Thursday, November 20, 2008

Handmade Baby/Toddler Shoes!

Good Morning,

I have been loving 2 pairs of shoes that I recently bought for my son. Both handmade with love and care, produced responsibly and really comfortable.

These are handmade in Krakow, Poland.

The idea of making shoes came to me when my first child a son was about one year old. As soon as he started to take his first steps, my wife and I wanted to buy him his first pair of shoes. We were convinced that his first pair of shoes should be comfortable, let his feet develop naturally, and, what's more, make walking easier. To our surprise, we couldn’t find any shoes that met these criteria. As a matter of fact, they were exactly the opposite of what we were looking for - tough soles, too narrow, made of hard leather or other materials which didn't give enough comfort for the little feet of a toddler.

At that time, I was a student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland, in the department of Industrial Design. I decided to design good shoes for children as a year long project, and my idea was accepted by my professor. Those days, I had no idea about shoe construction and treated the topic in an artistic way instead of a professional way.

I finished my project on time needed the objective opinion of professionals, so I went to the biggest institution dealing with the whole shoe industry in Poland – the Central Laboratory of Shoe Industry - to get their opinion. The result from this visit was the proposal of undertaking the job in this Institute.

I was sent to the best school of shoe design in the world - Ars Sutoria - in Milano, Italy, to obtain the professional education in shoe construction and design.

After returning, I was sent to many factories in Poland as a shoe designer. At the same time, I was forced to make Gucio prototypes for my friends' children and their friends. I wanted to make other companies interested in my product, but they treated my unusual design as a strange thing which they would not be able to sell. They didn't treat my suggestions seriously when I told them that my friends and many other people like the shoes and children want to wear them (they take off other shoes and want only these.)

This lasted a few years until I had the opportunity to start my own business and produce Gucio shoes in larger quantities. I decided not to make a lot of models, and that I would concentrate on just one perfect design.

Gucio shoes are still changing in many "invisible" details to reach this perfection and make first steps for all children easier and more pleasant."

These shoes are made using pre-World War II non-electric sewing machines.

They are available at I'm Still Me.

These are handmade by a family in Oregon.

I'm in love with these. They have a very soft sole. The Makers (and many medical experts) believe that barefoot is best, but when you need a little protection, their soft soles are the next best thing for the health of your feet. I can't wait to get the winter boots! I think these shoes make great gifts and you can even design your own pair and choose from loads of fun colors. They also make a line of Vegan Shoes.

I wish I knew the name of every person who made all my shoes.

In case anyone needs some new shoes for a little ones growing feet, I highly recommend these.

Keep Walking!

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