Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx with Darlingtonia Moccasin Company

I’m so sorry for the light posting lately. Well, you know that I took Monday off for the President’s Day holiday, but yesterday turned into an impromptu day off as well. After not getting any sleep the night before….I tossed & turned way more than I slept for sure…I then made a routine trip to dentist for a filling to be repaired. Well, that really messed my day all the hell up—I was both numb and in pain at the same time with a miserable headache. Needless to say, I took the rest of the day off, took a nap & even went to bed early after that.

I’m back today though, feeling better and ready to get to work bringing you the latest Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx with Katie Kukulka of Darlingtonia Moccasin Company.  I know you’ve must have already seen Katie’s creations—they have been on Etsy’s front page about 12 million times—but if not, you are in for a real treat!


1. What’s the name of your business, what do create and sell and how did you get your start?

My business is Darlingtonia Moccasin Company and I manufacture unique handmade moccasins. What began as an experiment in footwear design, ended up my full time job when my first pair of handmade moccasins received such a positive response. I decided I wanted to create fresh new look for the age-old moccasin.

2. Who are 3 of your favorite designers of all times?

Both of my favorite fashion designers are Swedish, Anna Bengtsson – the talent behind Nygårdsanna and Gudrun Sjödén. I think my favorite footwear design label is Frye – I love Frye boots.


3. What are your inspirations in your art and life?

My friends and family are my biggest inspiration. I also find inspiration in movies I’ve seen, places I’ve visited, stories I have read and childhood memories.

4. Share what your creative process is like.

I start with sketches and swatches of leather. I mix colors together until I find combinations I love. I end up with page after page of ideas then pick out the ones I want to create. Then it’s just a matter of assembly, which is fun because I love to sew on my enormous antique completely manual (foot treadle and hand crank) cast iron sewing machine. Being a photographer first and foremost, one of my favorite processes is the product photography.


5. Where do you like to shop? Brick and mortar as well as online.

Other than Etsy (I am obsessed with Etsy), I love to shop at the local university bookstore here in Davis. They have everything I love to look at – books, paper goods and art supplies. I love to knit & my very favorite yarn store is Cast Away in Santa Rosa. I am also a big fan of Britex fabrics in San Francisco. I can spend hours in there.

6. What three things would you want to be able to have if you were on a deserted island? Beyond the basics of survival.

I would bring along a needle and thread (I’m counting that combo as one), a photo of my family, my wonderful handmade large brimmed hat. Whether the island is in the tropics or the arctic, I will avoid a sunburned nose!


7. What have you recently been reading, watching and listening to?

Reading: James & The Giant Peach (The first edition has the most wonderful illustrations!), Gumbo Ya-Ya: Folk Tales of Louisiana & St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.

Watching: Twilight Zone, No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Firefly (admittedly I am a sci-fi geek).

Listening to: First Aid Kit, Vashti Bunyan & Neko Case

8. What’s new or in the works?

I plan on debuting many new designs for the spring and possibly using some novelty leather samples I have collected to create OOAK designs. I am also thinking about offering a “design it yourself” option, where you choose what color flowers, lacing & leather you want for your moccasins.




  1. wow. those shoes are amazing. i have to get some for me and my girls! also the imagery is top-notch. well written and well done, thank you!
    oh and please, take days off! they are good for you! 🙂

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