about daphne

custom shoemaker and certified pedorthist Daphne Board in front of a display of her Huron boots.
A pair of handmade shoes in process, with shoe lasts in, on the work table in the studio
Daphne Board's shoemaking studio shot in her "shophouse" in downtown Holyoke

In this modern age of factory-produced disposable goods, a sturdy handmade item that is built to be beautiful, worn, and maintained is rare.

In 2021, Daphne was awarded an Artist Fellowship in Crafts from the Mass Cultural Council. She has been a Finalist in Crafts in 2018 and in Traditional Arts in 2014.

 

Daphne Board's work has been shown at Brooklyn Shoe Space, the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, Ct, the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, Ma, and at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield Ma, most recently for the exhibit Local and Land Made in 2021. 

In 2014, Daphne was interviewed by Jill Kaufman at NEPR. In 2018, Daphne's work was featured in Take Magazine.

Daphne Board became a custom shoe maker in 2001, and a certified pedorthist in 2014. Drawing design inspiration from early 20th century styles, Daphne makes custom shoes and boots for hard-to-fit feet including orthopedic needs, via the bespoke shoemaking tradition. This allows for every detail of the shoe be considered via an initial measurements/style discussion session, sketching of design ideas, creation of mock-up/fitter shoes, and the making of the final footwear. The final product is the realization of a thoughtful process that responds to the wishes of the client, and is intended to be worn, carefully maintained and repaired.

The studio is in Holyoke, Western Massachusetts, a former industrial city full of old brick paper mills and a hydroelectric canal system. Holyoke is halfway between NYC and Boston–the best of all worlds in the beautiful Pioneer Valley.

Daphne is a certified pedorthist through BOC International.