Wednesday, March 18, 2009

All in the family...

All my life I have been around fabulous shoes... My Grandpa Benny Bonanno was a cobbler and owned Dixie Shoe Repair in the heart of Downtown West Palm Beach. He and my Grandma Eva designed the Bonanno Sandals that we all know and love today. I spent much of my childhood with my grandparents in that shop, stacking dye jars and dressing my dolls in leather that my Grandma would give me, all while these exquisite women would stroll in and out wearing beautiful heels that my Grandpa Benny would repair...

My Uncle Stephen Bonanno took over the business after my Grandpa passed; designing more styles, adding colors and keeping the legacy alive. He now handcrafts all his sandals in Stuart Florida in his factory. My first job was for my Uncle when I was about 10 years old; I would work around the factory doing little chores, sweeping, taking small orders and he even let me whipstich some of the sandals on occasion.

Then in 2004 My Aunt Vivian and Uncle Domenick opened up a Stephen Bonanno Signature Store in Downtown Stuart. I went to work for them in 2005 as the store manager where I spent a year learning the business and studying color.

One night while having a conversation with my mom I thought why not start my own shoe label?! Ive always loved shoes in fact some would say I was obsessed! So it began; I started talking with my Uncle Steve about my ideas, I started sketching designs and working on my Spring 2010 collection! Here it had been my whole life leading up to this one idea, why had it taken me so long to realize I was born into Shoe Business...


  1. Hi James,
    Love the blog.
    I saw your sketches and I think your collection which hopefully will debut in 2010 will be Hot!
    Good luck!
    xxoo, aunt viv

  2. Jamie,

    Nice blog. I too saw your sketches and think that your designs will be a hit!

    Good Luck,

    Uncle Dave

  3. Jamie,
    My love, coming from a family that is all about shoes,I am so excited and priveleged to be a part of your experience in making this happen!
    Words cannot express how proud I am of you and what you have already accomplished...with your newly started family and busy days and nights with your 2.5 year old son it may seem a bit tough at times, But your ambition and your drive and the endless efforts that you have exhibited to start a new company in this day and age are to be commended. If I may say so, your Grandfather would also be so proud that you are continuing to build, where he left off.
    Blessing you with much love and success,

  4. awesome!!!! good for you! love v.sell