“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.” – Paulo Coelho
The Crooked Arrow shop name pays tribute to Kaycee Buckalew’s family heritage. “My husband and baby are part Native American, so I wanted to incorporate that part of their life. I was looking for a tribal feel and it just seemed to fit for a moccasin shop,” she said. Based in rural Utah, the Crooked Arrow focuses on handmade genuine and vegan leather moccasins for preemies through toddler sizes. Buckalew opened up shop in July 2018 after making her first pair for her son. “I found some discounted leather for the Fourth of July for my own baby,” she recalled. “When I took him to our town’s holiday parade, I received so many compliments and lots of people asked me where they could purchase some for their own littles!”
I particularly like the Crooked Arrow’s oxford style with the leather ties and Buckalew agreed. “I love our basic black oxfords. They can easily be dressed up for church or dressy occasions or dressed down for everyday wear.” The Crooked Arrow offers exclusive prints and unique finishes, including textured and glittered materials. Buckalew also takes custom orders and allows small shoppers to embellish their footwear with “Felties,” sewn-in embellishments in shapes like dinosaurs, hearts, unicorns, foxes, pineapples and mermaid tails. “A customer can message me with just about any idea (even really crazy ones!) and I will bring that vision to life,” Buckalew laughed. “My most popular customs include matching outfits exactly, making birthday themed moccasins, and Halloween costumes. I once had a customer who wanted a cow print on the front toe piece of the moccasin and flamingo on the heel with hot pink fringe. I wasn’t sure about it, but I made them and she was absolutely thrilled with the finished product because she would never have been able to find that combination anywhere else.”
Like so many makers, Buckalew’s favorite part of the design process is receiving those kinds of customer reactions. “I absolutely love getting pictures back and seeing all the cute babies rocking Crooked Arrow moccasins. It makes my day!” What’s next for the Crooked Arrow? “We are releasing our fringed sandals for girls and another sandal style for those little boys. These will be perfect for the warm summer months,” Buckalew exclaimed. Yay summer!