“I am so excited to have the opportunity to be Southeast Bootblack 2015. I look forward to what the future holds with my new family. It still seems surreal and I am grateful!!!”
Friday: SouthEast Bootblack 2015
Friday is from Tuscaloosa, AL and is active in the Birmingham community with The Red Chair with fairly frequent forays to visit House Je Te Vois in New Orleans. She has been involved in the community for 3 years but interested for much longer.
Her love for leather began when she was growing up and riding horses, grew when she took care of her ex’s boots when he joined the Army in early 2000’s and saw resurgence when offered a chance to attend a small workshop in Birmingham in August 2013. After boot blacking publicly for the first time at Southern Sole in 2014, she was hooked on the energy and has now gotten to black at Southwest Leather, Frolicon, The Red Chair, and House Je Te Vois.
Some of her accomplishments:
a. 32 Weekends of Travel-only 7 in her home state.
b. 22,000 miles traveled total
c. She taught in Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida and blacked in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona
d. She traveled to North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona
e. She isn’t sure how much she donated or raised but it consisted of bootblacking tips to various organizations and travel funds, kits, and boots donated for auctions.
Calendar of Events
6/27/2015 Open Play @ The Red Chair, Birmingham First night out as a title holder!
7/17/2015 Demo & Play Party @ House Je Te Vois, New Orleans
7/18/2015 Primal Passion Hosted by Spring Fling Leather Fest and Hard Pink BDSM, New Orleans. Fundraiser for Spring Fling Leather Fest
8/7/2015 Leatherfolk Night @ The Red Chair, Birmingham
8/14/2015-8/16/2015 Southeast Black and Blue Weekend, Atlanta. Still waiting on a reply regarding registration so this is not for sure.
9/17/15-9/20/2015 Florida Power Exchange, Clearwater, FL Hopefully bootblacking as well as volunteering
10/16/15-10/18/15 DomCon, Atlanta actual event 10/14-10/19
10/24/2015 Demo (not mine) at Les Bon Temps, Mobile
10/30/15-11/1/15 RSVP Weekend Anniversary/Fundraiser, Baton Rouge
December 2015 Twisted Toyland, Atlanta
3/5/16 MAsT Nashville and Mark of the Wild at the Mark
3/11/16-3/13/16 South Plains Leather Fest, Dallas
4/14/16-4/17/16 Spring Fling Leather Fest Springfield, LA
5/5/16-5/8/16 Frolicon, Atlanta
6/5/16 Leather Love Demo, Birmingham
6/11-Pride Parade in Birmingham. Marching with members of various Birmingham groups under the NCSF Banner.
7/16-Teaching Bootblack Lab and 101 in Tampa at the Phoenix Club
7/23-Attending Mr Kentucky Leather
8/4-8/7-Attending and Blacking at WILL in Dallas (arriving Friday)
8/12-8/14-Blacking at Southeast Black and Blue in Atlanta
8/25-8/28-Attending, Blacking, and Tech Judge at SELF
2015 Speech Video
June 2016 Column
Hello again from the great Southeast. It's June, and instead of gearing up for SELF this month, y'all get me for 2 bonus months. Woohoo! I hope that everyone decides to come and see us in August, you're not able to see the awesomeness that is being planned behind the scenes but it's going to be great! And if you're reading this and thinking of running for one of the titles, I only have one piece of advice, and that is to go for it.
I've aged a year since my last column and was able to spend my birthday with some of my best friends, it was a weekend that I will remember and treasure for a long time to come. There was so much traveling that it was really good to get back to home base with chosen family.
I can't even begin to cover all of the events that I have been able to attend, more firsts that I thought possible, new events, better connections that turn acquaintances into friends, and friends into family. This has truly been a year of firsts and of breaking out of my shell and I would like to think that I've learned and grown some. South Plains, Spring Fling, Frolicon, the Tradesman Run, and Southeast Olympus at TRC... I think I got my hands on boots at every single one of the events that I attended which always makes me happy.
I'll be slowing down a little this month before picking back up the second half of July. I'm scheduled to do a bootlab in Tampa, maybe a trip to Kentucky the weekend after that, and then the entire month of August will be spent on the go. WILL, Southeast Black and Blue, and SELF are all that month and I hope that if I can't see you at them all, that you will at least come home to SELF to visit.
Until I see you again...
