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I started making handmade, high-end gem jewelry in late 2007, early 2008. I was bored, working for an energy company and feeling like this couldn’t be where I was going to end up. I knew that there was something more in store for me.

I have always been creative. My mother says that as a child I would stay up until all hours of the night and into the morning creating, cutting, pasting, drawing, sewing and painting – which got me in trouble more than not seeing that it was 3:00 am and I had school the next day. I would create everything from paper dolls to greeting cards, I never limited myself on my creations, the sky was the limit and I believe it still is.

My jewelry became a hobby, something to do with my hands and it turned into a small business. By word of mouth, and because I was self taught, I was being asked to participate in trunk shows left and right. I wasn’t sure about how good my jewelry actually was and I slowly progressed to create my own style, which I most like to describe as “dainty.” I slowly began to build confidence in my work and even spent my tax return on creating a website. I was doing ok; I found a creative outlet to remove me from my mundane boring job and started making contacts.

I fully believe that every job, every experience, every person you meet impacts and creates your life in a dynamic way and leads you to your destiny. I was so excited about my new endeavor that I decided to gchat a good friend of my brother’s that he went to high school with, John, who worked in New York as a film director. He shot a lot of music videos for various artists and was quite talented. I mentioned my jewelry to him and I even sent him photos and the next thing I knew he was asking me if I would like to be a part of his pitch for a new grassroots campaign for KEDS! Of course I jumped at the opportunity. He said that KEDS was looking to feature different artisans from all over the country and that they had currently picked around 10 different people. John needed one more person from Texas and thought I was the perfect fit.

I wasn’t sure what this all entailed, but it sounded great. They had a glass blower, a girl who was the stylist for SNL, a horror movie mask creator, and a few different bands. A few months went by and I was eagerly waiting to hear from the big heads at KEDS on whether or not they would pick me up as an artist. Then one day I got the call: John and crew met me in Austin and we shot my commercial, which I have to laugh at now because I had no idea as to what I was doing! Within the month I was given my own shoe line in the KEDS Collective and have been creating shoes for the Collective Brand under my name since. I was able, through contacts with John, to get my KEDS shoes on various artists such as Justin Vernon from Bon Iver who wore them on the Jimmy Fallon show last fall while performing with Gayngs.

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A few designs from my line with KEDS.

I have since done a tour with KEDS for their “How Do You Do Tour” in Austin, Texas during SxSW where I hand painted on shoes for events at different locations. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful to KEDS for their support. I think it really pushed me and inspired me more to create my clothing line, Emili Adamé, which will be out in spring of 2012. I continue to be inspired and moved on a daily basis and will continue to trek up the mountain. I am working really hard to create a brand and I am not afraid of a little hard work to make it happen.

~Emili

Emili Adamé is a designer and an artist living in Houston, Texas. She currently has a semi- precious Jewelry line, a shoe line through the KEDS Collective, and is working on two clothing lines.

Want to score your own pair of Emili’s exclusive KEDS? Simply let us know in the comments below “how you do your KEDS” by 9:30am EST on Friday, September 2nd for you chance to win one of 5 pairs!

42 Comments

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    Sep 5, 2011, 02.22 AMby jeffdussair

    Great story! People that are unsure of their future but have a creative and artistic ability should read this and know that hard work pays off! congrats and good luck in your endeavors!

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    Sep 1, 2011, 01.46 AMby mackenziechile

    I love shoes and this are so creative!!!! I want the strawberry shoes!!!!

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    Aug 31, 2011, 07.24 PMby crocka

    This is truly an inspirational blog post! What Emili has done and created for herself just goes to show that you shouldn’t ever give up on a passion of yours and to keep following/doing it. Thank you Emili for reassuring us out there who are in the early stages of what you have done/created.

    As for my KEDS. I love to create and play with hand drawn patterns I draw. I would love to see a type inspired pattern or geometrical pattern of mine on a pair of KEDS.

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    Aug 31, 2011, 03.23 AMby aie

    Well, I have never had a pair of keds, but I like them very much, the way they fit the foot is nice and looks great. I also like very much to decorate my own shoes by painting them, and I think it’s awesome that Emili thought the same thing one day and now she designs succesfully for keds. It would be nice to try one pair of her design someday.

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    Aug 31, 2011, 03.23 AMby aie

    Well, I have never had a pair of keds, but I like them very much, the way they fit the foot is nice and looks great. I also like very much to decorate my own shoes by painting them, and I think it’s awesome that Emili thought the same thing one day and now she designs succesfully for keds. It would be nice to try one pair of her design someday.

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    Aug 30, 2011, 11.08 PMby iamanartist

    I love Keds. They’re my favorite go to shoe.

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    Aug 30, 2011, 08.49 PMby silkswithattitude

    Love Keds any which way you can wear them! In the yard, with a skirt, shorts, every time but when we have 6 feet of snow on the ground! No kidding – last winter 75 inches! Hoping Mother Nature is kind this year so I can be a Keds Girl as long as possible!

