Show Us Your Shoes

Photo by Tonya Abeln

Photo by Tonya Abeln

We asked Cathe Dykstra, president and CEO of Family Scholar House, to bring in her top five favorite pair of shoes. She brought in six. “I just couldn’t bring myself to give one the boot!” she laughs. She’s also known as the Chief Possibility Officer because if you know Cathe, you know she doesn’t do boring corporate titles. She also doesn’t do boring shoes.

“It was in my Nonnie’s closet that I first fell in love with shoes,” she shares. “She would let me explore through her carefully arranged racks of shoes and play dress up with her high heels. As much as I enjoyed trying them on and attempting to walk in them, for me, my love of shoes was never about the actual shoes, but always about who I could be in them.”

Cathe explains, “Shoes do not have to be sky-high stilettos to make a statement. They just need to be the right shoes for the person wearing them and consistent with the activities to be undertaken at that time. I believe that while they do not make the person, shoes can be a reflection of who one most desires to be.”

The shoe lover cleans her shoe closet down to 140 pairs twice a year before she starts building again. She brings the donations in to Linda’s Closet for women at Family Scholar House who are entering the work force. “The ultimate example,” she says, “of putting your best food forward.

Cathe uses the Stylish Girl app to organize pictures of her shoes on her phone so she doesn’t buy a pair of shoes she already owns, “unless of course I mean to,” she clarifies. “If I find a pair I really like, I have been known to buy multiple pairs of them on purpose.”

This year for Wine, Women & Shoes on March 3, she will be wearing a red pair of Steve Madden shoes. I can’t wait to see this year’s design because like Cathe Dykstra, her shoes always make a statement and are never, ever, boring.

The clay and wood piece of art in Family Scholar House is called “Steps in a Woman’s Life” and it is by Margie McCall, who happens to be Cathe’s aunt. Of the piece that was purchased by Jerry and Sarah Healy and donated back to Family Scholar House, Margie explains, “So many steps. So many journeys. Her feet are maps themselves – changing as life progresses. She knows the sad yet peaceful truth; she started this trip barefoot, and she will end it shoeless as well.”

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These Chinese Laundry Shoes are heel-less heels. They are pure physics because the weight is actually on your heel despite the appearances. My husband teaches physics and I’ve offered multiple times to be the guest speaker in his physics class with these.

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I bought these Ted Baker shoes because I just simply had to have a pair of pink shoes. Correction…I just had to have ANOTHER pair of pink shoes.

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I almost never buy the dress first when putting together an outfit. I bought these navy Pour La Victoire shoes because I was going to something in New Orleans and they were exactly the same color as the dress I was wearing. Now, I’m not a dye-to-match kind of girl. I will usually source a cheap dress just to showcase my shoes. These were an exception.

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I wore these embellished Badgley Mischka shoes to Wine, Women & Shoes last year. I also wore them to Snow Ball where most women wear long dresses. However, I wore a tea length dress that was see-through at the bottom because…are you crazy? I’m not covering up my shoes!

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These Giuseppe Zanotti’s are the most expensive shoes I own, and I don’t think shoes have to cost a lot of money to be desirable. My husband is a deacon in the Episcopal Church in addition to being a teacher at Assumption High School, and I wore these when he was ordained. I bought them in Charleston at Shoes on King. They are Italian shoes and are not comfortable despite the price. A friend introduced me to a spray that was invented by a podiatrist to numb your feet. I’m not above suffering for fashion. They don’t hurt like I’m not going to wear them. They hurt like I am going to use the spray when I wear them. They are what Oprah would call “sittin’ shoes.”

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I saw these Kate Spade shoes last year at Wine, Women & Shoes because Von Maur had them in the Marketplace. I found the matching bag and knew I needed to wear the set to Derby. I don’t wear yellow so I wore them with daffodil.