Discover the Wonderful World of Debra Hovel Footwear
Because luxury is personal
By Debra Hovel
My husband Richard and I first visited Palm Springs in about 1999 just before we sold our design company in Minneapolis. We stayed in Palm Desert and found it to be so suburban we drove into Palm Springs and drove around trying to see what made it so special. It took us two visits before we discovered the Art Museum, Uptown design district and Modernism Week. Then we were goners.
I have always been a “maker”. All the things like sewing, crocheting, knitting, embroidery, painting, drawing, and print making were my passions. However, I could never figure out how to make shoes, which I thought would be a fun adventure. So when I read an article about a woman in New York who made shoes, by hand, I tracked her down and begged her to teach me.
I started making my shoes, Debra Hovel Footwear, in the fall of 2010. My husband Richard (a designer and sculptor) and I, along with 2 other kindred spirits, purchased an old Elks Lodge on 10 acres in the high desert near Palm Springs that is being repurposed as a working studio for the founders and a retreat space for special events. We have named this very special place MAKERVILLE and it is home to my studio. I find inspiration in the desert surrounding at my home in sunny Palm Springs, California, in my travels and in my never ending interest in antique royal, religious and 1920's footwear and fashion.
It takes some time to make the shoes but here is the simple version: I trace and measure the client’s feet asking questions about pains, arches and any other info they care to share so I have a very good understanding about what they like and don’t like about shoes and where I might need to customize them. Then I have a conversation with them about the kind of shoes they dream of having made- heels, flats, sandals, boots etc. Once we have the style ironed out it’s time to talk color, texture and materials. My shoes are unique, one-of-a-kind designs. There is no production line, just me, an artisan shoemaker.
If you are interested in owning your own piece of Debra’s artwork, contact her and request a consultation and measure session. She suggests you take a look at her website, Debra Hovel Footwear, to get a feel for the kind of shoes she designs.
Note: Debra and Richard also manage The Desert Star, a historically significant mid-century modern Palm Springs property. Book your stay today.