March 2016 Column
And it’s March already. It feels like I haven’t been able to stop since the New Year started, but I suppose that’s a good thing. I’m happy to be able to have the ability to travel, and teach, and meet others within the community.
I know that I wrote the last post from Mobile as I was gearing up for New Year’s in Louisiana and what a great beginning to the year it was, I honestly could not have planned anything better if I had tried. I ended up back in Louisiana (in Baton Rouge) in February for a demo on topping and bottoming from the bootblack chair. It was a great crowd with lots of really good questions afterwards. I’m hoping to see more people get interested in the area soon.
I also was able to visit Southwest Leather Conference in Phoenix towards the end of January. This is a great place to visit should you find yourself in Arizona. Judy and Elegant took great care of me and it was wonderful to be able to make new friend and reconnect with ones that I have known for a while longer. Getting to help Bootblack Marta with her Mean Boots class was especially fun, and I look forward to being on the panel with her as a bootblack judge at the next SELF.
February also brought me home to TRC, finally! It was so great being back in my home club. They hosted a fetish ball with wonderful food, decorations, and people. TRC has grown a lot and is bringing in new people all the time, it’s a wonderful time to be a part of the Birmingham community. It was at TRC that one of my favorite moments thus far has happened. I had a client sit in my chair that had sat for shoe shines, but never for a bootblack. There was much exclaiming over how different (and good) it felt and at the end I was told that they have a saying in Russian for those with skills like mine, “May your hands never hurt.” So simple, but so perfect. I will remember it for a long time to come.
Somewhere in the midst of it all, I decided that it would be a good time to run a half marathon in New Orleans. I signed up for the race before I signed up to run for my bootblack title but I don’t think I was quite prepared. I did it, though, and that brought it’s on sense of accomplishment. So many times I was asked why I would want to do such a thing, the answer being, “To prove to myself that I can.”
March is going to bring a new round of visits. I’m excited to be able to see my two title sisters in Nashville this weekend. We’re attending the MAsT meeting as well as the Mark’s party on Saturday night. I’m not sure what we will get up to, but I’m sure that there will be shenanigans. Maybe someone will remember to take pictures this time.
South Plains Leather Fest is going to be my long distance trip and I know that I’ll be seeing a great many members of my SELF family there as well. It’s always so perfect to be somewhere far from home but seeing those that are familiar. A new friend that I made at SWLC will be there and has helped link me with a friend of theirs for a room share and introductions will be made, and new friends will be met. It’s a great wide world out there, but being able to make friends within the leather community will ensure you have friends just about anywhere you go.
I hope to see you in my chair soon…
Jan 2016 Column
I’m writing this column on the last day of the year from my brother’s apartment in Mobile. It has been an incredible year and I still feel slightly dazed from time to time thinking about the opportunities that have been afforded to me, and the joy that has come from representing as SouthEast Bootblack. I wouldn’t have thought at the beginning of the year that this is where I would end up but I am so happy that I did. This month has hit hard with death and illness but having family and community that will surround you with love has been a blessing.
Since the last column I was able to do my first demo on Bootblacking Basics in my home state in front of several friends and some new ones. There was a great fundraiser in Atlanta with Twisted Toyland and I was so grateful to be given the opportunity to help raise money for the two wonderful causes that they support. If you have a chance, please check out Lost and Found Youth as well as the Leather Heart Foundation.
DomCon was a first for me this year and getting to see so many friends there and make new connections made it very special. Attending the Pantheon of Leather Awards, the International Olympus Contest, and bootblacking all weekend was a wonderful way to spend time in Atlanta. It was also the last time that I got to see Master Heinz and I’m glad that I got the chance to talk with him there, he will definitely be missed by all that got a chance to know him.
The RSVP auction was a huge success and the laughs that were had during the process still bring a smile to my face. Bidding on and being bid upon was definitely fun. I think that we ended up raising almost $400 for them, not including the passes to SELF in 2016. I’m actually going back to RSVP tonight for their New Year’s Eve, it will be good to be back among this good group of people.
Tomorrow night is House Je Te Vois in New Orleans, my second family and home. I know that I have leather that’s earmarked for me and I can’t wait. You know that you’re needed when someone’s vest accidentally calls you. It is a blessed person indeed that gets to spend their time doing what they love. To have the continued support of this club means the world to me, always welcome and always home.
