We are apparently 'pivoting' - that tech jargon for starting over...

by Sarah Ellison Lewis


The long and short of it is this:

We built our fancy website. It cost a fortune, and it didn't work properly. And our founding tech folks quit. That's right. Stopped. We were out of their wheelhouse, the product was too complex and we were a pain because the 5k turned into a marathon. Sobeit. We are starting over. That means the world is our oyster.

But where is the Airstream? It is parked out of town because the City of Austin wanted a very fancy ordinance for non-food mobile retail. So they kicked us off our spot until we got it written. That took 14 months. La-dee-dah. They didn't train the Development Assistance Center on how to provide these permits. So every time I go into city hall to get my monthly permit, I have to train them. All of that adds up to unavailable lots that have tripled in price, shoes out of date and lot owners who look at me funny when I explain what the permit situation is.

So until the city of Austin can get with their own program, I am not being scooted around. If you want to do any good for us, call the DAC and tell them to hurry. They don't care, they are overwhelmed with construction and renovation permits, and their fancy event permits, like SXSW and all the damn hoopla happening in Austin all the time. We are, moreover, innovators who are last on the food chain. Because we aren't big developers. Are you sensing some bitterness?

It's fine. We were micro-retail mobile innovators and we set the stage. It was super fun. But it is hard to move my 42-foot rig, and I can't hire volunteers. We think it's for the best - it causes us to get better and be nimble in this thing we call capitalism.

The future: we are in talks with a developer to build a permanent space at their hotel site, as a store. We love this. It's 18 months away. We travel to special events, but there's a $3,500 up front flat fee that goes against sales. So I love your Vegas-themed fundraiser, but no, we cannot donate our time so your volunteers can look at pretty shoes. And finally, please don't call me to ask questions on how we did this, and tell you very valuable business advice on how you can do it, too. That will cost you $350 a hour. I get one call a week and really really good hard-headed mobile retailers, pony up.

That's the happy hour version. I am available at anytime for: discussions about longer-term locations. The fantastic city of Brenham, Texas hosted us for the entire fall. It was lovely. They knew a fresh visitor would rev up their customers from Houston, as well as locals. Smart, win-win. I speak at events on branding, micro-retail, and small business development. I am also a tech start-up CEO, which means nothing right now except I am giving speeches on how to communicate with so-called venture accelerators - essentially ambulance chasing tech-builders who do whatever it takes to win your cash flow from investors. No, outsourcing the tech to one of these teams is not a good idea. Because they hold the keys to your coding. And their agreements on paper are just a bunch of hooey when it comes down to having coders build an amazing UX experience.

If after you have read this you still want to know what BOOTLEG is all about, gimme a ring, shoot me a text, whathaveyou. sel@bootlegmarket.com 646.269.1316 Sarah Ellison Lewis... disgruntled serial entrepreneur and visionary, often mistaken for the homeless dreamer on east 7th street. xo


YES PLEASE: Sophia Webster x J. Crew

by Meredith Ballentine in ,


UPDATE - 4/23/14

The full collection is now available online, and we're particularly smitten with the collectible-status-worthy Finn and resort-ready Lola in that amazing orange floral print.

Sophia Webster for J. Crew Finn peep toe in madras plaid / image courtesy J. Crew

Sophia Webster for J. Crew Finn peep toe in madras plaid / image courtesy J. Crew

Christmas in April for two swooning Bootleg gals? Bueller ... Bueller? ;)

Check out Refinery29's slideshow or hop straight to J. Crew for your Wednesday's worth of humpday shoe porn happy times.

xM

#####

Originally posted 4/21/14:

The Sophia Webster x J. Crew collaboration hit stores today (online this Wednesday), and YES PLEASE, we're fans. Not surprising but exciting nonetheless.

The British shoe designer created 13 pieces for the collection, re-imagining some of her most iconic styles and beloved features using patterns and color combos that align with J. Crew's spring things. Helloooooo mish-mash prints and pops of wacky (for <̶ ̶$̶3̶0̶0̶! ...just kidding). We like.

Sophia Webster for J. Crew Anneka kitten heels / above images courtesy The Cut

Sophia Webster for J. Crew Anneka kitten heels / above images courtesy The Cut

Check out Racked and The Cut for more + photos of the collection.


Bootleg Airstream @ Austin Psych Fest

by Meredith Ballentine in


Hiya friends! We're taking Bootleg Airstream out to Austin Psych Fest for some much-needed spring sillies and Vitamin D next month, May 2-4. If you're one of the lucky guys and gals headed to this year's event, be sure to stop in for a hello and, of course, a little shoe magic.

The trailer will be fully stocked with all kinds of truly wondrous styles, including these rare beauties from cult favorite LD Tuttle, and even a few of these rare designer samples. We'll be rockin' all weekend.

Can't make it? Never fear - you can shop the Airstream's current styles (and even some archived pairs!) anytime online right from our Bootleg Market closet. :)

top: Vietnam performing at Austin Psych Fest 6 (2013), image by Jake Clifford courtesy Austin Psych Fest.

top: Vietnam performing at Austin Psych Fest 6 (2013), image by Jake Clifford courtesy Austin Psych Fest.


March Madness Makeovers - Sexy Search Engines, Oh My!

by Sarah Ellison Lewis in


This crazy thing happened when we started rearing our little baby search engine out of beta ... it became a dream come true.

What in the world might that mean? Well, it's pretty entertaining to search on our site. Like when you enter GOLD, all these beautiful editorialized gold ideas - that link to actual shoes, many for sale! - fill the screen.

The same thing happens when you begin typing a person's name, or material. Like ALLISON, or LEATHER, or your favorite brand, like LOUboutin...

So go ahead - take that much-needed coffee break and spend a spell having fun looking through our adorable shoe-discovery rabbit holes. Hop hop ... Endless entertainment thanks to our amazing Bootleg Market members who, whether selling or showcasing their shoe collections, describe every pair with love. Now you can jump into their worlds via these funny searches, and even become a part of this exciting new space by sharing your own shoe stories.

Makes Google seem a little tired, eh? We think so...


Beautiful Bright Bundling

by Sarah Ellison Lewis in ,


 Outside of Acne Studios, PFW FW13

 Outside of Acne Studios, PFW FW13

Outside Vivienne Westwood, PFW FW13

Outside Vivienne Westwood, PFW FW13

Outside Emanuel Ungaro, PFW FW13

Outside Emanuel Ungaro, PFW FW13

Outside Rochas, PFW FW13

Outside Rochas, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

 Outside Acne Studios, PFW FW13

 Outside Acne Studios, PFW FW13

 Outside Giambattista Valli, PFW FW13

 Outside Giambattista Valli, PFW FW13

Outside Stella McCartney, PFW FW13

Outside Stella McCartney, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

Outside Guy Laroche, PFW FW13

 Mugler, PFW FW13

 Mugler, PFW FW13

Street style + runway shots from the Fall/Winter presentations, captured in New York and Paris, February 2013.