American Duchess designs and creates women's reproduction historical shoes from the 16th century to the 1920s.
American Duchess began as a hobby blog on making historical costumes and grew into a historical shoe company from necessity. Crowd-funded in 2011, the company has grown to more than 30 styles ranging from 16th century pumps to Victorian boots to 1920s oxfords. American Duchess supplies historical costumers as well as operas, TV productions, films, theatres, and living history museums all over the world, and fills the gap within these niche markets for affordable, accurate historical shoes.
The Fedex Small Business Grant would allow us to hire employees within our local community and expand our product range and reach throughout the world. We would be able to begin vetting and prototyping new designs in US factories and help cover mold costs for heels and soles, with a goal of shifting the current overseas production to domestic.