Positano's colorful buildings sit on top of one another and hang over the Mediterranean. Every walk requires countless stairs. On the way, you can't miss the scent of lemon and the "ciabattini" or street cobblers making sandals in front of their little picturesque shops.
Steinbeck's words ring true for me. Positano bit me so deep that I went back on a second trip. As I sat across from an old cobbler, busy at work and making me my own pair of sandals, I was so taken by this traditional craft. The next day I started a search for a cobbler that would train me.
Chi cerca trova! He who searches shall find! My journey led me to Mimmo, a cobbler from Rome, who taught me the art of handcrafted sandals, like the traditional cobblers of the Amalfi coast region, hand nailing the "tomaia" (the upper sole) to the leather outsole. It was love for me upon laying the first nail!
Drawing inspiration from my favorite beach towns in Italy, I now design all my sandals and handcraft each pair to order, using material exclusively sourced in Italy, from the leather sole, to the leather ribbons, the brass nails, and the metal hardware.
Why is my studio named Lucestella? My grandmother from Puglia, in southern Italy, was named Lucestella, pronounced loochay stellah, her name literally translates to "light star". For me it's a name that takes me back to the magical summers I spent at Nonna Lucestella's house. My work attempts to capture those timeless memories of summers on the Italian coast.
My studio is now open on Main Street in Cold Spring, NY. Come and get fitted for custom sandals while discovering unique finds and fun accessories from Italy. To find out more, take a peak at my account on Instagram.