You'll find all the basic equipment that you'll need to make a pair of shoes such as 5-in-1, high post machines, skiver, cylinder arm sewing machine, finishers, glue stations—plus, multiple makers in the studio working on their own projects! Sometimes you will see a class focused on a particular style of shoes or bags, or sometimes a 6-day intensive class, where you make any shoe of your liking.
It is a space for people to be creative, make a mess (and clean up) but have a division between your home and workshop. It is a place where you share and respect the machinery and equipment so you don't have to own one yourself.
The Founder, Keiko Hirosue
Keiko Hirosue first became intrigued by shoemaking when she was in college. Her own shoes never seemed to fit her the right way—she thought she had unique feet–and yes, each pair of feet are unique and different!
Keiko began making shoes in 2003 through independent studies with different teachers. Constantly seeking out instructors to teach her new skills, she began to recognize the need for a central hub that would encompass all-things shoemaking—an opportunity to learn from different instructors while practicing her craft; a space where she and others could make big messes without messing up their tiny NYC apartments. She saw wood workshops and metal fabricators sharing large equipment as a collective and wanted the same for shoemakers and leather workers.
While working full-time in the fashion and footwear industry, she acquired a space that she began filling with tools, equipment, and machinery to make shoes quicker and cleaner. She didn't use the studio space enough, so she spread the word to others, and little by little, shoemakers and leather workers came out of the woods to share the space. As the group continued to grow, so did the establishment. In 2013, Keiko decided to move to a bigger space to house everyone more comfortably, and with more machinery to share, Brooklyn Shoe Space was formed.
Meet the Female Founder Behind the Shoemakers Movement
“Here, women realize that we don’t have to do it all alone. We support each other. No one is competing. We hold space for each and every designer.”
Brooklyn Shoe Space
“With American-made footwear accounting for less than 2% of the market today, shoemaking is more or less a lost art in this country; a statistic that concerns New York resident and decade-long shoemaker, Keiko Hirosue.”
Get a Leather Craft Education: Brooklyn Shoe Space
“The Brooklyn Shoe Space is a membership-based shared work space for shoemakers and leather workers alike to gather, share tips and get down to work on their latest leather and shoe projects.”