Jim and Lee Ann first met in 1969. Jim was working in Italy making ski boots. Their shoe making adventure was just unfolding and would take many turns in the next three decades. Lee Ann was a professional in the airline industry working as a Flight Attendant and a professional in human relations. Jim, Lee Ann, Jocelyn (mother) and Barbara (sister) make up the present core of Nativearth staff. We employ ten people in our factory and have a road crew of nine members.
Jim is a lifetime career expert in shoe, boot, and sandal building, commercially producing millions of pairs of shoes in the past 40 years. Being an engineer in design, product development, tooling, resourcing and production, mold making, and bio-mechanical technology, his work days were long and stressful. After many, many air hours, constant jet-lag, countless months a year traveling in China, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Italy, France, 27 countries in all, Jim and Lee Ann began to consider a change that would return them to a cohesive family unit.
Nativearth beginnings were in the garage in Sonoma County in 1991. That year they did two shows including the Health and Harmony show in Santa Rosa which was a huge success. Jim and Lee Ann started acquiring shoe making machines and their little factory began to take shape.
Nativearth is currently making well-fitting, high quality footwear, offering slippers, shoes, boots, Ghillies, and sandals for men, women and children. These are made in standard, ready-to-wear sizes and can be purchased off the rack. If there is a style you like, we will make it in any color and send it in a few weeks. That is the beauty of our little business. We are versatile and we are directly responsible for every stitch in each shoe. If you like a shoe style but it doesn’t feel quite right we can trace your foot and hand cut the shoe for you. We have a library of Period styles and can work with our customers to create a shoe, boot, bag, belt or accessory designed to your specifications. Our products are guaranteed to your satisfaction.
We also make custom, Landsknecht, Gypsy and Tudor shoes, William Wallace boots, Buccaneer/Cavalier-style and several styles of button and lace boots from the ankle, up to the knee. We work with you to create what you want. You choose the style, color, buttons, closure and soling. For a custom fit you are measured. For full custom, you are wrapped in surgical sock and duct tape to create a cast. This is an exact method of creating a perfectly fitted pattern. We select fine grain buffalo, bull-hide, deer and elk leathers and will make and hand cut your footwear from scratch with your design. Our turn-around time for semi-custom and custom footwear is an average of five to eight weeks depending on the season.
We have had a wonderful response to our footwear. “In our footwear you will be comfortably supported and protected from the hazards of modern walking– moving on the earth like going barefoot with comfort.”
We feel blessed by our customers most positive reactions to our products. Our growth in the past fifteen years is based on our commitment to quality and service. We have met a new family of Faire people and count our blessings for the healthy experience of our life style.
Visit us at our shop or at our events across the country and see first-hand what we can do for your feet and your soles. Take advantage of our special custom designs, handmade footwear and cordial fittings. Shop with us at OldeSoles, our online retail store–you will see some of the variety of our standard and custom boots you can order online