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Old 11-16-2007, 05:38 AM   #1
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Walk-N-Beauty provides wearable Native art

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FROM: _http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096416078_
(Walk-N-Beauty provides wearable Native art : ICT [2007/11/13])

Walk-N-Beauty provides wearable Native art
(javascript:PrintWindow();) Posted: November 13, 2007 by: _Abbey Thompson_
(Indian Country Today - Authors) / Indian Country Today

_Click to Enlarge_ (http://www.indiancountry.com/pix/1096416078_large.jpg)
(http://www.indiancountry.com/pix/1096416078_large.jpg) Photo courtesy
Walk-N-Beauty -- The Walk-N-Beauty collection consists of both heels and
flats, featuring a comfortable padded sole and a wooden shoe base. LEHIGH ACRES,
Fla. - One year at the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, N.M., Jerri
Anderson-SixKiller was standing in the dance registration line. From quite a
distance away, members of a drum group were yelling to her, asking about her
shoes. ''I knew they weren't looking to snag,'' Anderson-Sixkiller laughed.
''They were intently looking at the shoes I was wearing.''

Rather than wearing beaded moccasins as part of her regalia,
Anderson-SixKiller, Cherokee, was wearing a pair of beaded heels that caught her eye in a
fashion boutique. ''These were 'made in China' beaded high heels that looked
pretty classy from a distance, but up close you knew they were junk. However,
people always noticed them. Everywhere I went - whether at conferences, pow
wows, meetings - people would literally follow me around and ask about those
shoes ... I would laugh and say, 'Man, if I had a dollar for every time someone
asked us about these shoes, I would be rich!'''

That concept and encouragement from a close friend led Anderson-SixKiller to
begin researching for a base for her shoe production idea. Her goal was to
make beaded heels and low heels for Native women. ''Shoes Native women would
get attention wearing,'' she said, ''something beautiful, like Native women,
that would make them feel special no matter what size they are.''

Anderson-SixKiller is a personal trainer and fitness expert currently
residing in Florida. She's a mother of three who travels the United States and
Indian country, speaking to Native women about eating disorders and abuse. While
on her travels, she looked for suggestions for a business name and design
styles.

She began a direct marketing approach by sending a mass online
questionnaire, stating her goal and asking, for example, ''Would you buy these shoes? How
much would you pay for them? What size do you wear?'' The response was
overwhelming.

Armed with logistic data pertaining to target customers and their needs, yet
still without a business name, she came up with ''Walk-N-Beauty'' one day
while talking to First Nations comedian Don Burnstick. ''He just said off the
top of his head, 'How about Walk-N-Beauty ... like a Walking Beauty but with
an N in between.' He said, 'The shoes are beautiful, the women that wear them
will feel beautiful and the path they walk on, you pray, will be beautiful.'
I knew that I found my business name at last.''

She enlisted the help of several Native women she knew, who were also
skilled beadwork artists. Anderson-SixKiller herself has been a talented beadwork
artist since age 12, having beaded everything from shoes, handbags and
barrettes to jewelry and regalia pieces by special order.

The Walk-N-Beauty collection consists of both heels and flats, featuring a
comfortable padded sole and a wooden shoe base. Women wearing these shoes can
feel comfortable while looking stylish, a combination almost unheard of in
the fashion shoe business.

Anderson-SixKiller sources her leather and wooden bases for the shoes,
guaranteeing the highest quality. And, because each pair is hand-beaded by Native
women into designs that consist of sparkling size 11 beads, no two pair is
really alike. Walk-N-Beauty shoes cost about $150 per pair and can be ordered
directly from the Web site.

Anderson-SixKiller designed a Northwoods-style moccasin charm that is
attached to each pair of shoes. ''This is to remind us of our grandmas who walked
before us and the path they journeyed on.''

Her shoe line premiered successfully at the Gathering of Nations in April
2007. Her current goal is to add four new tribal designs for every 200 pairs
sold. She is now working on a special design that benefits domestic violence
programs for Native women, donating a portion of sales to the cause. ''I'm
very excited about this idea, and to support Native women who are victims of
physical, mental, sexual and emotional abuse.''

Anderson-SixKiller and her employees work hard to perfect the shoes. ''I
have business experience, but none like this and on this scale. This is trial by
error, most definitely,'' she said, ''and just like everything in life, it
is a work in progress.''

For more information, visit _www.walk-n-beauty.com_
(Welcome To Walk-N-Beauty Footwear) .
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:05 AM   #2
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These shoes are really cool! (And I'm not just saying that 'cause she's a friend, LOL.)
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:59 AM   #3
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What a neat idea! And the perfect Christmas gift! Hmmmm....
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:25 PM   #4
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Yeah I loved the way it looks like wampum belts in the pic... I was expecting like satin pumps that were fully beaded .. which is'nt a bad idea either LOL!
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:23 AM   #5
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Thank you Blackbear!

Wow what a surprise to see my artical on here... thank you for posting that! I am so in aw of the response so far... its been a blessing and a great journey... actually your comment about the heels is coming... lol in april i will be releasing 4 new beaded designs...one new heel height, and a few new styles.. which include beaded heels... I took a shoe making course last month in cleveland..and learned how to make shoes from scratch and it gave me so many ideas... so ya thats coming in the next year....

what you guys can help me with... is... I am looking for beaders for my business... they must be trustworthy..and dependable. Ive been burned a few times by women ive sent the suplies to and never heard from them again... they took my beads / and supplies..and poof they were gone.. so i work off of referals and I do check :) but this is perfect for someone who stays home and beads.. and needs extra money.
I am looking for NATIVE WOMEN... to hire.. so if you know of any.. give me a shout... my other email addy is walknbeautyshoes@yahoo.com please email there if anyone is interested.

thanks for your kindness and support.
Jerri
Walk-N-Beauty.com
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:13 AM   #6
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I'd love to help out but I don't know if I could commit.. especially with a baby on the way and a new foster client moving in. I wish I could have taken a shoe making course though!!! How cool would that be??? I could make shoes that are actually comfy and have the arch support and room I need!
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