i stumbled upon manimal moccasins when searching for some unique shoe options for the little man. we were in love with his minnetonka fringed booties, but i started feeling like everyone had a pair, this realization suddenly making them not as cool. created by designer and mama, kristen lombardi, each manimal moccasin is a unique, handmade creation by a team of no more than three craftspeople. kristen works with leather and suede to create handmade accessories for both adults and littles, inspired by a deep appreciation for the almost forgotten world of artisan crafts and craftsmanship. manimal is a careful, quiet operation in brooklyn, new york.
after a quick email exchange with kristen, i knew that we would be fast friends. she is a mama to an almost two year old little boy named theo (his birthday is coming up this month) and when i spied theo running around in a pair of gorgeous little moccasins, i knew that holden had to have a pair or two. ever since they arrived on our doorstep, holden has been living in them and we get stopped everywhere we go with people asking about them.
if you’re looking for some new and unique kicks for your little one, check out manimal’s spring lookbook and a short little interview with the amazingly talented kristen below.
How did you start Manimal?
Manimal was formed in 2004 after my first visit to the American Southwest. When I returned, I spent a long time searching for hand made moccasins similar to those I had seen. Finally I broke down and made a very rough pair for myself and my traveling companion. While I had been a maker of things since childhood, this was my first experience working with leather and I was immediately in love with the process.
What inspires you in your creations?
I’m always influenced by the arts and crafts traditions of other cultures.
How do you balance work life and mama life?
I don’t even worry about balance, since I think it’s pretty much impossible to achieve. I’m happy to be able to work alongside my son, but it’s definitely distracting because he’s super fun and I don’t want to miss a thing! I’d say I pull it off thanks to late nights and lots of help from my husband!
Has Theo influenced the products that you make?
For sure. I’ve been expanding the kids line more and more since becoming a mom.
What brings you happiness?
Time with the family!
Three things you are loving at the moment for yourself and Theo?