This story highlights the skills and creativity required to make custom handmade shoes for the theatre.
Jodie is currently working on making shoes for the musical, Wicked, which is to begin in Melbourne later this year. Her stage footwear features all over the world, in musicals such as Priscilla: Queen of the Desert in Sydney, The Lion King in Johannesburg, Cats in Taipei and China, Miss Saigon in Melbourne, and Phantom of the Opera in Singapore.
Jodie comes from a family where things were made if you wanted them - her grandfather made dress-up clothes for children, her grandmother and great-grandmother were milliners and her grandfather and father were cabinet-makers.
Jodie started off in economics history at university and and continued to a 'dull' public service career before entering the School of Footwear at TAFE Sydney Institute (now at Ultimo Campus). Jodie was the first woman to go through that course and suffered some resistance but emerged as an award-winning student.
In 1978, she started “Steppin Out” - her own custom made shoe making business. She also travelled extensively to learn shoe making techniques, especially in the area of theatrical shoe making, which can cover a vast range of styles and periods. Jodie built up a strong reputation as a shoemaker for some of the biggest films and stage productions in Australia. She has made footwear for Crocodile Dundee, Strictly Ballroom, Babe: The Pig, The Matrix and Moulin Rouge. It is important that her shoes are not only look good but are comfortable and historically correct.