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Hermon resident slips into the shoe market

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Mom creates wearable, walking art

HERMON - A Hermon mother of three has found a unique way to make a little bit of money without leaving the comforts of home. Angela Erickson created Artsy Pants Boutique last May, and since then she's created numerous pieces of wearable art using nothing more than sneakers and Sharpie markers.

"I buy Converse shoes [on the web] or have people give me gently used shoes - because I know how expensive shoes can be - and then I draw free hand," Erickson explained.

She's designed one of a kind 'Sesame Street,' Dr. Seuss and even 'Star Wars' shoes that are turning out to be a big hit.

"I can do anything. I do a lot of gamer shoes," Erickson said. "The Star Wars pumps were really fun to make. I've never done satin shoes before. I made them for a fitness instructor who wears them all the time."

Erickson shared her sneaker art with the world after posting pictures of shoes she created for her daughter for school.

"I put the pictures on Facebook, and then a couple of friends wanted me to make them some," she said. "[Now] I've got a lot of U.K. orders because that's where my friend Emma lives. I've got 11 pairs heading over there."

Erickson can complete three pairs of white shoes a day. The darker colored shoes take two to three days to make, since they require more layering.

"Right now I'm making a pair of Thing 1 and Thing 2 shoes for a set of twins," Erickson said.

Customers pay for the shoes up front and then pay for Erickson's artwork prior to her shipping them out.

"The lighter shoes are cheaper, but it all depends on the detail of the design. I start at $10 for only a little detail [on them]. The most expensive are the knee high converse, which are $40," she said.

Erickson's shoes aren't washable, but she's working on a solution to change that.

"I'm going to try Scotchguard [spray]. I don't think it'll hurt the artwork," she explained.

This mom admits she certainly can't make a living off her designs, but it at least allows her to put her talent to use while caring for her growing family.

"I did this for fun, but the little I make helps with gas and groceries and allows me to be home with my kids," Erickson said.

To check out Erickson's products and artwork, log on to www.etsy.com/shop/ArtsyPantsBoutique or type in Artsy Pants Boutique on Facebook.

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