The New Year will get off to a roaring start with Southwest Leather Conference in Phoenix in 3 weeks with the Winter Luau in Pensacola that weekend directly following. February won’t slow down much and I’ll be back down to Louisiana twice that month-once for a demo at RSVP with Ms SELF and once for a half marathon in New Orleans.
I hope to see you in 2016, please come say hello and introduce yourself-I’m always happy to meet new people and share a smile.
Oct 2015 Column
Wow, what a busy and fun time it’s been! In the past month and a half I’ve gotten to visit Louisiana, Atlanta, and Florida, as well as attend some events close to home.
In Louisiana, I attended a party put on by House Je Te Vois that was fun as always and offered up some boots for me to love on. The next night was the Primal Passion event hosted by Hard Pink to help raise money for their upcoming Spring Fling Leather Fest that’s happen this coming spring and I had the honor of being their featured bootblack for the night. It’s always so much fun to spend time with this group and I can’t thank prince_tristian enough for offering up his hospitality when I get to visit.
Florida was the scene of many adventures between PALS, LINK, and FPE. I was privileged to be able to talk to the attendees before the PALS August demo in Pensacola about SELF and hope to see some of them in attendance in June of 2016. LINK provided a super party to follow the demo and I got to meet some new people and some new boots.
Meeting up with Autumn (SEPOL) again at TRC’s Leather Folk night in early August and again in September at Florida Power Exchange was super awesome! I thoroughly enjoyed shenanigans, cigars, and taking her bootblack cherry. I think that one of the things that I’m enjoying the most about my time as a title holder thus far is getting to know some people so much better and getting to meet all of the new friends from all over the country at events.
My time in Atlanta at Southeast Black and Blue was unfortunately cut short due to getting sick but I have definite plans to go back. Elegant and Archer did a great job taking care of me and ended up catching it as well for their troubles. I have promised to go back soon, minus the germs, and make it up to them in cookies. So far I’m scheduled for DomCon, Twisted Toyland, and also most likely Frolicon. I am excited to make my way back to the Eagle some time as well, and get the opportunity to bootblack there again.
TRC in Birmingham continues to be my home club and though I don’t make it there as often as I did, I still enjoy going and experiencing the familiar. I still have people to come and have their boots done and I enjoy adding to their stories and seeing what new ones they offer up.
Coming up, I have trips back to Louisiana but to Baton Rouge this time to visit RSVP for their yearly auction and will be joined by Jennifer (Ms Self) and Autumn for this round. I am so excited to introduce them to the awesomeness that is their hospitality. I’ll be doing a demo on bootblacking coming up in November in the northern part of the state and then helping with a bootblack weekend in the southern part of the state a couple of weeks later. I’m planning a trip to Tennessee and hope to be able to organize a trip up the east coast so keep an eye out for that. Also, if you don’t make it to DomCon but happen to be in Atlanta for Twisted Toyland, please be sure to stop by and say hello!
July 2015 Column
Amazed. That's the only way to describe how I feel, even though a month has passed since announcements were made on the stage at SELF. I am so thankful for all of the opportunities that have been presented to me and all of the people that have reached out. This is truly an incredible opportunity and I can't wait to see where the next year takes me.
I stayed close to home, going to my home club for my first outing as a title holder. It was a small gathering but felt right to celebrate with them. I am lucky to have the community that I do with TRC in Birmingham. The bulk of my items for my auction baskets were made or donated by members of this club and the awesomeness of my baskets is owed to them.
I attended Summer Sinsations in Atlanta on July 11th and it was a great event! Such an awesome chance for people to learn in a good environment. Classes all afternoon with a rocking rope performance at midnight. Many shenanigans and much fun to be had. I hope that this is something that they continue to do.
I'm venturing a little further, down to my second home at House Je Te Vois for my next event. I can't wait to see these crazy, awesome people again. These are the primary people that you have to thank for me running, I don't know what I would have done without their support. You would be hard pressed find a more loving group of people and I was happy to have a few of them with me the weekend of SELF this year.
On Saturday night, there's a fund raiser for a new event that's to be held next April (Spring Fling Leather Fest) and I'm excited to be the featured bootblack for the event. I look forward to seeing what they do their first year and camping out with them next Spring. I'm already on the line up as a presenter so I hope to see some of y'all there!
Plans have been made for FPE in Florida, DomCon in Atlanta and SWLC in Phoenix to hopefully meet up with some of my favorite western reps. If you see me, please introduce yourself if I don't get to you first!
SouthEast Bootblack 2015