About Chickpea Kid

Chickpea Kid in Queens, NYC
New York maker of Baby Shoes with Buckle in Multiple Colors, Lambskin Baby Ballet Shoes in Multiple Colors, Toddler Cowboy Boots in Multiple Colors, Toddler Winged Boots in Multiple Colors. Founder: Emily Spray

They say the cobbler's children have no shoes, but that couldn't be further from the truth when it comes to Emily Spray.

This Portland, Oregon-native moved to NYC in late-1980s and took courses at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). At FIT she honed her shoe-making talents in the Accessories Design program, and worked in the custom-shoe field for a time.

Her next step was returning to school (Hunter College in this case), to major in Creative Writing. Emily parlayed her training into storytelling and songwriting; the latter skill enabled her collaboration with her singer/songwriter husband, Matt Keating.

Launched in 2006, the Chickpea Kid line of handmade shoes is the result of all of Emily's accumulated know-how, topped with a heavy dose of motherhood; she and Matt are raising a daughter (and elected to educate her in the New York City public school system). She makes shoes she wants her own daughter to wear: by sourcing materials from American suppliers (including many in NYC); by designing the shoes to be unstructured and flexible, "which are the healthiest kind for tender, growing feet," she says; by making her products by hand in her Long Island City studio, and by crafting a story of something timeless with a modern twist of whimsical color.

As it turns out, the cobbler's child is incredibly well-heeled, in lambskin ballet slippers, leather buckle shoes and cowhide cowboy boots.

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