Putting Your Best Foot Forward
If you google female shoe fashion designers expecting to find a list of females who design shoes, you are going to be very disappointed. Out of the top twenty, there are only two listed – Llynda More and Kate Spade. Both are females with very involved male partners but Kate Spade designed accessories and then branched out into other items, including shoes. Llynda More is another story entirely.
Llynda More did not start out as a designer, though. The daughter of a very prominent bass and guitar player in Nashville for such recording artists as Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, and a host of others, Bob More passed along to his daughter a love of performing music and a wealth of talent. Part of a girls’ band known as Calamity Jane that recorded for Columbia Records between 1981 and 1982, Llynda More and her bandmates charted four times on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts, including the No. 44 “I’ve Just Seen a Face” from 1982.
Llynda met a guitar player in another band known as RPM by the name of Mark Gendel. Gendel was a Toronto native who worked as an audio engineer before deciding to try his luck in the United States. Both became songwriters and recording artists in their own right during their early days in Nashville, Llynda recording for CBS Records and Mark recording for Capitol/EMI. Later on, they collaborated on their first song together in Music City and soon after teamed up in New York City where they wrote, performed on and co-produced many recordings, some of which have been used in movies and television. Their songs can be heard in cult favorite movies, such as, Back to the Beach and I was a Teenage Vampire and the television series, Spenser for Hire.
Their professional bios list that they “have been wowing audiences in Las Vegas for over ten years, but performing on the world famous Las Vegas strip is only a fraction of the excitement and journey of this exceptionally talented musical duo. Their exhilarating and moving live shows are why they have been invited all over the world to perform for prestigious guests in exciting cities such as Hong Kong and Macau in China, and Dubai/United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. Their travels as entertainers in the United States have taken them everywhere from the coast of California to the heart of blues’ birthplace on the Mississippi River to New York City and many destinations in between. Their exceptional live performances in Las Vegas won them the highly acclaimed title of ‘Best Lounge Act in Las Vegas’ by Tradeshow Lifestyles magazine.”
Mark has his own line of guitars, not surprising for a professional musician who plays guitars. Llynda, however, became a shoe designer purely by accident… and after a very long career of standing on stage in uncomfortable shoes. Here is her story in her own words: “Although my needs have been magnified as a stage performer, they are the same needs all women have who want to look and feel their best. I came up with a problem-solving footwear idea that has now been developed into a brand and company that is growing. During the downturn of the economy when I needed to find an economical solution to my need for multiple footwear styles on stage, I came up with the answer to a problem millions of women have who can’t afford as many footwear styles as they want. I invented and patented a revolutionary two-piece women’s fashion boot that transforms into 30 different styles. That’s right, it is now possible for a woman to have 30 styles for the price of only ONE pair of boots! Llynda More Boots also solve another major problem many of us ladies have… finding a one-piece boot that fits both our foot and our calf. I designed our separate BootTops™ to come in six different calf sizes so that, finally, women of all shapes and sizes can custom fit their calves when buying a fashion boot.”
Llynda More patented her boot design and, instead, of selling it in stores and being to only one to profit monetarily, she created a business that would allow other women to profit and own their own business selling Llynda More boots. The goals of Llynda More Boots Company are quite simple: To reduce stress in women’s lives by providing footwear of extraordinary comfort, easier travel and storage, customized fitting, creative expression, and an economical solution that helps them meet their changing fashion needs on demand; to provide jobs and business opportunities for others; to support the humane treatment of animals by not using their skins in the manufacturing of our products and contributing to organizations that protect and rescue animals in need. To that end, a portion of every sale at Llynda More Boots is donated to The Humane Society of the United States.
There’s an old Yiddish proverb…“Man plans and God laughs” that Llynda More quotes from time to time. She feels that her plans to be a musician were not the only thing God had in mind for her and her team of sales representatives and happy customers agree. Llynda More still performs on weekends and still finds time to make a difference for other women. That is certainly sweet music to everyone’s ears.