Craftsperson Series, Part 1: Sandy, Jeff, Ron, Tina

Every week or so I spend a little bit of time talking with one of the craftsmen or women in our factory. There is no structure or agenda for the conversation, I simply ask them to talk about their experience in the shoe business or share a story with me from their time making shoes. These are the real people behind the beautiful products that we all love, these are their stories.

Every month I will round-up the four portaits/stories that I recorded and group them together here. Enjoy!

Ron Bechard Ron: "you've worked in the factory with many of your family members right?" "Oh yea, at one time all 4 of my brothers were working together in the factory. Even my mom was handsewing years ago. She would come over to me on my birthday and say 'happy birthday Ronnie' and give me a kiss on the cheek. All the guys in the handsewing room gave me a hard time about that."
Sandy Sandy: "I've been stitching for 38 years. It's an honest living but it's a hard living. It's repetitious and now that I'm getting older my memory's leaving me (laughs). You know, we try, We put 110% into all of these shoes. I've had a lot of good experiences in the shoe industry, I wouldn't trade them all for anything, good and bad."
Tina2 Tina is a 3rd generation shoemaker who has been in the business for 34 years, since the age of 16. "I got into pattern making 22 years ago. My favorite part of my job is transferring a designers vision into a product. Absorbing what he or she is thinking about and turning that into a product they can hold in their hands. The drawing on that paper is now real life, that's the greatest part for me."
Jeff Jeff has been working with us for 23 years. "I first started out pulling tacks and as soon as I was old enough to work on a machine I started stitching soles." When I asked him what the biggest difference between now and the early 90's is he said it's the technology; The new technology in machines makes his job a lot easier.
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