Tuesday, December 29, 2009


So during 15 minutes of boredom and lack of inspiration, I made a list of all my shoes (excluding flip-flops, slippers, and prom shoes).  I have a wearable rotation of 29 pairs of shoes, 15 of which are sneakers (or sneaker-esque).  This means 52% of the shoes I wear are sneakers.

* today I bought these bad boys by Nanette Lepore for Keds for $7.34! MSRP = $120

From this list I can conclude 3 things about myself:
1. I like shoes more than clothing
2. I'm on my way to becoming a sneaker-fiend
3. The affinity I have for sneakers is counter-intuitive to my gender, and I need to accept the fact that I am, indeed, a girl and not a boy.

My struggle with gender is not a new one--boys can get away with almost everything! Boys can get more tattoos, cooler clothes are made for boys, and cooler shoes are DEFINITELY made for boys (except in the case of Black&Lu--the male market is not one I've made a foray into, other than the previously posted customized Kanye/Common Vans, which technically were not by Black&Lu). 

Boys get to have all the fun. 


Monday, December 28, 2009

it really has been too long...

I know it's been an embarassingly long time since I updated Black&Lu, but with the closing of the semester and the commencement of winter break I haven't had much news to speak of!  A poor excuse, I know, I know.

I'm starting the search for venues I can sell Black&Lu shoes through in Richmond.  One e-mail has been sent, another is drafted, and I'm sure there will be more to come.  I'll let you guys know if there are any developments and if you can start finding Black&Lu at a store near you (can you tell how difficult it is not for me to take advantage of the endless rhyming possibilities with the word "Lu?")!

The book I've kind of been using as my bible through this whole turning-my-creative-hobby-into-a-business process is "Craft Inc: Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business" from Chronicle books.

One of the suggestions I read in it tonight regarded creative blogging, and the potential this process has to increase the success of your business.

SO, I've made it my unofficial New Year's Resolution to start updating this blog more!  And to include more personal tangents -- primarily more of an inclusion of inspirations and ideas, and an analyzation of the struggles of being a busting-ass art student attempting to become a captain of industry!  Plus I need to become friendlier with technology -- right now internet publishing is the Jerry to my Tom (ten points if you get that reference).

*Notice how it is an "unofficial" New Year's Resolution?  That's to protect myself from any liability resulting from an eventual decline in blogging once the spring semester starts and I REALLY start busting-ass.

I haven't made any shoes lately (considering I have 35 unsold pairs piled under a desk in my apartment), but I DID bleach/tie-dye some nifty tights (bought for $4 at the ole Christiansburg Wal-mart) and a Polo shirt my dad bought me that I never wear because it was just another Polo shirt.  Well not anymore!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's a bust, folks

So the show in Charlottesville that was supposed to be Black&Lu's headlining debut was a TOTAL bust.  Without getting into too much gory detail, it was poorly run, poorly advertised, and barely profitable.  

However, this failure only gave me more motivation to get Black&Lu off and running as an actual business, not occasional craft show success.  So I've opened a shop on Etsy!  So far I only have five pairs of shoes posted, but it's still worth a look.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

this weekend!

Ok, so I've completely neglected my blog in the past month.  Between making shoes and school projects, updating the blog fell to the wayside.

BUT, my show is this weekend!  And I want to thank my mom's good friend Susan Flinchum again for her generous donations to Black & Lu.  She's been a great help and support!

See you Saturday-


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

dumb names

Looking back at my entries makes me realize how terrible I am at "naming" the different styles of shoes that I make.  Any suggestions?  I pretty much hate all of the names, haha.  I'm tempted to just start opening the dictionary and point to a word when it's time to post pictures to the blog...

Later y'alls.  We'll be seein' ya.


holy crap! i've been so busy!

So I've been really busy working on projects for school.  I have two critiques this week, and then a mandatory pewter workshop this weekend, but I was able to finish four pairs of shoes last weekend!  

I have to drive to Charlottesville tomorrow to pick up a pair of shoes that I dropped off a week ago at the Hook office.  The Hook is the independent newspaper sponsoring the Artisan Market where Black&Lu will debut, so look for my shoes in their ad!  Hopefully they'll be in the ad...if not I'll be even more ornery about having to drive 2-hours round trip just to pick up a pair of my shoes.  

Anyhow, here's what I've finished lately!





Oh, and I redesigned my business card too!

On that note, I'm in dire need of a Diet Coke.  


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

FINALLY a new update

So I've been working really hard in school for the last two weeks and have only produced three new pairs since my last update.  I'm trying to stay optimistic while also remembering the show in November will probably creep up on me faster than I know it...I mean, hey, it's already freaking October!  

