I know it might be unusual to buy wooden sandals from a stranger on the internet. Are the shoes comfy, is Annie responsive to questions, is it possible to walk in these things?*

I haven't made a product review/testimonial page on mohop.com, as 1) I don't know really how to do that and 2) the only thing I would know how to do is make a list quotes from customer emails, and that seems weird to me. But, there is currently feedback from over 100 customers at Etsy.com, so if you're the type of person who likes to do a bit of research before you make an important purchase (and aren't shoes so important?), then check out the comments here!

*the answer is emphatically yes ;)


Socks + Sandals

So, it's that time of year again where I start campaigning about the awesomeness of wearing sandals with socks, tights, legwarmers and other lower leg accoutrements. We still have a good two months more of summer weather here in Chicago if the pattern of the last couple of years continues (just ask my husband, who's been running the marathon here in early October in stifling heat...), but I just want to emphasize that Mohops are great to wear pretty much year round!
Socks and Sandals Bot agrees!

(I have a bunch of bots from the Robot a Day collection, they're all lined up on my desk looking at me right now.)


Yay, thong shoes!

We've introduced a new style of shoes this morning, available exclusively on Etsy! I've been putting off creating a thong sandal for ages because I'm one of those people who hates anything between my toes. But these are comfy for even the thong-averse because the shoe can be tied so that there's no pulling or abrasion between the toes. Seriously, they're really comfy! And of course you can wear them like flip-flops, or tie them around your ankles for a completely different look.

I've strived to make this new line as budget-friendly as possible, and with all the different ways the shoes can be tied, I really do think they are a great value (especially when I know how many hours of painstaking labor go into each pair! ;_) ) If you tie your shoes in the nine ways shown above, that's only $10 a pair for artisan shoes - and that's just the tip of the iceberg for styling options! [Yeah, I'm really excited about these new sandals!] Your order comes with an ispiration booklet with illustrated instructions for 10 different styles of shoes to get you started.

By the way, there's only a couple days left in the Facebook tying contest! There's some really amazing designs there, check it out!


"How do you tie your Mohops?" Facebook Contest

We want to see all the cool ways that you lace your Mohop sandals.

If you have come up with an ingenious new lacing technique, made your own fabric ties, or dress up your pair with beads and fabric flower- we want to see it!

You have until August 15th to come up with a unique design for your pair of Mohops, document it and post it on our Facebook page. The entire staff at Mohop (all 4 of us) will decide on the most creative tie.

The winner will be announced on Facebook on August 20th. They will be featured on our Fresh Shoes Daily Blog with instructions on how to replicate their signature tie. They will also receive a prize pack containing the following:

2 pairs of silk fabric ties
10 pairs of Mohop ribbons
A Mohop hardware kit containing a variety of metal, wood and plastic rings.

How To Enter:
Take a photo of your laced up Mohops.
Go to the Mohop Shoes facebook page and click on the comment box.
Write "Contest Entry" and any description of the shoes you'd like.
Click on the attach photos icon.
Select Upload a Photo.

You may submit up to 5 different ways of tying but please upload all pictures separately so they go into our Fan Photos Album and not into a separate album.

Have fun tying! We can't wait to see what you come up with!


Etsy shoes

I added a few shoes to Etsy - there are a few sandals from the now discontinued ply line, as well as a couple extra overstock wedges. They're already made, and ready to ship within two days! [By the way, if you're waiting on custom sandals you've ordered at mohop.com and there's a shoe on Etsy that you'd rather have right away, you are absolutely welcome to exchange!]


Hey, a new post!

My Siamak has been asking me for ages to write a new post, as "hands off ladies" and his cute mug have been at the top of the blog forever now. When did March become July? And when do I get a nap?

Anyhoo, it's been insanity around here: trying to keep up with production while also trying to figure out how to make things faster (not so much luck on that end...), and generally trying to run a business. There's so much I'd love to share about what's been going on around here, and I have lots of shoe tying ideas and customer photos to share in the "fresh shoes daily" realm, but right now I must concentrate on making shoes for you fine people as fast as possible. So this is my apology for the lame blog...
However, my talented and gorgeous assistants Michelle and Sara have been doing a great job of keeping our facebook page updated. Michelle just uploaded some new photos, check them out! While you're there, I'd be thrilled if you became a fan :)

Michelle and I tag-team saw a mighty chunk of walnut into blocks for carving into high wedges.

Wishing you, dear reader, a wonderful summer! I'm off again to cobble some fancy kicks...


#1 awesome husband

Hands off ladies, the best husband ever is mine... all mine.

