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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

“Imagine that you are a warrior wielding a naked blade against your enemies…and they all look professional by way of blades. Some have bulging muscles, although the leather armor they wear is cheap and poorly constructed. Those have the largest numbers though, more than you could ever hope to match.
In contrast to them are other enemies, officers whose pricey blades and armor easily stand out among the rest. You know that despite their flair however, these enemies lack any real skill, thinking that an expensive sword will fight their battles for them. They look good though, and the rest of the minions, those without skill or money, still look impressive simply due to the sheer size of their numbers.
You know that you have better training, discipline, and talent than any of them, but how can you prove yourself among the sea of other contenders?”
No, my English is not this good, yet. I actually got some help from a talented, young writer (who happens to be a daughter of a talented bootmaker), Morgan Sorell. You can read her witty and funny blog here: http://www.morgansorrell.liveblog.com
But let’s just go back to shoe business and collect some things to start:

1. Education/experience

You need to be well equipped to deal with the challenges. materials, work processes, technology details, and so on. If you lean on other people, you will pay a lot to learn. (At least 10 times more what you’re thinking now.)

2. Contacts

There is no better place to set up business contacts than at a job. It’s worth a lot of money to know where you should order your samples, whom you should place your first orders from, etc. This information will worth serious amount of money. You can buy a last for 300 USD and for 20. It is up to you, if you know how, where from, etc… you save a lot. (You can also hire a professional business consultant – a good one will save more money than they charge).

3. Strong business and marketing basics

You need to make a bunch of decisions every day – your success, profit, future will depend on some of those. You don’t want to make the wrong decision, do you? Setting up your working protocols, plan cash flows, figure out the sources, placing orders, finding and agreeing with retailers – a lot of important things.

4. Reputation

This is something that takes to build up in years, but it could be destroyed in a second – especially today, when forums spread one bad feedback in a second.

+1 Good sense of style

Is a very useful thing to have or you can just hire a designer… However, as we say in Hungarian:  if you have a dog, let the dog do the barking. So if you do have a designer, don’t kill his/her creativity with your ideas – that is why you pay the designer, right? If you are better – then do that job!

So, now I shared the information how to be successful – I think I’ve pretty much summed it up, so I won’t talk about it any more for a while. On the other hand I will email these posts to inquirers from random countries, saying “I want to make my own footwear line, but I have no idea how”. Well, this is the way.

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