Betty Sampson finds miniature shoes a nice decorative touch
Soon her daughter who lives in Paradise was helping search for miniature shoes and uncovering them at flea markets, secondhand stores and yard sales. Her granddaughter joined the team as well, mailing shoes from souvenir shops along the Oregon coast where she lives.
As her collection increased, she needed a way to display it for the shoes are too small for regular shelves. A couple of cabinets for eight-track tapes provided the solution. She simply added shelves for the perfect display case. Before she built the shelves she kept the shoes in paper sacks.
Most of Sampson’s shoes were purchased at bargain prices. In addition to Morrison’s Warehouse, she would find the porcelain miniatures at The Red Shoe in Westwood before it closed. She said 12 of her most expensive shoes were sold at J.C. Penny for $40 each, but she purchased them when they were discounted to $10.
Although she has a wide variety of the miniatures, including some that are figurines, such as fairies, and others that were designed as ornaments, she has not done any research on shoe collecting.
Yet miniature shoes seem a popular item to collect. The Guinness World Record holder is Darlene Flynn who owns 7,765 shoe memorabilia. However, she only has 700 miniature shoe figurines. The rest of the collection includes such items as shoe teapots, soap and even furniture shaped like a shoe.
Raine, an artist, created a company called Just the Right Shoe a decade ago and in that span of time has issued 500 shoe designs. Her miniatures are high-fashion pumps that come in miniature shoe boxes as well.
Collecting is a hobby that Sampson enjoys and she doesn’t limit herself to miniature shoes. She also has a collection of thimbles, bells, perfume bottles and angels that she consistently adds to.
As for the shoes, she is expecting to expand this collection at Christmas when she opens her gifts.
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