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Great State: Going Into the Family Business of Making Boots and Shoes

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GUTHRIE, OKLAHOMA -- Paige Sorrell's first memories include leather scraps and wooden forms.

She grew up in her mother Lisa Sorrell's Guthrie boot shop.

Liking shoes was practically sewn into her DNA.

"I love shoes," she smiles. "I'm a girl. I wear shoes all the time. Even before I made shoes I had 20 or 30 pair."

She made her first pair at the age of 12, learning early that shoe paste smells better than it tastes.

"I think that's a thing among shoemakers," she giggles. "to see if they can actually convince someone to eat the paste."

She also learned that 'last' and 'last' is more than just the mark of quality footwear.

"It can be a noun or a verb," says Sorrell defining the word 'last' in the language of shoe making.

Paige graduated from high school in May.

Her summer job runs right along her career path, a born shoemaker already well on her way.

"Leather is such a wonderful medium," she says while working. "It stretches and compresses. It's biodegradable and you can do so much with it."

The latest pair of shoes sitting completed on her work bench is made from kangaroo and snake skin.

She made them in a corner of the same shop where her mother still makes cowboy boots.

"It takes me about a week to make a pair of shoes depending on the style."

She has her summer worked out already, one pair a week.

Her waiting list already stretches into September.

"Every single day I come into the shop I'm learning something new," she says. "That's why I like to come in so much."

Lasting and lasting.

It's part of her job, and maybe a slogan too for one young woman who figured out what she liked early, and then ran with it.

Paige makes shoes uniquely fitted to her customers feet.

If you're interested in having her make a pair you can visit her facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/paige.m.sorrell or she asks that you call at (405) 282-5464.