Brittney Andersen puts her heart and “sole” into everything she sews for small shop Bare Soles Moccasins. “The hours that go into our business, the passion we have for creating something fun for our customers and the feedback we get with every pair received is what drives us to continually do more.”
Andersen launched Bare Soles after creating matching footwear for her own two boys. “I actually hand-sewed the first pair of moccasins while wearing a headlamp in the car on a late night road trip. My husband thought I was crazy,” she laughed. “I’m a self-taught seamstress; I’ve never taken a class, just a whole lot of trial and error to get us where we are today. Some of the very first moccasins sewn for friends and family were cut from the back panels of leather couches that we found. Leather, at the time, was expensive, so this ‘upcycling’ was a way for us to jump into using leather without the big cost.”
Today, Bare Soles is wildly popular with small shoppers looking for unique leather designs and matching accessories. Andersen credits her “Mocc Daddy” husband Jeff for the expansion of the Bare Soles brand and new shop items including the Bare Bag, the Crossbody and all the Bare Necessities (like fuzzy blankets, car sear covers and even dog collars). “He has figured out how to streamline our cutting process, he created an entirely new workspace for me, which allows me to sew faster and more fluidly than ever before, and he is constantly coming up with ideas that just keep getting better,” she shared.
I personally love the shop’s “Space Doodle” print, but Andersen’s favorite is the Disney-inspired “Magic” design. “Being a Disney girl at heart, being able to design something that speaks to my Mickey-loving soul makes every pair extra special for me.” Customers enjoy the ability to completely design and customize the footwear based on their preferences. Options include size (obviously), sole color, the addition of a bow or front fringe, and the inclusion of fringe, a scalloped back and a leather toe cap in over 30 different colors. The shop also offers “specialty bows,” like Mickey Mouse ears, Halloween bats, and holiday holly berries. “Through our customers and their unique suggestions, we feel that we have developed a process that allows you to select, modify, and create some of the most one-of-a-kind moccasins and handbags available,” Andersen exclaimed. “I love seeing all of the fun and incredible ideas that our customers come up with. The options are literally endless!” One of the most unique pairs she has created came from the world’s most iconic print design. Literally. “When my best friend was pregnant with a surprise gender baby, I had this crazy idea to cut up a genuine vintage Louis Vuitton handbag and use the leather panels to create two pairs of moccasins to surprise her with at the hospital,” Andersen recalled. “The way my heart raced making that first scissor cut into the handbag was definitely intense. Looking back, I can’t believe I actually did it, but now, that pair is one that she has treasured for years and the other, she passed on to another expecting mom.”
Andersen left her 10-year teaching career in 2018 to take on Bare Soles exclusively and she hasn’t looked back. “I never thought in a million years that I would take this leap and pursue this passion full time. My last year teaching I was not only working what turned out to be two full time jobs with mocc-making, but I could not skip one beat as a mother and a wife either. It all required lots of coffee and very little sleep. The change has been an incredible one and one that I am so thankful to have made. I get my weekly teacher fix by volunteering at my boys’ school each week, and that is plenty!” Her new(ish) full-time role with Bare Soles also allows her the freedom to focus on the creative end of the business. “We like that we can offer an affordable, truly handmade product that is made in the USA, to a group of parents who genuinely appreciate our craft, workmanship and our love that goes out into each pair or bag made,” said Andersen. “The families we’ve met, the friends we’ve made and the thousands of kids we’ve watched grow in our brand is something, that as a family, we truly cherish.”
Watch the Andersens live every Monday evening at 5:30 PST/8:30 EST for “Mocc Chat Monday” and join the Bare Soles VIP Bunch Facebook group to learn about upcoming new releases on the shop’s website here.