'It's kind of wonderful to be able to do this for a living': Costume creator finds niche with fantasy footwear

NOW: ’It’s kind of wonderful to be able to do this for a living’: Costume creator finds niche with fantasy footwear

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) --- "I am most known for making hoof shoes."

Blair Ondrla-Arends makes them with her team at Chaos Costumes in a warehouse in Racine and ships them all over the world. 

"Recently I just fulfilled an order to Japan," she said. "To France, to Italy..." 

Chaos Costumes' hoof shoes

Her hoof shoes are basically high heels, but with no heel. An attached animal toe and sometimes some fur.

"If you can walk in stilettos, you can walk in my shoes." said Ondrla-Arends.

She's just come out with a flat version too.

Who buys these? And why?

"Primarily, people who like to dress as fawns, minotaur, centaurs, ponies," she said. "They like dressing up. They wear it to Renaissance fairs. They wear it to conventions and stuff like that."

How could there be that many people that need hoof shoes? And Chaos Costumes' other big seller, dragon horns? 

"It's wild to me how things have grown and how they've expanded where the sky's the limit." said Ondrla-Arends. "Where we'll just keep cranking out product and find where this cap is. I can't find it yet."

Ondrla-Arends started as a cosplayer herself, someone asked her to make shoes for them, and then another, then it was posted on social media and everyone in the community needed a pair.

Chaos Costumes grew from a guest-room side hustle to a thousand square feet of warehouse space and four other employees.

"It's kind of wonderful to be able to do this for a living." she said. "It's wild to me that this is my life and this is my future. I have the freedom to create, and people want to buy my creations. What!?"

Hoof shoes are an oddity, a niche product. Dragon horns and fairy wings too, for that matter. But like many of the legends and fables they come from, Ondrla-Arends' story has a lesson for us all.

"If you want to be an entrepreneur, do it." she said. "If you want to create something and sell it, do it. It takes time, it takes a lot of failure. You cannot be afraid of failing because that fear will stop you."

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