HOUSTON — So many of us hoped to be moon-walking into the next round of the playoffs two games ago. But at least three people are glad this series is stretched to the limit. Maximum games means major money!
Wearing a Houston Astros baseball cap and t-shirt, artist Adric Kennedy worked on a pair of navy Converse shoes. "Customers always ask, 'How’s it going to look when it’s all done?' Me, myself, I do not know," said Kennedy as he carefully painted the tennis shoe.
Customizing shoes became a full-time job for Kennedy about 19 years ago. His daughter was sick and he needed to stay home.
Nearly two decades and countless pairs of shoes later, Kennedy can whip up custom footwear in under an hour. Detailed ornate shoes, like some custom sneakers with the hand-painted face of James Harden, still take the Houston artist hours.
If you take a five-hour drive south of Houston, you'll find Gabriela Rodriguez in Brownsville, customizing everything from shoes to suitcases.
"I love how much peace it brings to me," said Rodriguez. "Like, I love drawing and I love seeing people’s reactions."
The Rio Grande Valley stay-at-home mom found a way to share her art with Astros fans all over the world. So did Cypress mom Savannah Evans.
"It’s exciting to see what I’m capable of because I’m always being pushed to try new things," said Evans.
More playoff games equals more work for the artists who charge anywhere from $25 to $1,500 for custom shoes.
"You want an actual person like Verlander or Altuve, that’s going to be a little bit more," said Evans, who's sold shoes with the hand-painted faces of the Astros athletes.
"When you get something custom, you’re going to be the only person who has that shoe," said Kennedy.
HOW TO CONTACT THE ARTIST:
- Adric Kennedy: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Instagram: AKKUSTOMZ_ACCESSORIES_1977
- Gabriela Rodriguez: email@example.com; or search "Hand Made by Gaby" on Facebook
- Savannah Evans: firstname.lastname@example.org; or search "Saavy Shoe Design" on Facebook
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