From the feet of babes.

by mssinglemama on February 1, 2012

A contest is on the other side.

I met a man yesterday who, in spite of his age, likely knows more about Internet marketing than your company’s marketing director or CEO. Definitely more than your CEO. His grandmother started their family business, American Bronzing, by going door to door in Cleveland during the Depression-era to sell bronzed baby shoes. Now they have it down to a science.

And the result is pretty cool.

Bronzed baby shoes were “all the rage” in the 1940′s and 1950′s but have since slipped away from our public consciousness. But Bob Kaynes is bound and determined to bring bronzing back.

When I suggested that my generation could be completely and absolutely disinterested in bronzed baby shoes he was equally as curious. When I told him I had a “Mommy blog” he about jumped out of his seat. And so, I promised to do something I don’t normally do… I promised to ask you for your true and honest opinion about a product.

And you have to be honest! This is market research, Mamas. (For the record, I know nothing about market research. I like, Bob, just know if something gets clicks or if it dies a slow Internet death)

So…answer this question for a chance to win:

Do you want a pair of bronzed baby shoes?

What about a bronzed anything? He can bronze anything. Or, how could bronze baby shoes be “cool” or make their way back into family tradition? Any ideas?

And here is a picture of Bob and some shoes. You can surf his site and all of the bronzing prices by clicking here.

Thanks to the Columbus Dispatch for the photo.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a gift certificate to bronze your own babe’s shoes.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Momma Sunshine February 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Completely honest? I don’t “get” it.

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mssinglemama February 3, 2012 at 7:19 am

From what I’m gathering, seems like some families had it as a tradition – while others, like my own, did not at all. Thanks for chiming in Momma.

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claire February 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

yes, totally do!

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Anna February 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I don’t really know if they are cool, but I think with the trend toward thrift (store), and more people buying vintage, there could be a market there. It’s a sweet idea, and I can tell you I’d much rather have a pair of bronzed baby shoes than a piece of cement with a handprint in it (I’m not a gardener, so where would I put a chunk of cement?). I do have a pair of soft shoes that The Boy wore for his baptism…

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lauren February 1, 2012 at 7:26 pm

i like bronze baby shoes!! i love that they are tiny piece of preserved history and think that they would make a great addition to any baby room/bookshelf/etc. if i had a bronzed pair of shoes, i would mount them in a shadowbox and display them on the wall that way. it would also be a nice gift to give [the parents] on a child’s first birthday. i think that bronzing a favorite toy would also be a great idea.
*

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mssinglemama February 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I also LOVE the idea of a shadow box and Bob is open to that idea as well. Thank you!

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Melissa B. February 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I love the shadowbox idea! I am obsessed with memories and although I haven’t yet, I know I would love something bronzed. I am still not sure what besides baby shoes (when I finally have kids) but I am sure I have something I would want to do.

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Hillary February 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm

I agree with Anna. I think if I could do something with them and they were a decorator piece I’d be more interested. But yes, shoes are much better than the cement hand print

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Elw175 February 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I think it’s awesome and I’ve wondered on more than one occasion when and why it fell out of fashion. I definitely would bronze something for each of my girls if I knew where to have it done and if it was relatively affordable.

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Jo February 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Ooooooooooooh. I find it intriguing and would definitely be interested. Without knowing how heavy the bronzed shoes would be (eek), a teeny tiny pair of baby shoes would look amazing every year on the Christmas tree.

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erj February 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Christmas tree decoration? but even then it would be heavy and possibly too big for my liking. I don’t really get it either.

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erj February 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm

sorry Jo – I had not read yours before I sent. Is there a way they could bronze the cement cast print of a hand? I could see having an ornament on the tree of a little hand print

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mssinglemama February 3, 2012 at 7:18 am

Yep – they could definitely do that!

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Eli February 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I love the idea!! Does he have a website?

Btw…after being a reader here for four years.. I’ve started my own blog. It’s been therapeutic. For all of you who judge Mssinglemama…boy, you’re gonna love to hate me. ;) C’est la vie…

http://www.theclientslist.com

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mssinglemama February 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Ooooooh!!!! How intriguing. Totally going to head over there now. And here is his site: http://www.AmericanBronzing.com

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Eli February 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm

It is raw and adult oriented. Not a typical “mommy blog”. You are a saint…compared to me. :) Thank you for checking it out. I can’t afford therapy anymore…so it has now become my outlet. I was inspired by your blog…so for that I thank you.

http://www.theclientslist.com

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mssinglemama February 3, 2012 at 7:17 am

Yes, blogging is MUCH cheaper than therapy and I found – opening my heart to a community helped tremendously during those first few years. You were all my little therapists. ; )

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jen February 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm

It’s a classic heirloom piece and I think there could be a market for it. For me personally, it would depend on the price.

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mssinglemama February 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm

The price is $49.00… see them all at http://www.AmericanBronzing.com and let us know what you think.

