A Day In The Life Of An Amateur Bootmaker

I feel like life has been slightly mental lately so my blogging time has been fairly limited. Whoever thought it was a good idea to hand-make a boot whilst working, trying to start a business & remain sane was crazyyy..

Yes, that line is meant to be straight
(insert crying emoji)

Anyway, where am I up to I hear you ask? Well, Dan is currently teaching me how to stitch my shoe together and honestly I’m worried it may be impossible! I am prone to exaggeration but it is most definitely the hardest part of boot making so far.

Disclaimer: If i’ve already said that, completely ignore me. I was a naive beginner boot-maker who had no idea what lay ahead….

I mean I should’ve guessed it by the sympathetic looks I got when they realised my next stage was stitching. The “awwww” & “oh, enjoy that part” should’ve given the game away at just how terrible stitching was gonna be!

So, I bet you’re wondering – whats so bad about stitching? Well, I’m about to tell you.. Stitching takes place when you attach the insole to the leather. You know the funky yellow stitching famous on Dr Martens? That’s basically what I’m attempting to do. Minus the machinery, all by hand, using a pig whisker, some thread & a bit of wax.

So how do you do it? Once again its literally like going back to the stone ages. First, you have to prepare the thread. Then I had to rub wax up and down the thread to make the pieces stick together. You then weave it onto a pig whisker which is used as a needle to get through the holes you make in the boot….. All sounds simple right?

The hardest part comes next. Those holes have to be made meaning I have a little stick thing with a needle on the end (i’m getting really good at these technical terms) which I have to pierce through the leather, the stiffener and the insole. All in all, not ideal for a weedy armed gal like me.

Dan told me that when he first attempted stitching, his dad made him do it all on his own. He told me it took him a whole day to do 1 boot and he was nearly in tears by the end of it. Well, he was not lying! Tears, tantrums, hunchbacks and cut fingers should be expected at this stage of shoe making…

But the end is nigh (I bloody hope so anyway!) And although the stitching lines are wonky, slightly bloody and definitely not perfect – at least I’ll be able to say I put my blood, sweat and tears into it!

Not to milk it but….. many fingers were injured in the stitching of this boot

Just a reminder that the real prototype is currently being made in a factory in Tunisia. I have a really good relationship with the owner and all is going to plan. I will have 2 prototypes made very soon, YAY!

If you want to keep updated on my journey and receive updates on when WildSole will be crowdfunding, please add your email via this link or comment below https://www.krowdster.co/l/27fc1

Muchos Gracias!

Gem x

Hey, welcome to my blog….

And into the wild I go, to lose my mind and find my soul” ~ John Muir

I’m starting this blog for a number of reasons, firstly I love to explore and I wish more people did too. I am 25 and live in the UK where the norm is to go out drinking until you forget you’re own name (I do this sometimes without alcohol so no judgements here). But yeah, I’m not really about that and wondered if I could find other people like me. Maybe, after all my interests aren’t all that different?

So I love to walk, yep thats right – walk. I’m talking about finding new places, leaving your phone at home and walking, climbing, swimming until you forget about all your worries – ‘hakuna matata’ and all that jazz (apologies I watched the new Lion King the other day and it’s still in my head.)

One of the best adventures yet – explorin’ waterfalls in Thailand

I don’t think enough of us get out there and actually explore new places, jump into fresh water lakes, climb mountains for fun and I wanted to see if I could encourage other people to do it too. Maybe you’ll surprise yourself and realise the buzz of jumping into a lake is worth the soggy ride home.

Alongside rambling on about my adventures (excuse the pun), I am also starting a walking boot business aimed as us young’ens. The company will be called ‘WildSole’ and I will be sharing my journey on here of exactly how I plan to go about it…. (I love how this sounds like I actually have a plan, to be completely honest, the plan is to wing it – ‘fake it until you make it and all that’.

So in short, because I am a fan of keeping things short and sweet – I want to post blogs about the adventures I go on and the places I recommend to let you’re hair down & connect with nature again. Don’t you miss being a kid when climbing trees was completely normal & not an excuse to have you sectioned?

Despite what I’ve been saying above, I also love a drink (I’m not a tee-total buddhist monk just yet – I tried it but I love the sound of my own voice too much). So yeah, (ironically i’m failing to keep this short & sweet) I will be showing you the best country bars and pubs, where to find the best grub and G&T. Because after all, exploring is about having fun so why not get a little tipsy on the way? It’ll make the walk back a lot more fun thats for sure.

Anyway, thanks for reading & I hope you enjoy my posts!

Gem x

Ingleton Waterfalls trail – North Yorkshire