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Inside Job

Kristen Takes us to Work

Inside Job BY erica 01/05/2011

Smack between Kristen’s bedroom and her living room sits her studio, filled with heaps of turquoise and camel suede, reworked sewing machines, and rows of half-finished pieces. She gives us the grand tour.



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“I’m neurotic about the scraps. I keep anything over the size of a dime—I’m drowning in them. I’ve started to play around with different things I could make, like jewelry.”
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“I had a hard time finding materials at first, but now I get everything from the U.S.—mostly from a place in California that sells all by-product from the meat industry. I love how suede looks dyed because it has so much texture and the color is so saturated. There’s nothing like it.”


“Even though I’ve been doing this for six years now, I still have those moments when I’ll think, ‘I just made a shoe! That’s crazy!’ I think moving to New York has helped me make more durable shoes. Because you walk so much, you have to have a little more padding. I’ve found a new foam that is used in running shoes that makes the insoles really comfortable.”


“I grew up around sewing machines, so I figured out how to fix them—make them the way I need them to be. I turned this one into a leather machine even though it wasn’t designed that way—really beating it into submission.”


“I have such a small space. I have to be smart about how I pull out materials. I can’t spend half of my day preparing. If it’s a day of cutting, I try to cut all my soles.”


“The baby stuff is all hand-done—there’s no machine. With the adult moccasins, I use a machine for the soles. It stitches through so much leather, which impresses me every time.”




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