Shoelace Tips

Shoelace Sites

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At the beginning of each month I like to add a post that doesn’t specifically highlight any shoelaces but rather highlights a related topic. Since I get questions about several different shoelace sites, this month I’d like to provide a little info to addresses these frequent questions.

Ian’s Shoelace Site™

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(Screenshot Copyright Ian W. Fieggen)

My favorite informational shoelace site is Ian’s Shoelace Site, and I’m definitely not alone. Customers often ask if I’ve seen this site, and I am indeed one of its millions of viewers. The site (i.e. Ian) examines every topic imaginable around shoelaces in an almost scientific manner. I’ve personally spent hours redrawing some of his lacing graphics for my own customers’ benefit, and the very first pair of shoelaces I ever made were based upon ideas and suggestions from Ian’s Shoelace Site. In addition to some of the more obvious topics, he covers everything from shoelaces in history to shoelaces in the news. Anyone who enjoys my Lost in Lace blog will surely enjoy Ian’s Shoelace Site, so check it out.

Lost in Lace™

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Another frequently asked question is where I  got the idea for Lost in Lace. I actually started with a jewelry shop on Etsy and added some shoelaces (like the ones I’d made from ideas at Ian’s site) largely to expand my listings, and before I knew it, shoelaces were outselling my jewelry. At that point I decided to open Lost in Lace, so it became my first shoelace shop. Lost in Lace is currently my only shoelace shop on Etsy, and it’s the site where I get to interact with my customers the most.

All About Shoelaces™

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The question I get on All About Shoelaces is why I would start another shoelace shop when I already have one on Etsy. That’s actually easy to explain.

Because Etsy likes to capitalize on the personal aspect of individual shop owners and how we make things by hand, I began hearing from customers who were a little uneasy about doing business in an artsy craftsy venue. They preferred the more professional facade of an independent website. From a selling standpoint, it’s also nice to have an independent site free of additional fees and restrictions. Since I had plenty of website design experience, I decided to create my vision of the optimal online shoelaces site, and my All About Shoelaces customers are simply fantastic.

Ribbon Shoelaces™

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Surely two shoelace site should be enough, right? Ribbon Shoelaces is based on requests from so many customers to see the shoelaces as they would appear laced in shoes rather than focusing on the ribbon itself. It simply suits a different type of customer better than my other two sites, and I love an excuse to design another website. 🙂

HueLaces™

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The question I get most frequently about HueLaces these days is “Where the heck did it go?”. HueLaces was created as a wholesale segment because I was receiving frequent requests from small fashion/shoe boutiques for discounts on bulk orders.  I needed to create a linesheet for the shoelaces that made sense to sell in bulk, and I needed a website put all of the information in one spot in a commercial buyer-friendly format rather than communicating with buyers through my retail shops.

With so many orders coming in through my retail sites, it was difficult to keep up with HueLaces’ customers, and I realized I  needed to make the wholesale process easier for myself. I am currently in the middle of recreating my wholesale concept, and admittedly it’s not been at the top of the priority list. HueLaces will eventually be back though.

So what’s next? At this point I’m hoping that any new ideas or frequent requests I get can be accommodated by making minor changes to my existing shoelace shops, so I have no plans at this stage to add to this set. Getting my sites into a mobile-friendly format and getting HueLaces up and running again should keep me from dreaming up any other shoelace site ideas for awhile. Should anyway… -Ann Louise

Animal Print Shoelaces – From Classic to Bold

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Animal print patterns range from classic leopard and zebra prints – used often in accessories, clothing and home decor – to the bolder prints and colors meant to stand out and make a definite statement. When used in shoelaces, pretty much anything goes!

Classic Zebra and Leopard

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These Zebra and Leopard patterns have some updated flair in these extra wide organza shoelaces. While we wouldn’t think twice to see such patterns on a purse or a pillow, using these shoelaces to replace an ankle tie in a pair of shoes gives a classic pattern a bold edge. (Click on the pictures above to view these shoelaces at the Lost In Lace shop.)

Subtle in Satin

For a classic pattern with a more subtle approach to accessorizing, these 3/8″ satin leopard print shoelaces are the right choice. Paired with any dressy brown shoes, you’ll always look well-appointed. (Click on the picture above to view these shoelaces at the Ribbon Shoelaces shop.)

