What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
I make wood-soled sandals with interchangeable ribbon ties. They’re sometimes referred to as the “infinity sandal” due to the limitless styling options. The shoes are composed of domestic hardwoods and other eco-friendly components.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I worked as an architect for seven years before embarking on my new career as a shoemaker. My background in architecture was incredibly helpful in preparation for my shoemaking business, both in terms of design and engineering as well as project management.
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
Mohop is the phonetic pronounciation of my last name, Mohaupt. Mohaupt is a German name, and would typically be pronounced with all the letters (just like it looks), but the American Mohaupts simplified it.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I currently work alone, although my husband helps with a lot of the administrative tasks. I’ve had many interns, assistants, friends and family help out in the past, but at the moment, I’m scaling back in preparation for a launch in a slightly different direction later in 2010.
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
Right now, I only sell at mohop.com and mohop.etsy.com. My shoes were carried in close to 30 shops in 2008, but the pressure of the demand was just too much, and I’ve taken 2009 to re-evaluate my business and production methods. I’ve also stopped doing fairs and most events because my online store keeps me plenty busy!
What inspires and motivates you?
I’m inspired by the beauty and sculpt-ability of the wood I use, materials I find around the architectural firm my husband works at, and my preference for comfort *and* style at all times. I’m motivated by the piles of orders on my to-do list that will be late if I don’t put in 15-hours days ;)
Thanks Annie! And if you would like to be interviewed here, just go over to DIY Interview.