I caught up with grade 12 student Michelle K. – otherwise known as the owner of Tokushu Shoes. She draws creative and unique designs on plain white shoes, and she’s pretty darn good at it too!
When did you first start out making designs on shoes? How did you get into it?
“I saw these plain white shoes and I thought “hmmm… what if they weren’t plain and white…” so I bought them and painted a pair for myself just because I thought it’d be cool or something – I don’t know, haha! I’m so lame. The first pair I did for myself were based on New York, because at the time it was my dream to go to art school there – but I think I’m going to be doing some London ones now for when I go to Central Saint Martins at UAL next year! But yeah that’s pretty much how it started.”
How did the business come about? What made you want to create this business that you have?
“I started making some as birthday presents for my friends, and when I posted them on deviantART people asked me if they were for sale and I was like “Umm… okay!” ”
What was your first sale like? How did it feel?
“Not going to lie, I was sort of really excited and surprised that someone actually wanted to buy my art. It was a local order for a lady who saw my New York design and wanted something similar except with Calgary on the shoes instead.”
Your shoes have been sold not only in Canada, but also in foreign countries – the US, Germany, Australia and England. What was your reaction when it started going international?
“I was sort of jealous of the shoes because they have been more places than I have. Other than that, I was really happy hehe.”
Which of your designs have been the most popular?
“The galaxy shoes, meme/rage comic shoes, and Legend of Korra shoes have all made it to the front page of deviantART, and have also been popular on Wish Wall. The shoes are more popular than I am, but that’s understandable haha!”
Do you have a personal favourite design? If so, which one?
“I guess it always changes, but I really like the jellyfish ones because they were really fun to do. The girl that wanted them was giving the shoes to her friend for her birthday, and I asked for a list of her friend’s favourite things so I could incorporate it into the jellyfish. I also loved doing the music and paint ones. I just get extra happy when people give me a general idea that I can have a lot of freedom and creativity with.”
Any goals for the future of the company?
“Hats! Shirts, maybe. I’ve also recently been asked to do painting commissions on the side, so I’d like to continue with those! Selling to more countries would be awesome-tastic as well.”
There you have it, folks! This artist is quite the character – talented, funny and sweet!
For details about her booming business, check out her facebook page!
if you know of anyone that you think should be a “featured fashionista” – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay stylish, my friends!