and combined them.

LORI ALSO MAKES ORTHOPEDIC SHOES FOR INJURED OR DEFORMED FEET. THIS PAIR IS FOR A WOMAN WHO LOST THE TOES ON ONE FOOT.

Lori: I've had feet that are basically rectangles, I've had feet that are kidney shaped. I have alot of older women who have large bunyons.

MANY OF LORI'S CUSTOMERS ARE REENACTORS. MEDIEVAL REENACTORS NEED THINGS LIKE GAUNTLETS, SHOES AND POUCHES. CIVIL WAR REENACTORS..THE SAME THING, JUST DIFFERENT STYLES. THIS IS A CIVIL WAR ERA CARRIER BAG.

Lori: It has the long gussettes that fold over to keep the contents inside.

MOST OF LORI'S SALES ARE DONE THROUGH HER WEBSITE, LADYORENSMEDIEVALSHOES-DOT-COM. THE SITE LISTS ALL THE PRODUCTS SHE MAKES, INCLUDING 27 STYLES OF SHOES...AND ORDERS COME IN FROM THE WORLD OVER.

Lori: I've shipped to Paris, I've done Italy, Germany, Netherlands...90% of my sales are internet.

AND WHILE NOTHING IN LORI'S EARLY LIFE HINTED AT WHAT SHE WOULD ONE DAY BECOME, THERE IS A CLUE IN HER FAMILY TREE..

Lori: I found out a couple of years ago from a relative that my Great Grandfather was a shoemaker..which I never knew.

AND SO LIFE HAS COME FULL CIRCLE FOR THIS MOTHER OF TWO, WHO SOLVED HER FAMILYS BUDGET PROBLEMS WITH A LITTLE WORK, A LITTLE IMAGINATION...AND A RECENTLY DISCOVERED HIDDEN TALENT...PASSED DOWN THROUGH GENERATIONS.




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