This month, our Co-Founder Nathalie Bouchard would like to share with you our 2015 year in review, including our unexpected end-of-year roller coaster ride.
You, behind the scenes
May I start by saying that we have the most amazing customers in the World? Thank you to each of you: customers, affiliates, silent supporters, and future customers. Some of you have been following us from the beginnings and others have joined more recently. We feel very grateful to have you behind the scenes, witnessing our progress and manufacturing ups and downs, ready to cheer us on at the first opportunity. We appreciate having you as part of this adventure so we don't feel alone when things go wrong.
Our shoes are now 17 months old and the company is growing at a healthy pace. We are very proud of the changes that happened in the production process during the first half of the year, allowing us to improve the look of our shoes. They are the same great sneakers with a better look and almost no waste with the end product. Our local reach is growing and we attract people from the entire Southwest of Colorado who come to the factory to have a tour and experience SOM Footwear. Our factory outlet store, which started out being open just once a month is now open once a week because of the growing demand. We like to share our love for shoe manufacturing and appreciate our visitors' curiosity when they come for a factory tour.
It feels like I wrote that before, (didn't I before we ever started to manufacture)? Well, history likes to repeat itself apparently. Every company must overcome challenges in order to grow. The past month has been really tough on us with a lot of suspense regarding a major mechanical breakdown. Many of you probably don't know, but we had to slow down our production recently. As I am writing this, we are fulfilling all waiting orders and we'd like to express our thanks to our kind customers for their patience.
To get back to full production
From the beginning of this adventure, (manufacturing sneakers in the USA) we've encountered a lot of challenges, which in return, made us become very creative to find solutions. This time is no different and we are putting forth our very best effort to make our SOM Footwear without the need to replace a very costly machine. Fortunately, during the down time, we succeeded to implement an alternative technique, which we think will work when changing some of our patterns as we release new models. We are excited for these changes to take place, and we think that you will be too. Stay tuned for updates!
In our perilous adventure of opening the shoe factory, we met with incredible, talented, and generous people. People that we didn't know who offered to help us in one way or another. The first challenges happened before we had even started to produce, and there was always someone to help or assist us with the situation. Sometimes, people from out of the blue knock at our door to offer their ability of some sort, and who, are still shouldering us today. Being well surrounded is such a precious thing in business. We cannot be thankful enough!
Keeping in check
It is a great American habit to make a point once a year to remember what we are grateful for. When you do this, you realize how much there is and how exponentially it builds up. What a relief to think that our good fortune outweighs any problems that we have had to solve. And to keep us in check is our efficient SOM Footwear Team. Devoted and generous with their time, each member put in his/her maximum effort to build a unique brand that would beneft our customers who appreciate their SOMs on a daily basis. The employees were and still are the first fuel to move us, the founders, forward and remind us that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel!
Wishing you a wonderful 2016,