Softstar Staff Gets Creative at March 2017 Playday

Softstar Staff Gets Creative at March 2017 Playday

It's time again for one of our favorite days of the year at the Softstar workshop: PLAYDAY!

Once or twice a year, we set aside a day to stop making shoes for a few hours and let our staff work on any creative project of their choosing. The projects don't have to have anything to do with shoes--though they often do, because our staff is always dreaming up new shoe creations they'd like to make. The goal of these playdays is to encourage our staff to explore their skills, spark new ideas around the shop and, most importantly, to make our workplace fun.

At the end of each playday we have a show & tell, in which every Softstar elf shows what he or she made, and talks about any skills or lessons learned in the process. Our employees have a wide range of skills ranging from leatherworking and sewing to sketching and designing... and some of our office workers rarely pick up a pair of shears. It's always exciting for us to see the variety of finished projects.

Below are the highlights of our recently completed March 2017 Playday (we left out projects that involved cleaning or reorganizing parts of our shop). If you'd like to see projects from past Playdays, you can either search our blog or view this gallery highlighting every Playday project since 2013...

See ALL Past Playday Projects

Use the comments below to tell us which projects you like best. And sorry, but these are not for sale on our website.


Ali made a leather earring holder, plus a fringed coin purse and a variety of leather jewelry.


Elizabeth worked on a sandal design and made a leather top hat.


Emily made a seat cushion out of sheepskin scraps.


Emily also experimented with a Chukka-Moccasin hybrid.


Hava made a ruffled leather purse and a tasseled leather belt.


Heather upcycled leather scraps to make coffee cup holders.


Jodie used leather scraps to make page corner bookmarks.


Karen upcycled old size tags to make a "beaded" curtain.


Katie made a hand-tooled leather coaster, and also experimented with motifs made from salmon leather (supplied by a local fisherman).


Keita made a suede leather backpack.


Ken made a "Ducky" Merry Jane shoe.


Kylie made a snakeprint bicycle seat cover, a Superman dream catcher and a couple leather bracelets.


Lauren A. made a leather portfolio.


Lauren F. made a decorative leather bracelet.


Martin made a leather jigsaw puzzle.


Patty worked on leather quilting patterns.


Rob modified a Dash RunAmoc and made a bracelet out of round leather scraps.


Sarah made a sandal with snakeprint leather straps.


Stephanie made a greeting card decorated with leather flowers, a braided leather necklace and experimented with a design for a leather placemat.

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  1. Amy Puls
    What fun! I like Emily's Chukkamocs, Heather's coffee cozies, and Martin's jigsaw puzzle best.
  2. Chester Martin
    I'm fairly certain Emily has been receiving my hopeful daydreams for the chukkamocs! I would absolutely love to see something like this added to the wonderful softstar lineup. The style would have added tick/bug, burr and moisture protection, while still having as thin and flexible sole as possible.
  3. Ady N
    I'd also love to see a chukkamoc option (and a higher coverage boot style moccasin too,) especially if the foot pattern shape is more like a Roo than the Chukka. I like the Chukka style, but the shape of the toe box on the current version is simply too tapered for my foot shape (my foot really needs a boxier toebox, more like the cut of the baby/toddler shoes.)
  4. Erica
    I, too, liked Emily's chukkamoc hybrid. Did she make a pair and is she wearing them? They look soft as butter! All the other designs are wonderful as well!
    1. Elf Martin
      Glad you like them, Erica! No, she isn't wearing them... she just made the one shoe as a quick prototype. It would need a lot more work to be developed into a shoe that was durable and fit well.
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