I'm so so pleased to have Ashley Rogers of Artsy Ashley Sole Reflections on the blog today.
Ashley creates these incredible, one-of-a-kind, custom painted shoes. It's beautiful art for your feet! She partners with TOMS shoes and works with her customers to create something special for them. It's really an amazing process!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a stay at home mommy with a heart for youth, art and seeing change. My husband, Taylor, and I have two marvelous kiddos- Abigael who is 2 and a spunky half, and Nathanael who just turned a snuggly one. I taught middle school art for a couple of years and poured into youth ministry with my hubby. I spend most of my time taking care of my little ones at home and in my (not-so) spare time, work on my Sole Reflections company. My favorite thing is working in the sunshine.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Apart from creating things I... well maybe I should say, apart from being a fully time mommy and wife I create things! I think that my whole being revolves somewhat around creativity. Even though I can't create all the time, I think I get creative outlets in the little daily things- like cutting hair, or cooking, or sewing a patch on my husbands jeans! God made me to create, so I almost feel like I don't have an, "apart from creating".
What first made you want to become an artist?
I have wanted to be an artist my entire life. From kindergarten on, I did not miss a year of art in school until two years ago when I stopped teaching. My high school art teacher was incredible and fostered a passion, not only for God's creative process, but also to teach. I wasn't even that I wanted to become an artist, but rather I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
Please describe your creative process.
As far as painting custom shoes, one day I went to a "TOMS: Style Your Sole" party where I was asked to be a featured artist to help paint shoes. After a day of painting on miniature wearable canvases, I feel in love with the process. because I am a mommy and constantly having to keep paint and glue away from my kids- painting and creating is difficult, but in creating these custom shoes, I not only was able to work on them at the table while my kids play, they are also the perfect size to finish quicker than a large canvas. My favorite is when I get a customer that says, "I want _____ theme- go for it!" I love as much creative freedom as possible. My prayer is that in creating this company, I can also one day use it to benefit one of my deepest passions.
How did you get into your craft?
I have long had a heart to help stop sex trafficking- a sickening amount of women and children are daily used for this multibillion dollar industry. Once Sole Reflections grows to a healthy point, I want to donate 50% to help build safe homes for the victims taken out of this horrible life. I am inspired by the lives of others, by the beauty in the trees, by the unique qualities we each possess. I want to create wearable works of art that can tell the world who we are. I want to create shoes that become reflections of the soul.
This girl is as sweet as pie. I want to dunk her in my tea, put her in my pocket, and keep her forever (I realize that last bit about the tea makes no sense). She is my sister's husband's sister (whoa) and even though she isn't technically my sister in law, I like to tell people she is. If you knew her, you would fight for her to be in your family too. She is such an incredible woman and an inspiration to me. Before me and Phil were married and off to New Zealand, she would have me over for girl nights and good talking. I love her.
Also, she gives great hugs and makes you feel really special.
Check out more of her incredible work here: