It started with the impending birth of a grandchild. And then another.And then another. Maria D’Elia just couldn’t stop herself—handcrafting baby booties for her family was just too much fun.
A pink pair with flowers. A blue pair with stars. A white pair with holly berries.
The booties were adorable and held a sweet surprise–much of the material came from wool blazers and cashmere sweaters sold at the White Dove Thrift Shoppe in Phoenix.
So D’Elia, a longtime Dove volunteer, took her upcycled bootie project a step further. She donated several one-of-a-kind pairs to the Dove, which sells them to raise money for not-for-profit Hospice of the Valley. The Phoenix store, where D’Elia volunteers, is located at 5035 N. 7th Ave.
D’Elia buys wool, cashmere and camel hair clothing that is distressed and unlikely to sell at the Dove. She then felts the pieces—washing them in hot water and drying them on high heat —and goes to work. It takes about two hours to design, cut, stitch and embellish each pair. They are made in varying styles and sizes for newborns who are not yet walking.
“I like to make multiples of things, I’m never satisfied with just one,” explains D’Elia. “And it’s therapeutic. I usually do one or two pairs in a sitting.”
The cost at the Dove is $18. Each pair is sold in a clear plastic bakery container with a tag explaining the booties’ unique origins.
The adorable booties draw the most oohs and aahs and D’Elia is happy to be selling them exclusively at the Dove. “We want to show people that they can get nice quality things at reasonable prices,’’ she says.
For more information about the White Dove, visit whitedovethrift.org.