7 years of experience in selling barefoot shoes gave birth to a shoe brand that was missing on the market.
Dozens, sometimes hundreds of customers pass through our Czech naBOSo barefoot stores every day. Even more shop on the e-shop. We know very well what is important to you when choosing shoes. And what’s missing on the barefoot market.
When we were looking for a new production for our formal barefoot shoes brand called Angles, we came across a small factory near Porto, Portugal, where they already had experience with barefoot shoes and, most importantly, a great desire to work with us. It was the perfect place to start something new, something we had been thinking about for a long time.
We combined our knowledge with the manufacturer’s experience and the designer’s ideas and started an urban barefoot brand.
Because if you look for something really often, it’s classic sneakers and typically “urban” shoes. There are very few of those on the barefoot market. Whoever is offering them in good quality is absolutely not keeping up with the demand.
Why do we manufacture them in Portugal?
We started our second brand, Angles, in Zlin, Czech Republic. There is a great shoemaking tradition in this region thanks to the Bata heritage. But gradually we have come up against the limits of the Czech shoe industry. There is the tradition, but not much else. There is a lack of modern factory equipment, not so good supply chains, and almost no drive to achieve the highest quality at an affordable price.
The region of Porto, Portugal, has a similar shoemaking tradition. But the Portuguese shoemaking factories weren’t stuck in th first half of the 20th century. They are constantly innovating, modernising and looking for ways to deliver the best products. This is why even global shoe brands often produce their premium collections here.
We identified several potential suppliers at a European shoe fair and ordered samples from them. We were especially impressed by two factories because of their flexibility, quality and, most importantly, their great willingness to work together and bring something to the barefoot market that few people were doing yet. We moved the production of our Angles brand to one of them, and started working on CRAVE with the other, smaller one.
The great thing about Portugal is that almost everything you need to make a shoe can be found in one place. One day the owner of “our” factory took us for a lunch to the next village. There were 8 other people waiting for us at the table. “So this is my shoelace supplier, this one makes boxes,” the factory owner began to introduce the others. “Carlos here makes the soles, Andre supplies the leather from Spain, and Luis? Luis is a bit of a bohemian and a genius shoe designer.”
They say they meet like this quite often. The whole process of shoe design and production can thus be very flexible. Plus, you can be pretty sure that everyone will do their job to the best of their ability. They are not anonymous suppliers, but business partners who all want to grow and succeed.