July 2015 The Business
Getting samples from shoe factories
The hardest part so far about my Calla shoes journey has been getting samples from the factories. I visited factories in Portugal back in April, and 3 months on I have only received one lot of prototypes and am now waiting on my second set after amendments.
The problem is all of the established retailers are trying to get their Autumn season styles produced and ready before the August shut down of the factories, which typically lasts for 2-3 weeks. My samples therefore don’t take priority on the production line.
Making shoes is a bit like making a car – the parts for the car, like the engine, seat coverings and electronics, aren’t all made in the same place, they are just assembled in one place. The same applies to shoe factories – the soles come from the sole maker, the heels from the heel maker and the leather from the leather factory and so on. Even if the shoe factory has made time to make my samples, they may be missing components because the people who make them are too busy during this period.
I am very much hoping to launch in time for Christmas, so that my potential bunion suffering customers who are waiting for their party season heels from Calla, won’t be disappointed. It all depends on how quickly after the August holiday I can get my samples perfect for production. Fingers crossed!