What started as a pet project for then 15-year-old Jane Aldridge in 2007 quickly became a full-fledged career for she and her mother, Judy. Now 22-years-old, Jane has evolved her blog, Sea of Shoes, into a highly trafficked online destination of expertly curated fashion content. Despite her success and the opportunity to build an empire in a more predictable metropolitan market, Jane remains firmly rooted in her hometown of Dallas, Texas.
“I’ve always felt such an affinity [for the state] being from Texas; I come from a long line of Texans,” Jane explains. “I enjoy the economy of being here and not being caught up in New York or L.A.,” she explains. “I’ve always wanted to call Texas my home.”
While the blog is penned by Jane, she and her mother form a collaborative creative team with whom, well, no one else stands a chance. “You could put us in two different rooms and tell us to come up with a concept, and I’m telling you it would de exactly the same,” says Judy of their unique connection. “It’s like we share a brain,” adds Jane. “The creative relationship I share with my mom means everything to me.”
Together they devise, style and photograph each post that appears on Sea of Shoes. They share a mutual respect for one another on a professional level that’s hard won between most mothers and daughters; however, humor is not lost on the Aldridges and they quickly point out that such intense teamwork doesn’t come without the typical familial spats. “You learn a lot working with your mom,” Jane laughs. “You learn to be very open-minded."
Yet it’s this very sense of heritage and that keeps Sea of Shoes — and Jane — grounded in the otherwise dizzying fashion industry. Much of the blog is inspired by the matriarchs of the family and their unique sensibilities; Jane and Judy often style posts with the sterling silver collection handed down the maternal line of the family, and pulling vintage pieces from the women's own archives is a given.
“My grandmother is a collector of all things. Talk about an eccentric woman — there is no one quite like her,” Jane fondly says of Carol Blakely, who has an antique store in Alaska. “My first fashion memory is modeling cowboy boots for her store.”
Because of that longtime appreciation for romanticized Western culture, Jane and Judy were the perfect candidates to travel across the Lone Star State with Spring Summer '14 Lucchese boots and shoes in tow. Jane's favorite pieces? Sky high Milla and the classic, round-toe Helene. Though Sweetwater did not fall far behind: "I love the hand-tooled leather. I'm drawn to tactile things."
“At the end of the day, the Texas woman doesn’t care about what anyone thinks. We’re not afraid to be flashy! It’s very real, and I love that about Texas style,” says Jane.