Right after a campaign ends, all the orders are collected, organized, and sent out to our factory in Bogotá, Colombia. When production begins, one person at the factory is chosen to oversee all the work. This is a job that rotates amongst our most experienced artisans as they're able to do all or most processes at the factory.
The person who is overseeing production for the November campaign is Luis Carlos. I'd like to tell you a bit about him so you know more about the people who are directly responsible for all the beautiful items from this campaign.
Luis Carlos is the soles guy. Every single sole that we produce passes through his hands, either for quality control or because he actually made it. He knows how to make a shoe entirely from scratch but making the soles is his favorite part. Traditionally it takes a long time to get to the soling station at a workshop as you need to work your way up. This is why it has a reputation for being one of the most respected positions and there aren't many artisans left in the world still making soles by hand.
In many ways, sole making is similar to woodworking: lots of sanding, chiseling, cutting, sawing, waxing, etc. It's no small feat and requires a lot of practice and experience to master the skill.
He tells us that you can immediately tell the difference between a handcrafted sole and one that has been mass produced. Industrial soles usually try to emulate hand finishes but you can tell they’re not because they almost look too perfect; they lack that character and soul only a skilled pair of hands can give.
Luis Carlos has been at our factory for just two years but has been working as a shoemaker for 25. He's proud of his soles and he's not shy to say it. He often says they’re a "symphony". The reason he’s so proud is because, according to him, they're made the way they should be. By that he means they’re crafted with real leather heel stacks, full-grain leather bends, a leather welt, and a steel shank. These crucial components are replaced by fiberboard and synthetics in mass produced shoes.
Besides shoemaking, Luis Carlos is crazy about soccer. Ask him anything about the game and he knows it: the names of all the tournaments, clubs, World Cup winners, the best players from today as well as those from 10, 20, even 30 years ago. He loves collecting soccer jerseys and if he could, he’d wear one every single day, even to church. His favorite players are Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez but says there has never been another soccer player like Brazil’s Pelé.
All the shoes we make will have a series of letters and numbers stamped in gold on the inside. These numbers tell us when each shoe was made and who was in charge of production. When all the shoes and boots are completed, Luis Carlos will stamp his number on the inside of yours.
As production continues, I’ll continue to keep you updated but if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, just leave a comment below and I'll get back to you. You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and out customer service team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
And don't forget that our January campaign is now live with some beautiful shoes, boots, and sneakers, along with our new Archer briefcase. Click here to see the collection now.