We finally received Bunker the CNC machine in our studio several weeks after we had expected it - then it still needed to be wired and set up, which my husband volunteered to do because I made him. Unfortunately, the kid has been sick and/or working vast overtime hours at his "real" job, and has not been able fulfill my demands. So finally, in a fit of panic after a good yelling at from a third party, I asked him very sweetly to FINISH IT NOW, AND I DON'T CARE IF YOU HAVE TO STAY UP ALL NIGHT!!! Which he did - Monday night, I picked him up from work, bought him pizza, and stayed up all night with him until the job was finished. He finally pulled everything together at 7 am Tuesday morning (it works!), then I drove him home for a quick shower and then back to work. Wow, my hero. Here's to you, C!

This was taken at the Critic's Choice Awards last year. We attended the after party because we provided the official gift bag shoes. Let me tell you, contrary to what US Weekly will have you believe, the huge stars do not go to the after parties... Brad and Angie, George, the whole crowd attended the awards, but could we hobnob with them at the party? No. Siamak did literally rub shoulders with Cuba Gooding, Jr., and the cute young girl from Bridge to Terebethia, Anna Sophia Robb, was *really* staring at my shoes in a way that I could not tell was good or bad. But that was all the excitement. No need to ever attend a Hollywood after party again, that's checked off the list.

Anyway, back to shoe production drama... now I still have to figure out the programming thing to get Bunker to help make us all some fabulous shoes for the summer. So back to work. I just wanted to brag about my hubs for a bit. :)


me, former architect

Here's a bit about how I got into this gig. While you're at it, check out this house. Wow.


happenings in mohopland

Oops. It's been a long time since I've been back here... things have been particularly crazy here lately.

My new studio - which I love - was a bit on the dirty side when I moved in. So I spent about a month cleaning it, literally scrubbing every square inch, buh. (My cousin Abby helped out for a few days too, bless her.) It still needs a lot of work, actually, but at least it's no longer making me shudder. So excuse #1 for not posting in a while is that I've been spending all my spare time cleaning.

Excuse #2 is that I've had an insane cold, not like anything I've experienced before. For two full weeks, I've been totally exhausted and my head was in a thick fog where I can't think at all - it has been SOOOOOO annoying. Today is the first day that I feel like my old self, although I'm still blowing my nose every 10 minutes. Gross.

On top of this, my wood supply burned down at the lumberyard, and my new machinery arrived nearly a month late... good times. But there's nowhere to go but up from here, eh?

There has been fun to be had in the last few weeks, though. Siamak (that's my husband, I call him C) and I went up to Minneapolis in February to visit my new CNC machine. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Controlled, basically it's a computer-run cutter that I'll use to carve my new collection of shoes. The machine was manufactured by a really neat family-owned company outside the Twin Cities, and we went up there to get a little lesson on using it before it was shipped to us.
The CNC has two cutters so I can carve shoes twice as fast :) Since it's kind of two machines in one, we've named it Bunker (left head Chang, right head Eng) after the "original" Siamese twins. Ben at the factory (above left) was a doll, patiently teaching C and I how to use the machine (that's me at right). There's SO MUCH to learn, it's a little overwhelming. But I'm really, really excited about Bunker, because it'll really increase the variety of shoe styles that I can make, as well as our production capabilities.

So I'll be trying really, really hard in the next few weeks to add new shoes, but I'll also be learning how to use Bunker, and it's the start of sandal season, so I probably won't be able to post as much as I'd like...


our new studio

A few days ago, my landlord - who, by the way, I haven't actually seen in over a year - sent me a lovely email informing me that rent was going up. Substantially and immediately. Blarg. [seriously, fellow, are you not aware of all the "for rent" signs around town?]

So I had to look for a new place, fast. And I found one! I now have about three times the space I had in my old studio, so there's room for us to grow, yay!

I've been packing my old studio and cleaning the new one all week, so things have been extra crazy. The new place is kind of a mess, but the price was right - it's just going to be a lot of work to get it to the point of being my super cute dream workshop.

It has lots of amenities that shoemakers dream of, such as three (3!) walk-in freezers and four shiny chili cauldrons:

This is the 'before' shot of the main space. The windows have a nice Chicago skyline-ish view - I can see the Hancock and Trump, but the Sears is blocked by Circuit City.

Here's the exterior shot. I have basically the entire second floor of this white building. This is the view from the Circuit City/Midtown Tennis Club parking lot on Elston.

I met my new next door neighbors today. They're awfully sweet, except for the part where they mentioned that my space reminds them of the Saw movies. Yeah, I have a lot of work ahead of me.