In this episode, we interview Justin & Amanda James, the modern shoemakers & married business duo of Opie Way in Asheville, NC.

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • Where the name Opie Way came from
  • How they got into the sneaker shoe business
  • How Justin made his first sneaker
  • Marketing tactics plus what their initial sales process was like
  • Coronavirus impact on their business
  • What things to look for when buying sneakers
  • Working together as a couple and how they divvy up their roles

Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with local sustainability & design expert, owner of Ware, Gillie Roberts.

Season Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by Range Urgent Care an Asheville-based clinic that offers affordable healthcare, transparent pricing, and streamlined, friendly service. Learn more about Range Urgent Care.

*Enjoy your first month free of annual membership at Range Urgent Care. Use code ‘makingitinasheville’ at checkout. Offer valid for a limited time only.

Show Notes

About Justin & Amanda James

Justin and Amanda James are high school sweethearts turned badass business couple who launched their handcrafted shoe line, Opie Way, in 2019. After both graduating from App State and living in Charlotte for a while, the young couple decided to move back to Asheville to be closer to family. While working on their own business ventures, an opportunity presented itself for Justin and Amanda to buy the machinery to start their own micro-shoe factory. In 2019, they launched their handcrafted shoe line, Opie Way. Fast forward to the fall of 2020, where we learn about their experience and how they have managed to stay afloat during COVID-19.

Visit Opie Way to learn more.


  • East Bay Magazine is the go-to shoe resource for pro-grade gear, casual styles, and expert training tips for athletes who care about winning.
  • This epic video of a shoe being sliced in half on Youtube.
  • Abstract is a Netflix show all about diving into the mind of design. Trust us, it’s worth the watch.
  • SLAM is an American basketball magazine.
  • Shoe Dog is the memoir of Nike creator, Phil Knight.
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte – this work was created in 1847 and the themes all still ring true.


  • Tinker Hatfield, the Nike designer who was named as one of the most 100 influential designers of the century in 1988.
  • Jon Jones is the president and CEO of Anthroware, Anthroware is a mashup of anthropologists, designers, data-driven consultants, and technology builders that help solve problems for clients. Located in Asheville, NC.
  • Victor Lytvinenko is one of the founders of Raleigh Denim, a handcrafted denim company based in Raleigh, NC.


  • Diamond Brand Gear is the outdoor gear company Opie Way shares factory space with.
  • North Menswear is a clothing store in Laguna Beach that is a wholesale client of Opie Way.

Thought that all shoemakers are cobblers? Let us blow your mind with some shoe lingo:

  • Justin & Amanda teach us a lesson in shoe terminology. A cobbler is someone who fixes shoes, whereas a cordwainer is someone who actually creates the shoes.


  • If you want money, ask for advice. If you want advice, ask for money.” – unknown