I am a big fan of Fluevog shoes. Big fan.
When I lost my job (along with my regular pay cheque) and then decided to start a business (with all of my savings), I had to give up some of my spending luxuries. My regular visits to the Fluevog store were one of the first things to go.
This was kind of hard because the Fluevog flagship store is literally right down the street from where I live. I walk past it ALL THE TIME (craning my neck to peek at the new designs in the windows as I slow down my pace).
But my years of buying Fluevogs had left me with a nice collection of fabulous shoes so it’s not like I’ve been walking around shoe-less. Instead of feeling like I was missing out on something I decided to just make it a financial goal to be able to buy more Fluevogs – in the future.
(In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve done the math and I do know how many pots equal the shoes I want.)
Now I happen to know THE John Fluevog. Vancouver is like that though, it has a very “small world” aura about it. I think if you live here long enough you might end up meeting everybody else who lives in this city. I met John a couple of years ago and one thing I will tell you about him is that whenever John sees you he will look at your feet. I think he saw me wearing Fluevogs enough times to know that I have a small collection of his shoes.
One day Mark and I ran into him and his lovely wife and we started talking about job losses, job prospects, a pottery business and shoe sizes. It turns out that my shoe size is the same size the company has all of their samples made in, I thought that was a neat coincidence and it explained why I always cleaned up at the annual Fluevog sample sale.
A short while after that chat the stars aligned. John and his design team needed someone to test new designs and who also fit the sample size. And now I am part of a small group of Fluevog Shoe Testers. I like to think of us as the Fluevog Super Heroes of Shoe Sizing. We walk around the Fluevog design office in prototype shoes making sure they fit well and occasionally we give our opinions on the design too (my feedback is usually along the lines of, “Yes! I love these!”).
We also wear test the shoes. This means that over the past few weeks I’ve been given three pairs of Fluevogs to wear out. Us Shoe Testers have to jam pack about six months worth of wear and tear in just a few weeks. And this is why I have the fanciest shoes at the dog park and in the pottery studio.
The shoes I am testing right now are fantastic. But I can’t show you what they look like because they won’t be available in stores until the Fall. I can tell you this though: one pair is bright, bright yellow. Whenever I wear them I catch people staring at my feet. They are ankle boots with a nice high heel. Along with this new addition of yellow I now have three pairs of Fluevogs in each of the primary colours – I recommend you make this a Shoe Goal.
The other pair I’m testing remind me of Dutch wooden shoes, and you know how much I love the Dutch! The sole is slightly curved up at the toe, which gives my feet a rocking motion when I walk. It feels like the shoes are propelling me forward – into the future – and I like that.
I’m going to call these my Future Shoes.
So how lucky am I? I gave up one of my most favourite things only to have it given back to me. But the funny thing is, all of this probably wouldn’t have happened if I was still working at that office job.