2012 Highlights... for Shoemakers
It's been a busy year at the Soft Star workshop! The past 12 months have brought a lot of memories to our shoemakers, both happy and sad. As we find ourselves fast approaching 2013, we thought it would be a good time to look back at the highlights of 2012. Here are some of the events that had the biggest impact in the Soft Star workshop:
10. New Website
We started this year with a bang! Early in January 2012, we rolled out the new and improved Soft Star website. The new site was a big improvement over the archaic, yet memorable site of Soft Star's past and gave us many more ways to interact with our customers. Just wait until you see what we do with it next year...
9. New Colors!
It's not unusual for Tim, our founder, to add new colors to our leather options from time to time, but this year he brought us many surprisingly colorful hides. The list of new additions includes shiny violet, shiny black, baby leopard print, star-patterned leather and both green and pink camouflage. Our leather room is starting to look like Candyland!
Our colorful leather room.
8. RunAmoc Big Screen Debut
In September, our friends Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee, authors of the book Barefoot Running, released their long-awaited DVD Barefoot Running, the Movie. The very informative film discusses all aspects of barefoot running and one chapter on footwear presents a Dash RunAmoc as an idea barefoot running shoe. It's the first time we've seen our shoes on the big screen (or DVD)!
7. Biggest and Smallest Shoes
In February, we made one of our largest shoes ever: a size 15.5 Rambler! This came close to our record size 16 shoe from many years back. A few weeks later, we made our smallest shoe of the year: a size 1 moccasin for a very tiny baby boy.
Size 15.5 Rambler, next to an average size 6 for comparison.
Our smallest shoes of the year!
6. Fitting Tassels
After a festive playday, in which we encouraged our staff to spend a day working on any creative project of their choice, Elf Sarah proudly presented a set of fashionable tassels made from the same high quality leather we use for our shoes. When the seamstresses around the shop began asking her to make tassels for themselves, we realized she may have stumbled upon something big. She refined her tassel-making process to develop a series of elegant fobs for purses, keychains and accessories, now sold on the Soft Star website.
5. New Styles
These have certainly kept us busy. Earlier in the fall, we introduced three new shoes into our product line: the Rogue casual shoe, the Merry Jane Metro and the Youth Dash RunAmoc. We're very excited to extend barefoot shoes options to more than just kids and running adults. So far, the response has been terrific—we love seeing the creative design-your-own color combinations come through our shop! We're also looking forward to rolling out a couple more new designs this spring…
The New Rogue, Merry Jane Metro and Youth Dash RunAmoc
Also worthy of mention was the introduction of our tough leather sole for RunAmocs, launched in April. We were thrilled to find a natural, pliable sole that offers such a high level of groundfeel (and has become a favorite Earthing shoe).
Dash with Leather Sole
4. Olympic Shoes
Olympic fever was all the rage last summer, and our workshop was no exception. We were sad to see the games end, but gave one last hurrah to Missy Franklin. The swimmer and four-time gold medalist made quite a splash in the games (pun intended). When we heard in a radio interview that she had trouble finding shoes to fit her size 13 feet, we went right to work. Our seamstresses made a special red, white and blue pair of Merry Janes that we hope gave her a pleasant surprise.
3. Micah True Remembered
No, it wasn't all laughter in 2012. We were saddened in March to hear about the death of Micah True, also known as Caballo Blanco (The White Horse). The American ultrarunner received national attention when he appeared as a central figure in Christopher McDougall's bestselling book Born to Run. True was an inspiration to many people, and he used his fame to encourage running and to raise money to support the Copper Canyon ultramarathon. He touched many lives and will truly be missed.
2. Donald Buraglio Finishes Leadville
While we lost one cherished ultrarunner this year, we have another one inspiring us and making history... well, at least Soft Star history. Donald Buraglio, one of our best shoe testers (since he puts a million miles on our shoes each week), finished the Leadville 100-mile ultramarathon in a single pair of his favorite Dash RunAmocs! The high-altitude Leadville race was also featured in Born to Run as one of the most difficult courses on the planet—the race starts at twice the altitude where planes pressurize their cabins and only goes up from there. Donald finished in 28 hours, 33 minutes. That's right, he ran for over 28 hours! Many of us were tracking his progress online and found it exhausting just to stay awake that long while sitting at home. Check out his Leadville race report for all the details.
Donald crossing the Leadville-100 Finish Line
"Here’s how happy I was with my RunAmocs: I didn’t take them off my feet for nearly 5 more hours after the race." – Donald Buraglio
1. Baby Shel
Without doubt, the most exciting news in our workshop this year was the introduction of a new elf! In August, Soft Star co-owner Larkin gave birth to a healthy baby boy weighing 8lbs, 15oz. Shel had a grand welcome with over 200 people entering our guess-the-name contest, and Larkin and husband Jay did a great job keeping the answer a secret until his birth. Shel is now a regular at the Soft Star workshop, where he'll undoubtedly grow up learning all the intricate secrets of elf shoemaking.
