Tamara Levin grew up in Los Angeles and currently resides in Teaneck with her husband and two sons. She is the executive director at The Idea School in Tenafly, New Jersey. Since Levin was young she has always loved projects that involve having to use creativity to present ideas. Flash forward to 2020, and she finally decided to combine her skills and passion into one successful love-filled business.
From hobby to thriving business, Levin started Fit To Be Tied, whose logo design was created by her adoring niece Sophie. “I love shoes — that is no secret to anyone who knows me — and I love to dance with family and friends at smachot,” Levin explained. She would go to weddings and notice how many of the women’s shoes were tucked under the tables so they could dance comfortably. She thought, “Why not just wear comfortable shoes that also look amazing?”
From there the idea to design shoes was born. Levin first started by designing and enhancing shoes for friends who were getting married or daughters of friends who were having a bat mitzvah, which seemed to have caught on. As time went on, more and more people told Levin how much they loved her stylish shoes and how she should market them more. From there she started her company Fit To Be Tied. Then the trend of wearing sneakers with a ball gown started to really take off, and that is when Levin knew it was a wonderful opportunity.
When asked about the goal of her side business, Levin exclaimed, “To make people smile! To make people feel special and uber glamorous on their special day. And, of course, to allow them to dance the night away in comfort and in chic style!” Levin has a wide range of clients that stretches to the West Coast and internationally; her main clientele, however, is in the New York- New Jersey metropolitan area.
Fit To Be Tied has the client provide a pair of shoes of their preference and comfort to Levin, who then designs the shoes to match the theme, outfit and personality of her client. Since each design is custom-made by hand solely by Levin, it does take a number of hours. The more complex jobs — usually involving a logo, initials or specific design will take more time. Levin can also accommodate rush services and turn her custom-designed shoes around in a week if needed.
Levin works with her clients to match their shoes with their outfits and sources and purchases the materials herself. She is always inspired by beauty and creativity. Levin explained how she usually sees the dress and finds its intricacies in the design, pattern or embellishments. She doesn’t want the shoes to only match the dress; she also wants to match the client’s own personal style and preferences. This is what makes her business model so unique.
Currently, Fit To Be Tied is a side business that Levin is passionate about. However, plans to expand are in the works. Furthermore, Levin can customize other items, not just shoes. In addition to sneakers, she has done headbands, flip-flops, denim jackets, belts, and even glass vases. She can do pumps and platform shoes as well.
Levin has created her unique designs for bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings including the bride and the entire wedding party, Sweet Sixteens, toddler shoes, flower girls shoes, bridal and flower girls headbands, wedding sandals, graduation shoes, and more. She can also create a pair of shoes for a milestone birthday. Levin encourages her clients to send her a swatch from a dress or outfit so she can match it up. She can coordinate a favorite shul hat with matching sneakers. She even did face masks to match shoes at the height of the pandemic. This is about feeling glam in total comfort and style.
Her work can be seen on Instagram @tammylev_designs. To schedule a consultation or for more information, contact Levin at (917) 533-9358.
Julianne Katz is a staff writer for The Jewish Link. Tamara Levin designed her bat mitzvah shoes six years ago, which was a labor of love.