Boot designer Mark Barbera, of Somerset, Pennsylvania, will be in Monongahela on Monday, December 18 th, 4PM to 8PM, offering his custom boots and shoes as part of a 2-location vendor’s show planned by the Monongahela Main Street Program.
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Barbera recently developed a design for an American-made version of the Chelsea boot, a type of fashion footwear with medium-height sides with elastic at the ankles, made popular when the Beatles began wearing them in the 1960s.
After discovering there was no American manufacturer producing Chelsea boots, he approached the Abilene Boot Company of Somerset, Pa. (his hometown) about making a pair to his specifications. Thus was born the “American-Made” Chelsea Boot, as well as the Mark Albert Boot Company.
Barbera, a 21-year-old college student at Babson College’s specialized entrepreneurial program, designed several other lines and became the in-house designer for Abilene Boot Company. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign to raise start-up funds, he also opened his own storefront business in Somerset to market his products. Other footwear items that Barbera designed and Abilene produces include men’s eyelet derby shoes and a line of slip-on loafers. He also markets several lines of boots that Abilene began manufacturing decades ago, such as Goodyear welted boots, which are waterproof but can also be resoled after heavy wear and thus last for many years.
Barbera is the Great-Grandson of an Italian immigrant shoemaker who came to Somerset County from Sicily almost a century ago. According to Barbera:
Mark is attending this event while also getting everything in order for his next stop, a January show in Florence, Italy. We are proud to have Mark as a vendor this year.
But Wait There’s More!
We have more amazing vendors attending our pop-up event:
- Jeff Dascenzo of Rollin Stogies (cigar specialist with a mobile walk-in cigar humidor).
- Tiffany Rawlins of Shortbread City Designer Desserts (baked goods).
- Jessy Gira of Dicey Cat (“shabby chic” reconditioned antique furniture)
- Tina Dean of Step Four Fitness and Brow By Design (women’s gym and microblading facility)
- Pamela Abbott, wigs, jewelry, purses and accessories
- Tina Haislup of Just The Right Bling (Paparazzi Jewelry)
- Jessica Hollis of Keep Collective (jewelry)
- Annette Hough of Nettie Did It (handmade Christmas cards and ornaments)
- LuLaRoe Clothing
- Avon Cosmetics
- LipSense (long lasting designer lipstick)
- Essential Oils, and more!
The pop-up vendor’s show this year has grown to two Main Street locations: Main Street Barber and Supply, 105 West Main Street, Monongahela, and the offices of the Monongahela Area Chamber of Commerce, 212 West Main Street. Hours from 4-8PM. Hope to see you there!
A note from Terry A. Necciai, RA, Executive Director, Monongahela Main Street Program:
Monongahela is a great community that just gets better and better every day. We are delighted to offer one more holiday event as a way to help young people explore business ideas and help us grow the downtown business climate as we become, once again, a “fully engaged community.”
As a potential customer, each and every reader of this post and – in fact – “each” and “every” local citizen is part of what is needed to bring our community further into its full potential. Everyone I talk to lately is excited about how much and how quickly the community is coming back to life, once again becoming like it was many decades ago when most small town business districts were economically healthy centers of commerce and community activity. But we still have much to do – with your help – in moving all of that forward. See you Monday afternoon or evening!
– Terry Necciai