Larkin with Shel on his first day in the workshop.
And of course, we're very grateful for all the wonderful people who have supported us and shared their stories this year. We feel privileged to work for a company that allows us to build direct relationships with our customers, and we love seeing all the photos we're sent showing us where our shoes end up (hint: stay posted for a slideshow of our favorite customer photos for 2012).
Thanks for a great year!
This post was posted in Community, In the Workshop and was tagged with baby, barefoot, colors, dash, Merry Jane, RunAmoc, running, shoes, youth, rogue, 2012, year, review, micah true, leadville, metro, news, missy franklin
- ►May 2016 (4)
- ►April 2016 (1)
- ►March 2016 (5)
- ►February 2016 (2)
- ►January 2016 (3)
- ►December 2015 (4)
- Finally, a STUNNING, Eco-Friendly Alternative to Disposal Wrapping Paper!
- We're Breaking-Up with Grippy
- Pumpkin Shoes for Harvest Season
- The Best Slipper Gift Guide Ever!
- Families Visit FREE at America's National Parks!
- Wrap-Up Your Little Ones for the Holidays in Our NEW Very Merry Moccasins!
- Progress Update on New Soft Star Workshop - Fall 2015
- ►October 2015 (4)
- ►September 2015 (3)
- ►August 2015 (5)
- ►July 2015 (5)
- Top 10 Balance Games for Kids... of All Ages!
- Time to Play! Elves Have Fun and Get Creative at Spring 2015 Playday
- Snazzy New Colors for Buttercups and Ballerines
- GIVEAWAY: Diapers, Blocks and Shoes... Oh My! Enter to Win Our New Baby Prize Package
- Soft Star Style Bulletin: Chukkas Are Coming!
- We're Staging a Flip-Flop Intervention!
- ►May 2015 (4)
- Work Hard, Play Harder…Run Hardest?
- Transitioning to Barefoot Health PLUS RunAmoc Giveaway!
- UFC Champion Carlos Condit Tries Soft Star Shoes
- Mom and Career Elf
- Earth Day Giveaway: Celebrate Your Favorite Planet with Sustainable Goodies!
- Every Day is Bike-to-Work Day
- Happy National Pet Day! Can You Guess Which Pets Belong to Our Elves?
- ►March 2015 (6)
- ►February 2015 (2)
- ►January 2015 (5)
- ►December 2014 (5)
- Introducing One of a Kind Shoes - Same Day Shipping with No Design-Your-Own Fees
- More Than Meets the Eye: Tim's Handmade Transformers Shoes
- Help Families in Need by Sharing What Makes you Thankful!
- Travel GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Pair of Rogue Shoes + a Travel Bag from RAGGEDedge Gear!
- Shopping Online? Finding Your Shoe Size Just Got Faster, Easier and More Accurate!
- 22-Year-Old Leather Moccasins Still Looking Good!
- Show Us Your BEST Soft Star Halloween Costume!
- Mindful Running Interview with Barefoot Guru Michael Sandler
- Show Your Team Colors! Tim's Special OSU Beaver Football Shoes
- Treatment and Removal of Plantar Warts - Kids' Foot Health
- Introducing SUPER SWATCHES for Local Soft Star Customers
- The History of Tassels—Fitting Tassels Now Available on the Soft Star Website
- Time for Our HALLOWEEN CONTEST: Win Handmade Shoes to Match Your Costume!
- BIG NEWS: Soft Star's New Website and New Shoe Visualizer
- "Boss of the Moss" Mick Dodge Wears Soft Star Shoes on National Geographic Series
- Need Spectacular Shoes for Fall? Introducing Autumn Moccasins!
- BATTLE FOR THE INTERNET: Help Small Businesses by Speaking Up for Net Neutrality
- ►August 2014 (3)
- ►July 2014 (4)
- ►June 2014 (3)
- ►May 2014 (5)
- ►April 2014 (3)
- ►March 2014 (3)
- ►February 2014 (3)
- ►January 2014 (2)
- ►December 2013 (6)
- Happy Thanksgiving! Holiday Shopping Tips and Ideas from the Elves
- GIVEAWAY! One-of-a-Kind Green Merry Mocs
- 2013 Holiday Shipping for Soft Star Shoes
- Tips for Choosing Minimalist Boots and Winter Shoes
- GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Pair of Very Unique Merry Mocs!
- We Have a Winner for Our Halloween Costume Contest!
