{Meet the Locals} Nicora Johns: The Little Shoemaker That Could

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John Cocteau stated, "Style is a simple way of saying complicated things." When choosing footwear, of course we want functionality, but we also want something that reflects our mindfulness as consumers and communicates our aesthetic sensibility, a nonverbal clue into our worlds. 

Stephanie Fryslie is an American entrepreneur and the mastermind behind the sustainable footwear label Nicora Johns, a revolutionary brand producing handmade shoes locally and sourcing materials from regional suppliers.

At a time when the shoe industry has been singled out as one of the highest polluting industries in the world, Stephanie's radical goals of making production safer for the environment, eliminating waste and creating jobs for Americans are to be lauded. 

Stephanie took to Kickstarter, the online funding platform for creative projects, to launch her label and to educate the public of the ills that plague the shoe industry: "Between the chemicals required to treat leather or make synthetic materials and the agricultural destruction caused by overgrazing livestock, shoe materials make the top ten list of world’s most polluting industries," we learn from her Kickstarter campaign, which was successfully funded last month.

Stephanie is on a mission to revitalize the US shoe industry and to do it in the most eco-friendly and socially-conscious manner using high-quality materials and meticulous craftsmanship. She's cleaning out the cobwebs and making room for American artisans to employ skills that will yield contemporary wooden-heeled platforms, everyday skimmer flats, timeless lace-up boots: all handcrafted in the USA. With only one percent of shoes being made in the USA today, how's that for revolutionary?

To learn more about the effect of leather tanneries on workers, our environment + our waterways, click here or here.
{artwork by f+d} images via nicora johns


  1. I am new to your vegan world of ecofriendliness. Although I am not a vegan, I enjoy reading all of your enlightening articles. Your perspective of caring and making a responsible footprint on life, rather than living apathetically, has made me expand my own perspectives of our world and how we should all make a conscious effort to take care of our planet earth and all of its' living creatures, including each other. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt views and ecofriendly resources.

  2. Thanks for reading and thank you for the lovely comment.