And Now for Something Bolder

Sometimes you just want to stand out, and the bright colors in these animal print organza and satin laces aren’t going to let you blend in. With some colorful plastic tip options, you can’t miss the mark with these fun shoelaces. (Click on the pictures above to view these shoelaces at the All About Shoelaces shop.)

The bottom line is that we all have some room in our wardrobe from animal prints. Whether you’re the classic type or like to use a little color to express yourself, shoelaces are a great way get those animal prints into your wardrobe for a perfect “pop” of interest.  – Ann Louise

Checkered Satin Shoelaces – A Touch of Texture

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While satin is the most basic of ribbon shoelace materials, it can be nice to mix it up ever so slightly with a touch of texture like the checkered satin in this week’s featured shoelaces.

Matte & Shiny

Without adding a contrasting color, these shoelaces alternate matte and shiny weaves to create an eye-catching checkered pattern. (Click on the picture above to view these shoelaces at the Lost In Lace shop.)

All Tip Options Available

Just like standard satin, all of the tip options are available, including the Trim and Seal option. (Click on the picture above to view these shoelaces at the All About Shoelaces shop.)

Perfectly Wide

And at 5/8″ wide, they have the perfect amount of bulk to get noticed without going over the top. They simply highlight a nice pair of shoes and call attention to your attire without looking like everyone else’s shoelaces. (Click on the picture above to view these shoelaces at the Ribbon Shoelaces shop.)

The best part of Checkered Satin Ribbon Shoelaces is they aren’t “too much of this” or “too little of that”. They are always “just right”.  – Ann Louise

Tip Options for Custom Ribbon Shoelaces

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Part of the fun of designing your own ribbon shoelaces online is choosing the tips. When selecting the tips for your shoelaces, look for a style that will best accentuate the look you want as well as provide the functionality your shoes require to lace through their eyelets easily. The shops that belong to this blog offer a combination of plastic tips, metal tips and even a trim and seal option for certain types of ribbon.

Plastic Tips

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Plastic tips are heat sealed and glued in place to provide an easy way to lace shoes as well as protect the ends from fraying. They are form-fitting, so they adhere to the shape and texture of the ribbon underneath. For example, plastic tips on grosgrain shoelaces have those grosgrain ridges peaking through. Plastic tips can be very narrow when applied to narrow thin ribbons such as 1/4″ organza, and they can be quite wide when applied to wider bulky ribbons such as 7/8″ satin.

While clear plastic tips are by far the favorite choice of my customers, plastic tips do come in a full range of opaque colors as well – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Gray, Black, White and Brown. Colored tips can be used to add a nice custom touch to basic shoelaces such as putting black tips on black shoelaces, or they can bring out an accent color in shoelaces with multiple colors. They can even be mixed and matched in a Rainbow effect with a different color on each tip such as a Red, Yellow, Blue and Green combination.

Metal Tips

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Metal tips include wide crimp tips, long dangling tips and short dangling tips. All metal tips are available in either gold or silver colors.

Dangling tips are finished with a very narrow crimp with a loop on the end to add either a long (1″) dangling paddle tip or a short (3mm) dangling teardrop tip. The narrow crimps are often narrower than plastic tips when used on wider ribbons, although they don’t fit onto the really wide shoelaces such as 7/8″ satin or grosgrain. I specifically do not advise using the long dangling paddle tips for babies or toddlers, since they may pose a choking hazard.

Wide crimp tips are probably my favorite way to finish off a pair of shoelaces. Unfortunately at 3.5mm wide, they don’t fit through some eyelets. Women’s shoes can have very narrow eyelets (even just simple holes punched through leather), so I always recommend taking a close look at a shoe’s eyelets before adding the wide crimps. Whenever they fit though, I definitely think they are the way to go!

Trim and Seal

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Speaking of narrow eyelets, trim and seal tips are the best way to get ribbon shoelaces through any extremely tiny holes. Trim and seal tips are simply trimmed at an angle or in a forked shape, and then the raw edges are melted to resist fraying. For anyone who has their own ribbon on hand, trim and seal tips are also a fun DIY shoelace project. Trim and seal works best for heavier and solid ribbons such as grosgrain and satin. Thin and fragile ribbons, such as organza, simply don’t seal well and are inclined to fray anyway.

Be Creative

So the next time you’re looking at that drop-down box of tip options for your custom ribbon shoelaces, don’t just default to those clear tips. Add tips that show off those shoelaces a bit more with your own personal touch, and take full advantage of those custom possibilities! – Ann Louise