- Help Us Pick a New Leather Color
- Shoe Artisans Share New Ideas at the Soft Star Workshop
- Heartfelt Obituary for Red Dash
- Monkeys and Elves Unite! Soft Star Teams Up with Luna Sandals
- Soft Star Halloween Costume Photo Contest… and a Secret from the Elves
- Knee Arthritis? Change Your Shoes for Prevention and Treatment
- We Have a Sweepstakes Winner! And More to Come...
- ►September 2013 (5)
- ►August 2013 (5)
- ►July 2013 (5)
- ►June 2013 (4)
- Should Trail Shoes Be Thicker Than Street Shoes? Maybe Not...
- Soft Star Survey: Receive a Free $5 Gift Card and a Chance to Win $100 Cash!
- Elves Getting Dirty! Soft Star Volunteers at SAGE Community Gardens
- First Sneak Peek at the New Soft Star Ballet Flat!
- Maker's Wild Documentary: Go Behind the Scenes at Soft Star Shoes
- Are High Heels Giving You Hammer Toes? Tips for Prevention and Treatment
- Intrigued by Barefoot Running? Start this Weekend with International Barefoot Running Day!
- Are Those Shoes Made of Wood?
- Wikler's Quest for Healthy Children's Feet
- Michael Sandler Visit and Workshop – Barefoot Walking Book Review and GIVEAWAY!
- Thinking of Boston
- How Fast Do Children's Feet Grow?
- Barefoot Pioneers: the People Who Taught Us "Barefoot is Best"
- Caballo Blanco's Legacy Lives On: Tom Norwood Returns from Copper Canyon
- Book Review: Overthinking the Marathon by Ray Charbonneau
- Reinventing the Hammer: OSU Students Bring Their Skills to Soft Star
- An Olympic Thank You! Help Missy Franklin Swim for MS
- The Mighty Arch, Part 2: Strengthen Your Arches to Treat and Prevent Foot Pain
- Running Green: Soft Star Shoes at the Portland Shamrock Run
- Winter Playday at the Soft Star Workshop
- The Mighty Arch, Part 1: A Natural Cure for Plantar Fasciitis?
- ►February 2013 (4)
- ►January 2013 (1)
- ►December 2012 (5)
- A Barefoot Running Book for Kids (Includes Free Lesson in Consumerism) + GIVEAWAY!
- Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey Shoes and Small Business
- Infographic: How to Choose Barefoot Shoes
- Rally 4 Jillie!
- Gifts for Her this Holiday Season - Fitting Tassels
- Sneak Peek at New Shoes for Women and Men - Vote for a Name!
- ►October 2012 (6)
- ►September 2012 (3)
- ►August 2012 (3)
- ►June 2012 (3)
- ►May 2012 (2)
- ►April 2012 (2)
- ►March 2012 (1)
- ►February 2012 (3)
- ►January 2012 (2)
- ►December 2011 (4)
- ►November 2011 (3)
- ►October 2011 (3)
- ►September 2011 (4)
- ►August 2011 (4)
- ►July 2011 (5)
- ►June 2011 (3)
- ►May 2011 (5)
- ►April 2011 (3)
- ►March 2011 (2)
- ►February 2011 (4)
- ►January 2011 (3)
- ►November 2010 (4)
- ►October 2010 (2)
- ►August 2010 (2)
- ►July 2010 (1)
- ►May 2010 (3)
- ►April 2010 (4)
- ►March 2010 (3)
- ►February 2010 (9)
- ►January 2010 (1)
- ►December 2009 (3)
- ►November 2009 (2)
- ►October 2009 (5)
- ►September 2009 (3)
- ►August 2009 (3)
- ►July 2009 (2)
- ►June 2009 (3)
- ►May 2009 (3)
- ►April 2009 (2)
- ►March 2009 (6)
- ►February 2009 (2)
- ►January 2009 (4)
- ►December 2008 (3)
- ►November 2008 (4)
- ►October 2008 (4)
- ►August 2008 (4)
- ►July 2008 (2)
- ►June 2008 (4)
- ►May 2008 (4)
- ►April 2008 (7)
- ►March 2008 (2)
- ►February 2008 (2)
- ►January 2008 (4)
- ►November 2007 (2)
- ►October 2007 (5)
- ►September 2007 (1)
- ►August 2007 (2)
- ►July 2007 (3)
- ►June 2007 (2)
- ►May 2007 (2)
- ►April 2007 (2)
- ►March 2007 (4)
- ►February 2007 (2)
- ►January 2007 (2)
- ►December 2006 (1)
- ►November 2006 (4)
- ►October 2006 (3)
- ►September 2006 (4)
- ►August 2006 (5)
- ►July 2006 (4)
- ►June 2006 (5)