One woman is single-handedly transforming the way brides walk down the aisle.
Deborah Thomson is not only a wedding photographer, she also channels her creativity into shoes. Beautiful, intricate, hand-painted wedding shoes, specifically.
What all began as a last-minute request from a fellow photographer to paint her shoes two weeks before her wedding has turned into a thriving business called Figgie Shoes, ensuring that brides have happy feet on their big day, one pair of heels at a time.
“I've always felt that being a part of a couple's wedding day was an honor, but now having planned my own, I feel just how special that is in a new way,” Thomson, who just got married on Aug. 29, told ABC News.
“Knowing how much my clients put their trust in me to create something unique and meaningful for one of the most important days of their lives, and how they invite me in to learn about their shared history and their love story, it's an overwhelming privilege. I've made so many friends from around the world through this!”
Each pair is a personalized work of art. Thomson brainstorms with each of her clients to pinpoint specific details or meaningful sentiments to incorporate on the shoe.
“Eight to 12 items are what fit comfortably on most pairs of shoes, so that helps narrow things down and not make it too overwhelming,” Thomson, of Windsor, Ontario, explained. “Some brides have a lot of ideas or share the whole story of their relationship with me and let me surprise them with what I think stands out and will work best visually. Others only have one or two requests.”
And she has certainly gotten a few odd requests in the past. Everything from a human heart to an ostrich egg and even a “Star Wars” LEGO, but she says that’s exactly what makes the shoes so special.
“I just love that so much of what goes on the shoes doesn't make any sense to anyone but the couple,” she said.
The delicate designs take her about six to eight hours to complete. Thomson uses both fabric paints and calligraphy inks, depending on the shoes, the fabrics, the colors and the design.
And although she may put the final creative touches on the shoe, the bride always picks the specific pair herself.
“I always recommend brides send me their shoes so they know they fit and are comfortable before I paint them. I also suggest breaking them in first if there's time,” Thomson said.
Her one-of-a-kind wedding shoes do cost a pretty penny -- the starting price is $598 -- but for a bride truly looking to feel like a princess on her big day, these are the equivalent to Cinderella’s glass slipper.