How does this happen?  Where the heck does time go?

WAKE UP, $30


TILES, $30

By the way, I've noticed that blogger has a mind of its own when it comes to underlining things and hyperlinking other things without my permission.  So excuse any strange formatting that appears, it's just the ghost in the machine!  


Monday, September 21, 2009

god forbid something happen to my hands...

Here's the shoes I finished yesterday!  I started experimenting with safety pins, and I really like the effect.


If these weren't a size 5, I would be incredibly tempted to keep them.


Excuse the horrible blur in this picture...


That's all for now!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

the start of it all...

Hey y'all, I finished three more pairs of shoes tonight, but by the time I finished it was dark outside.  I'll take pics and post them tomorrow! 

I did want to, however, post this picture from my crappy cell-phone camera.  I made these shoes for my ex-boyfriend for Christmas 2007.  He couldn't wear them because one of them had a weird lump within the sole that we could never figure out/remove, but they still looked freaking sweet!

Chi-city's finest...

Kanye and Common.  Well, I'm not sure I'd still consider Kanye to be that respectable anymore.  But I used to like him!  These are made with a three-layer hand cut stencil, which I don't really do anymore, but it's where I started and a technique I may go back to in the future.

That's all for tonight!  A trip down memory lane.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

finally an update

I've been so busy with school this past week but I've finally found some time to update and post pics of some new shoes!

I would also like to thank my mom's good friend, Susan Flinchum, a recent reader of the blog, for her donation to Black & Lu.  It makes me feel really good about what I'm doing with Hopeline and suicide prevention to have someone like Susan rooting for me!

A note about requests and commissions: I won't be able to take requests until after the November 21st show in Charlottesville.  Any product I turn out before then needs to be devoted to the Artisan market, but don't worry!  I haven't forgotten about the five or six of you who have requested shoes.  I'll let everyone know when I can start filling these orders.  Thanks for understanding y'all.







Monday, August 31, 2009

no new shoes, just NEWS!

I'm really excited about writing this because something I've wanted to do for a long time is finally happening!

Most people who know me know that about a year and a half ago, on January 11, 2008, my best friend Corbin Blackford took his own life.  I could write for pages and pages about what an awesome, incomparable person he was, and how much of a good friend he was to me.  The words I would put down though would still never fully explain how much I cared about him, and how much of an impact his friendship, and death, would make on my life.  

I've wanted to do something since then to prevent other families and friends from going through what we all went through when Corbin died.  The Kristin Brooks Hope Center was born out of this same pain, and there is no better suicide resource to devote any time, energy, or money to other than the Hope Center and their national suicide prevention phone line, Hopeline (hopeline.com, 1-800-SUICIDE).  

SO, I'm planning on donating a percentage of the profit of each pair of shoes I sell to the Kristin Brooks Hope Center.  The work this non-profit organization does hits me to the core, as I'm sure it does any other suicide survivor.  I'll update the blog once the contract and legalities have been sorted out with details, more information, etc.

Buy some shoes!  Do it for Corbin, do it for me, do it for anyone who has ever lost someone because of depression and suicide.



Sunday, August 30, 2009

afternoon delight

New shoes from the weekend so far!





Thursday, August 27, 2009

a little somethin' somethin'

I have a few new pairs of shoes that I've been working on.  I'm planning on selling them for about $28-$30/pair, but certain pairs that required more work or materials will probably be a little more ($35-$40).  I'm going to start including prices under photos of each pair I post.

If you see the blog and would like a pair, but can't make it to the Charlottesville Omni on November 21st to check them out, please e-mail me!  I'm working hard on my inventory and this little thing called college, but will certainly consider commissions or special requests.


DARE, $30




Thursday, August 20, 2009

my name is lucy gillis and i make shoes.

My name is Lucy Gillis and I make shoes.  I like the shoes that I make, and I hope other people will too...or at least enough to buy them!  

June 2009

June 2009

July 2009

July 2009

July 2009

July 2009

August 2009

August 2009

August 2009

These are all from my line, Black & Lu, which is debuting at the Charlottesville Artisan Market in late November.  They're all bleached, dyed, studded, and embroidered by hand.  Currently I'm working on a fifty pair premiere. 

Until then, I'll consider taking local or in-state commissions.  Different styles, embellishments, and locations will affect the price, but I'm open to ideas and suggestions!  

I can be reached through my e-mail address:  gillisle@vcu.edu
Only serious inquiries please!  Thanks y'all.