IMsL – Lauren Ide

2007laurenide2007 – Lauren is a poly-queer-switch and has been an active participant in the Leather and BDSM tribes for 12 years.  Born and raised in Buffalo NY, she spent 9 years in Colorado and now calls the desert around Phoenix Arizona her home.  Lauren’s both slave and Sir and flags gray, black, red and purple.  Her spirituality is present in everything she does from service to blood ritual.  Professionally she’s a Medical Massage Therapist and Reiki Master Teacher.  Lauren is honored to serve her community as the first and current Southwest Ms. Leather 2006.

laurenide20102010 – After my step-down in 2008 I needed a couple years to get my bearings and to rediscover myself.  Much time has been spent in reflection, meditation, and spiritual growth.  Last year I started back to school on the long and challenging path of earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.  I’m so excited to be a student again, and I’m doing quite well academically.  In 2010, after an equally long hiatus from volunteer work I accepted team lead positions with the Dance of Souls, a ritual piercing event held at Southwest Leather Conference.  A lot of my work has been around piercing, be it flesh hooks, ball dances, or suspension…I love it all.  I’m also teaching and presenting again, locally for now, but maybe after school I’ll have more time to travel.  I still play hard, although not as often.  My computer, Mac B. Pro, is my boyfriend, and my motorcycle, Lucy, is my girlfriend (she’s a Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic.)  When I can get away from schoolwork, I enjoy time with lovers and friends, traveling to visit family, belly dancing, acrylic painting, and cuddling with my cat, Switch.  In May of 2011 I’ll be moving to San Francisco to continue school.   I can’t wait!

IMsBB – Ms V

2007msvAlameda, CA
Sponsor: San Francisco Boot Black Studio
Ms. V hails from Pt. Richmond, California and was first bitten by the boot black bug several years ago while attending the Folsom Street Fair. She attended The Bootblack Track at Dungeon University 901. Ms. V is a graduate of the Journeyman Academy III of California. She has been a part of the SF Bootblack studio since its creation. A member of the Northern California Bootblacks, she fundraises for many events. Ms. V has both been inspired and influenced by many gifted bootblacks from the United States and Canada. She continues to refine and hone her craft.

2013 – I wanted white go-go boots as a kid…but never got them. I used to stomp around in my sister’s majorette boots. They were too big for me. They had tassels and wooden stacked heels. I felt pretty and powerful clunking down the hall at my house. My sister gave me my first pair of brown boots in high school, which further fueled my love of boots. They were brown riding boots. I couldn’t express what I felt when I would spend hours polishing them, in my words “making them pretty”. I do remember feeling a sense of power, and confidence when I wore them.

Flash forward; I was first introduced to bootblacking at the Folsom Street Fair watching Driller on his corner. I was mesmerized. What a mystical experience seeing this polish-smeared wizard at work. As I watched, I wondered if I could do this with a female sensibility. Many Folsom’s later, I was touched in a similar way by watching Bootdog. I could no longer refuse the call and I began my bootblack journey the next day. Over a decade later, I’m still on my journey.

What I’ve learned is that for me, Bootblacking is religion. I consider it a deep and soul satisfying process which is an expression of love and joyful devotion that requires dedication. I went from trying to shine and perfect every boot to finding beauty in imperfection. What I do is simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres the authenticity of the boot above all. It’s about honoring the intrinsic beauty and function of that boot, appreciating all of its imperfection, impermanence, and incompleteness. To me, bootblacking is about simplicity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation. I will continue to preserve the tradition by spreading the gospel of boots.