Little Friend’s toes are knocking the tips of her shoes. When I attempt to shove one of her compliant feet into her too-small shoes, she gives me a squawk and a look that surely means, “What in the world do you think you’re doing?!” I keep shoving anyway, because I can’t bear to face the implications of her growing feet. Lest you think my fears stem from mourning my baby growing up, let me assure you, primarily I am concerned with fashion. Little Friend’s Livie & Luca shoes are just too darn precious and well made to pack away in a closet just yet! So squeeze those toes in there, Little Friend.
I remember the sticker shock I had when I started pricing kid’s shoes six months ago when Little Friend took her first wobbly steps. Since I rarely spend more that $30 on my own shoes at TJ Maxx and then proceed to wear the bejeezus out of them for years, I figured that kid’s shoes, discarded quicker than shark’s teeth, would surely be priced accordingly. Wrong. Even the tacky, plastic, ill-fitting footwear at big box stores was going to set me back about $15 to $20 a pop. And the higher end brands recommended by my experienced mom friends? Well, let’s just say those prices made my TJ Maxx shoe addiction look like basement bargains.
I quickly decided if I was going to have to pony up hard-earned cash for kid’s footwear, I was going to get my money’s worth out of the deal. Along came Livie & Luca shoes, and in my ever so humble opinion, this brand is in a league of its own in terms of quality and design. Every other brand I’ve tried (running the gamut from cheap to expensive, unknown to well-known) has proven to be far inferior. If I could wedge my own feet into Little Friend’s London Boots, you’d better bet I’d be sporting a pair too.
You’ve heard of eye-candy, so when it comes to Livie & Luca shoes, allow me to coin the term foot-candy. Truly, these shoes turn heads. When Little Friend prances about in her Brown Elephants, other moms stop to comment, trying, but not quite succeeding, to conceal the envy in their voices. While I’d like to waltz into a store, gesture to every single pair of Livie & Luca shoes and declare in my best Elizabeth Taylor impression, “I’ll take them all, darling,” my budget constraints force me to choose just one or two favorites for each season. I’m currently stalking the achingly sweet Pio-Pio and the whimsical yet practical Tierra.
Livie & Luca shoes exude quality. It’s in the creamy leather that softens luxuriously with each step. It’s in the hardy rubber soles that hold up under all the pounding, scraping, stumbling, and frolicking of childhood. It’s in the fact that each and every pair is HAND MADE. So accustomed are we to assembly line production, that a truly hand-made-with-love product like Livie & Luca shoes pummels even the closest competition. Add to all of these compelling facts the knowledge that Livie & Luca is a company started and run by three hard-working, quality-committed moms, and I’m ready to pledge my “I dos” and stay faithful to this brand for life. (Or at least as long as I can ethically shove Little Friend’s feet into their shoes.)
Once I can force myself to accept the inevitable (taxes must be paid, tomatoes are a fruit, and kids outgrow shoes), I will have to pack away my first round of Livie & Luca shoes. Fortunately for all of us, the mom masterminds behind Livie & Luca have made it a bit easier for me to deal with my loss: donating used shoes to children living in poverty. Livie & Luca has partnered with Art for Humanity to provide gently used kids shoes to low-income families in Honduras. As if the warm squishy feeling of helping others wasn’t repayment enough for a kind deed, Livie & Luca adds one more incentive to the pass-the-love campaign: coupons for free ground shipping per each pair of donated toddler’s shoes. (Consult the Sharing page of the Livie & Luca website for more details.)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I really shouldn’t waste one more minute. I managed to smash Little Friend’s feet in her Brown Elephants this morning, so a promenade is in order while we can still sashay in true Livie & Luca style.
Livie & Luca shoes can be ordered online, and some fortunate readers will find a retail store nearby that sells these adorable foot-candy creations. Sales rotate with regular basis on Livie and Luca’s website, so check back frequently to catch your favorite style in the appropriate size. Pittsburgh dwellers can try on these adorable shoes in person at my favorite children’s boutique, The Picket Fence in Shadyside.