Artyce Custom Footwear

Marisol Aguilar | 7/28/2010, 5 p.m.

Candra Palmer was just a child when she started helping her mother, a seamstress, sew dresses and shop for fabrics. Many years later, in 2004 Palmer began using some of the sewing skills she learned from her mom, in the business she founded called Artyce Custom Footwear. Artyce is a shoe company that mainly focuses on custom bridal footwear.

The Chicago native never planned on entering the world of fashion. Instead she attended Xavier University in New Orleans majoring in computer information systems with a minor in business.

After graduation, Palmer ended up on the West Coast and landed a well-paid job as a marketing manager at chipmaker Intel in Oregon.

However, life once again took a twist in Palmer's future when her job flew her 900 miles down to Los Angeles, Calif. to work at home.

While doing that, she realized that perhaps there was more to life than working an eight-hour office job and became interested in fashion. Still working at Intel, she took an internship at a fashion firm that provided stylists to celebrities such as Halle Berry.

After seeing so many beautiful designer shoes Palmer became inspired.

She wanted to learn everything about fashion from beginning to end and decided to take a job at an Ann Taylor's retail store. She knew the importance of customer service and knew that was the perfect venue to obtain that skill.

One day while at Neiman Marcus, a customer asked her who had designed her shoes. She replied, "I did." This led the young Palmer to start designing shoes in her one-bedroom apartment and to leave her job of four years. But it was a friend in need who really brought out what she was intended to do from the very beginning. Her friend, a soon-to-be-bride, was in desperate need of the perfect pair of shoes for her wedding.

Palmer decided to design a pair of shoes for her friend, who couldn't find the right color, the right heel size, the right shape and style of the shoes she envisioned. Taking a piece of fabric identical to the wedding dress, Palmer and her friend designed a unique pair of shoes that no one else would be able to own.

That led to the creation of her company Artyce, named after her mother, which became a reality in 2004. And in 2006 Palmer opened her first store in Culver City. She didn't know what to expect, or if anyone would even bother to walk in, but fortunately for her, customers became clients.

'It's a one-stop shop for a girl who wants something different and unique," Palmer said.
Last fall, Artyce Custom Footwear moved to downtown Los Angeles. Mainly catering to brides, Artyce is now known as the number-one bridal custom shoe store in Los Angeles.

However, Artyce also designs for other special occasions as well.

At Artyce, clients are able to design their own dream shoes and in a matter of four to six weeks wear them to that special event. From there, Palmer and her staff sketch the shoe while the client decides what kind of embellishments she wants on the shoes.