Our people: Goody two shoes

Jamie Rose started collecting exotic shoes about two years ago.

Benna Sayyed: CMI staff photo

Jamie Rose, executive assistant to the Portales Police chief, works at her desk Friday at the Portales Police Department.

Benna Sayyed: CMI staff photo

A display of Jamie Rose's favorite high heels.

Benna Sayyed: CMI staff photo

Jamie Rose, executive assistant to the Portales Police chief, shows her Iron Fist zombie stompers, the pair of heels that started her exotic shoe collection.

Rose's shoe collection began with a pair of high heels called Iron Fist zombie stompers and is made up of at least 60 pairs of shoes ranging from high heels, to wedges to boots.

Rose said she has spent $300 on a pair of shoes and still has a pair of Dr. Martens she wore in high school. She believes a person can represent his or herself with a pair of shoes.

Rose's flashy footwear has generated a buzz around Portales City Hall and earned her the nickname Shoe Lady. Rose believes a girl can never have too many shoes.

What inspired your interest in collecting exotic shoes? I was in college before working here (Portales Police Department) and there wasn't that much of a need to dress up. The office job gave me a reason to wear heels. I happened to find my Iron Fist zombie stompers one day and that was all she wrote. I don't like wearing the same things that everybody else has. I know my shoes aren't for everybody. There are a lot of people who admire my shoes but would never wear them. I am who I am and I feel my shoes represent that. When they (coworkers) hear my heels in the morning they're like "Oh my God, what shoes are you wearing today."

Where do you shop for shoes? The last thing you want to do is show up to a place and see somebody wearing the exact same shoes you have. There's nothing better than shoe therapy; shoes cure everything. I shop online. Wherever I can find a pair of shoes that fit me and I like them, I buy them. I'm very particular about my shoes so I just don't buy anything. I recently bought a pair of five-inch suede and snakeskin Mary Jane heels in Lake Charles, La.

How do you select which shoes to wear on different days and different occasions? It just depends on what I feel like that day and what the weather is like. I call my shoes with spikes my saucy shoes. When I'm feeling saucy I have to wear my saucy shoes. Wearing weird shoes with skulls and kisses makes me happy. I have an interesting wardrobe as well. There needs to be some sort of professionalism working at the police station. I might pair my steampunk boots with a simple dress. This way I can still express myself through my footwear while maintaining a level of professionalism. The shoes are the highlight of my outfit. I coordinate my clothing around my shoes.

Is there any particular pair of shoes you do not own but hope to find one day? I would absolutely love to find a pair of 1970s vintage shoes that are clear with goldfish in them. I think that would be freaking awesome. The fish are not real but the shoes are out there. I don't know when but one day I will find them.

Do you think you'll ever outgrow your shoe collection? No. I will be that crazy old granny. I will wear my heels until I physically cannot wear them anymore. When my granny passed away I showed up at the funeral wearing a vintage dress, 1950s clothing, a pair of my Iron Fist heels and spiked jewelry. Some people who weren't too familiar with our family were kind of looking at me. But my granny was kind of always doing her own thing and she never would have wanted me to show up in conservative clothing. I'm not a conservative person. I'm loud and my shoes are loud.

What got you into your line of work at the Portales police station? I have a bachelor and a master's degree from Eastern New Mexico University. My degrees are in communication. When I graduated there really wasn't much in the field and I saw the position was open so I took it. I love my job. I love working with my guys. The police department is like my home, my family. We all accept each other's idiosyncrasies. I don't necessarily get to use my degrees, but I do what I can do. I get to manage the department's Facebook page which, in a sense, is mass communication. I get to talk to people and I love to talk.

Do you prefer big cities or small towns? Small towns. I grew up in a town smaller than Portales. We didn't even have a Wal-Mart. There's a greater sense of community in small towns. I help with our Santa Cop program and the Adopt a Cop program. It's very rewarding helping the community.

— Compiled by CMI staff writer Benna Sayyed

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