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Jamo's Mama February 1, 2012 at 11:07 pm

I don’t think we buy shoes for our kids like our parents and their parents did. Jamo had Robeez…not something as cool when bronzed.

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jillianJillian February 2, 2012 at 12:21 am

I don’t even have a child yet and I already LOVE this idea. I’m a new aunt though and I’d definitely consider gifting something like this to my brother and sister-in-law.

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jillianJillian February 2, 2012 at 12:23 am

I forgot to mention, I think there would be a market for something like this on Etsy. I bet etsy customers search for things like this (more personalized items) all the time.

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mssinglemama February 3, 2012 at 7:16 am

Awesome Jillian, thank you so much for this. Etsy would be perfect!

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Alexis February 2, 2012 at 6:23 am

Life is about memories and bronzed babe shoes are preserved memories! I would love my little guys bronzed…they are just sitting in a bin now.

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Ericaerica February 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Sorry but I am trying to reduce clutter in my life…and I know a ton of friends who no longer have an attachment to things anymore. So I honestly would not bronze any baby shoes. I keep my 1 mos old in socks anyway and she won’t be wearing shoes for a while.

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mssinglemama February 3, 2012 at 7:15 am

Thank you for your feedback Erica!

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.ivy February 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Yes, definitely! But can he bronze the Robeez? I’d love to have a collection of my little dears’ first shoes out, right now they’re all in a plastic bin in a closet. Used baby shoes don’t make great decorations.

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mssinglemama February 3, 2012 at 7:15 am

Yes, they can bronze anything. Even saw a bronzed Big Mac.

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Penz February 4, 2012 at 8:04 am

Really, a bronzed Big Mac, now that is interesting.

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Lesha February 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I guess I didn’t realize that anyone did that anymore! I loved seeing all my cousins bronzed baby shoes. I don’t think I have any teeny baby shoes left from G, although considering I save everything if I do it’s in a box in my attic, but I could surely find something to bronze! I may have to check into this more!

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mssinglemama February 3, 2012 at 7:17 am

Thanks, Lesha!

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Corey February 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I’ve also wondered why it went out of fashion. My mom has mine and my sister’s. I guess maybe it’s because when we were kids, we had that first pair of shoes that was really special. I don’t think that’s the case any longer. I did save my little one’s first pair though, and I think it would be nice to have.

I can see there being a market on Etsy and it will probably come back into fashion at some point.

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Leslie February 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I read a lot of blogs that are written by “vintage hipsters” if-you-will (hate labeling folks, but I don’t know a better way to put it) and I think this would be a HUGE hit among them and their readers. I think getting on Etsy and being a sponsor on as many blogs as he can would be a great start. There are a ton of vintage themes that are making there way back to popularity and I believe this could be one of them too! Good luck!!!

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mssinglemama February 3, 2012 at 7:03 am

Thank you for these ideas… Etsy is a GREAT idea. And I was thinking the same thing, too – making them “cool” somehow or fashionable, that’s why I like the shadow box idea.

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Ichiko February 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I absolutely love the idea. It definitely reminds me of something my granny would do buy I’d put my sons little baby shows on my mantle or something. I don’t know about all the mamas out there but I bought the cutest shoes for my son when he was small including a pair of cowboy boots. There are two pair I would never give away (because you k ow you won’t get them back) so why not do something special with them :)

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Heather February 3, 2012 at 9:34 am

I’ve never thought about bronzing my little man’s shoes before, but after looking at Bob’s website I’m intrigued. I especially love the idea of bronzing one of his shoes and turning it into a Christmas ornament.

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Michelle February 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

I would definetly. Mostly because my little one has recently become fascinated by the bronze baby shoes of my sister & I at my parents house. :)

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Penz February 4, 2012 at 8:09 am

I am wondering about some pieces of jewelry or religious memorabilia? Your favorite pair of shoes that the dog got to would be a cute inside the door decoration, or even a bronzed high heel (interesting one of course) for a shelf in a teen’s room, hell I would put it in mine! I like what this guy is doing.

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Michelle February 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Love this. Thanks for the link.

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Angela Hale February 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I love bronzed baby shoes! I have both my childrens first tennis shes and have always wanted to have them bronzed. My Grandmother had all her kids done and even had a pair of her mothers shoes bronzed they were absolutely gorgeous and something that has been handed down to younger family members. I think to bring it to make it modern and an heirloom I would suggest mounting them on a lamp for a nursery!

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Rachel February 8, 2012 at 2:59 am

Love it! I have my own bronzed baby shoes an had both of my sons done as well. They are so sweet and really amazing looking after being bronzed. I’m sad more people don’t do it! Any shoe (or whatever) works and it is such a small but special keepsake (:

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Jackie February 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I am not sure if I would want to do this with my own kids. My in laws did this with my husband’s baby shoes though. He was born with club feet and had special orthopedic shoes when he was a toddler. They bronzed those special shoes which I think is nice!

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