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    Aug 30, 2011, 08.05 PMby reneec386

    I love your keds & your story is so inspirational. I will do my keds with pretty pastel flower. Or maybe my name in graffiti.

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    Aug 30, 2011, 08.03 PMby toughywoughy

    I LOVE keds! I own 10 pairs! I really like the Collective shop, and the fact that anyone can customize their keds with Zazzle.com. I like to use fabric paint on canvas shoes to give them a different texture, especially metallics and glow paint!

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    Aug 30, 2011, 07.48 PMby applecake

    I love these keds. They remind of some white pimsols that I had when I was a little girl and I lived in Brazil in the mid 70s where it was the ‘in’ thing to have them customised and embroidered. Mine had different shades of pink rickrack. I’d love to own a pair Keds (I’ve never had a pair) in bright colours which have personality! These ones by Emili are simply stunning!

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    Aug 30, 2011, 07.20 PMby kdschafer

    I love Ked’s!!! They are so comfy. Like RoniBarr, I too doodled on my Ked’s during class. My daughter took the last pair of white ones and took her Sharpie markers to them. They look cute. Loved the story and the shoes. Keep creating!!

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    Aug 30, 2011, 07.05 PMby snowm64

    I once dyed a pair of Keds. Would love to wear one of Emili’s designs!

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    Aug 29, 2011, 05.32 PMby alicelidell

    I tend to dye them, and draw them with sharpies…. I sometimes change the shoelaces… I love keds. They look so neat!!!

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    Aug 29, 2011, 04.01 PMby ChaiHar

    I love to have buttons of all sizes, shapes and colours on my pair of keds and do not have to worry it will not blend well with any coloured top and jean.

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    Aug 29, 2011, 02.30 PMby prima

    I love customized shoes. They add flair to everyday outfits without even thinking about it. It’s great. I do my keds with sharpies and fabric markers. Then I redo the laces with ribbons or chain. Becareful with chains though some are bulky or too small and fall off. the best way to do your keds is to put them on your feet and let others doodle (esp. if your not super creative or artsy or can’t commit to one design). I like to bomb my shoes.

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    Aug 29, 2011, 12.37 PMby artepart

    Emili’s Keds are just great,I glue little pieces of fabric on mine and tie them up with some extra lace and fancy ribbons.

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    Aug 29, 2011, 11.25 AMby Jacqueline Kellly

    I love these designs! :)

    I decorated mine with several markers -different colors. I made hearts, flowers and added a couple of pins. Looked pretty cool. :D

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    Aug 29, 2011, 08.55 AMby RoniBarr

    I love the KEDS with the feathers. They would look great with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I’d love to win a pair of her shoes – they are all very awsome! And I remember years of doodling on my KEDS during boring classes… :D

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    Aug 29, 2011, 02.21 AMby lionsforlove

    love them! i do keds like everything, with lots of feathers.

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    Aug 29, 2011, 12.48 AMby turtlegirl00

    keds! a classic! I love these with a contemporary spin—excellent! i would love any of them—they are all so fun and versatile—cute with jeans!

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    Aug 28, 2011, 10.18 PMby SewnLovely

    Love the idea of taking a classic and putting a contemporary spin on it, I used to see my mom in keds all the time growing up and I’m happy that I can have a pair(or more) that I can wear that shows off my style while not jipping me on the comfort! : ]

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    Aug 28, 2011, 07.47 PMby MamanADroit

    I have a hot pink pair I wear with like everything! I love that canvas shoes have made a comeback and I especially love all the quirky designs available now :)

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    Aug 28, 2011, 06.23 PMby WhisperingPines

    These are so cute! I hope I win the giveaway lol! I like the feathery ones featured on the opposite page :)

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    Aug 28, 2011, 02.03 PMby verypurpleperson

    Love all the designs! I would love to draw puppies, kittens, and baby bunnies on my white keds :)

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    Aug 27, 2011, 11.35 PMby cequimby

    Love your designs! When I was little, our very creative baby sitter would draw cartoons and designs all over our Keds. I remember sharks being a favorite motif, maybe because we watched Jaws around then. He was pretty talented! If I made my own today I might try to dye them in an ombre – that might look pretty cool!

    1 Reply
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      Aug 28, 2011, 12.26 PMby pedal2carpet

      Ombre – great idea

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    Aug 27, 2011, 12.08 PMby takenotice

    I would like a rainbow in a size 8

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    Aug 27, 2011, 07.31 AMby Kalisha Hissett

    Love these! Stumbled on some today that had peacock feathers painted on, so beautiful :)

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    Aug 27, 2011, 05.57 AMby squiddlepop

    I decorated my shoes with random patterns and pictures with washable markers. I then put water all over them and smudged the colors to create an awesome tie-dye effect!!! c:

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    Aug 27, 2011, 01.37 AMby suzanneallen

    frayed around the edges :)

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