Ohio Native Leaves Career as a Scientist and Professor to Become a Shoemaker
Ann Krause, an MSU graduate and former University of Toledo assistant professor of ecology, is now hoping to resurrect a lost art.
Ms. Krause met with a journalist from The Blade and she arrived in shoes that she handmade herself.
"I'm calling it a Mary Jane meets boot," she said, referring to her new prototype shoe.
After serving as an assistant professor at Toledo, Mr. Krause wanted to pursue something new that she loved and that gave her a sense of doing good. She started her new venture: Swan Creek Shoemaker a few years after leaving her career as a teacher. Swan Creek Shoemaker produces custom, handmade shoes.
The products that Ms. Krause works with are very popular items, especially the leather. The average consumer wears at least four leather products at any given time.
Ms. Krause's website has five styles of shoes available for both men and women. All the items she sells are named after Ohio rivers, creeks, and other landmarks.
The customizability, Ms. Krause says, is the reason why her clients love her shoes so much and not just because of the style, colors or buckles present on them.
"The shoe will not fit anyone else's foot," Ms. Krause adds.
She has known she wanted to go into science since she was a little girl, which is why she spent two decades as an environmental scientist. The major career switch came at a time when her daughter reached kindergarten age and Ms. Krause wanted to spend more time with her.
"It was hard to have such a young child and also try to balance that workload," Ms. Krause said. "I wanted to find something that was more compatible with also being with my daughter."
Ann Krause has been taking shoemaking classes since 2015 and ensures that all of the leather she purchased for her shoes are from U.S. companies that follow stringent environmental laws.
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