Tamara Levin always had a thing for shoes. Even when she worked in the city and the pedestrian trekkers would pound the Manhattan pavement opting to stride in comfortable footwear, Ms. Levin never faltered from wearing her stylish classic pumps in a panoply of colors. It wasn’t simply that she liked the added height — she is 5-feet tall; it was that she just liked the shoes.
Fast forward to today. Ms. Levin, who had worked in corporate America as an HR executive and now works in education, has taken her penchant for shoes and her propensity for creativity and has come up with a dream answer for the dancer at a simcha — be it the bat mitzvah girl, her mother, a bride, a member of the bride’s family or bridal party, or anyone else who wants to dance in comfort — and style.
Simcha sneakers are the perfect combination of comfort, whimsy, personality, and beauty tied together.
“It started many years ago,” she said. “I was at a wedding where the bride was wearing the most beautiful shoes beneath her flowing princess style wedding gown. They weren’t 4-inch heeled pumps or sandals. They were sneakers covered with lace and rhinestones that perfectly accented her elegant gown. Now that, I thought, is not only adorable but so practical. This bride could go on dancing for hours in comfort and in style.”
Some years later, her friend who has a fun, spunky, and whimsical personality, was getting married. To match her vibrant character, Ms. Levin decided to make her a pair of sneakers coated in a sequined material with her favorite colors of deep purple and hot pink, accented with gold bling and matching shoelaces. To most, that would have been a sacrilege, to wear anything but pure white to adorn her white gown. But, she said, her unique personality rocked those hot pink sneakers under that perfect white dress with beams of color and sparkles radiating from the dance floor.
Most recently, Ms. Levin said, a very close friend asked her to make a pair of shoes for her daughter for her bat mitzvah. She wanted to dance and not have the pain of wearing heels.
“I jumped on the project like those shoes were going straight to the runway,” she said. “With a picture of the seafoam green dress with gold leaf pattern in hand, I got busy designing, crafting and frankly, having way too much fun. A few jewels, some glitter, and a lot of love later, Julianne’s shoes came to life. And so did the idea for creating Fit to be Tied Simcha Sneakers.”
Ms. Levin works with her clients getting the color and concept down. She might use extra fabric that matches the dress or any other inspired bling, glitter, or other embellishments. Each pair of shoes is hand-crafted, so the lead time varies, but she does need an average of four to six weeks to design and create the shoes, which start with plain white canvas shoes.
Thus far, she has designed shoes for women, but would also design for men.
It thrills her when she delivers the shoes to the delight of the recipient.
“I love envisioning what they have in their head and making that vision a reality for them, but what stands out to me most is watching their faces light up, possibly from the amount of sparkle on the shoes, as they open the box and imagine wearing their special footwear on their special day.”
But most importantly, Ms. Levin said, “It is all about you (the celebrant). It is not my design. If you have an idea, I’d love to have that come to life. My goal is for you to love. It and to enjoy it on that happy day.”
To check out her designs of Fit To be Tied Simcha Sneakers on Instagram, @tammylevdesigns_designs.