Ready for the New Year! Highlights of 2014
It's hard to believe, but another year has already come to an end. 2014 was a good one for us, and we hope it was for you, too. Our shoemaking elves had no shortage of laughs and adventures, and before we ring in 2015 we'd like to take a look at some of our best memories the last year gave our workshop.
Our shoemaking artists let their hair down this year and came up with several creative footwear designs that impressed everyone in the shop. Some of these were fan shoes made for fun while others were gifts for special occasions. Here are a few of our favorites:
Clockwise from top left:
- Amazing Spiderman Shoes
- Oregon State Football Shoes
- Bumblebee Transformer Shoes (for Tim's Grandson)
- Team USA World Cup Shoes
- Superbowl Team Shoes: Seahawks vs. Broncos
- George Takei Fan Shoes
- World Cup Finals Shoes: Germany vs. Argentina
- True Blood Fan Shoes
Softstar Volunteers at SafeHaven Animal Shelter
An important part of Softstar's core values is to give back to our community and be a good citizen of the earth. We donated thousands of dollars this year to schools, the Earth Island Institute and other non-profit organizations... and our staff gets involved, too!
Last May, we closed our shop for a day so our whole staff could volunteer for our local humane society. The SafeHaven Animal Shelter just opened a new thrift store and needed help landscaping the property. We spent the day weeding, shoveling and clearing debris to help give back to the wonderful community that has always supported us
We launched a new project this fall by posting all of our One-of-a-Kind shoes on our website. Throughout the year, we accumulate a substantial collection of unique DYO shoes that normally sit around our workshop until our big clearance sale in February. We're now excited to offer them year-round on our website with same-day shipping and no DYO fees!
Softstar Shoes on the Legend of Mick Dodge
We were both surprised and thrilled this year to learn that mountain-man Mick Dodge wears our leather RunAmoc moccasins on his television show! Mick left civilization 20 years ago to live off the land and has resided in Washington's Olympic National Forest ever since. We're flattered that our moccasins meet his standards for primal living and recently made him a new pair.
Fitting Tassels Now Available on Softstar's Website
A couple years ago, one of our elves learned how to make stylish leather tassels, which quickly became available for sale under the brand Fitting. While these fashionable fobs were once only available via Etsy, we decided this year to carry them on our own website. We're proud to carry these high-quality accessories, made from the same finei grade of leather as our shoes!
New Shoe Styles
This is always one of our favorite parts of each year. Our designer elves work hard to develop new and improved shoes to add to our wonderful handmade product line, and we had some real winners come out with our 2014 collection.
- Solstice Sandals: Our adult women's sandals have been a hit!
- Shiny Fringe Baby Buttercups: These blingy moccasins are adding style to cribs around the globe!
- Elk Leather Roo Moccasins: Made form wildharvested North American elk, these Roo mocs may be both our softest and most durable yet!
- Monogrammed Mocs: Now you can personalize your Roos with a monogrammed leather button!
Our loyal RunAmoc fans have sent us many photos throughout the year showing us all the races and trails their Softstars have taken them. We love being part of your running community, and we also enjoy sharing running-related posts with our fans. Here are three of our favorites from this year:
- 90-and-Over Relay Team Sets Three World Records: Think you're too old to start running? Think again. Last July, a relay team of five 90+ men showed the whole world that age stereotypes could be shattered.
- Runner Struck By Lightning, Keeps On Running: As if the Hardrock100-mile ultramarathon wasn't hard enough... Adam Campbell was struck by lightning 60 miles into the race. Not only did he keep running, he also finished in third place!
- Meb: This story really needs no explanation. In the first Boston Marathon since the 2013 bombings, Meb Keflezighi became the first American man to win first place in over 30 years. That's a lot of firsts!
New Website Look... with VISULALIZER
We gave our website's theme a major overhaul this year, primarily to make it easier to navigate and shop on mobile devices. Along with the change came our new shoe visualizer. Though still in beta testing, this long-awaited tool gives you a preview of what your design-your-own Ramblers or suede moccasins will look like before they are made. Feel free to play with it and let us know what you think!
Softstar Shoes at Born to Run Ultra
We were honored last May with the opportunity to sponsor a booth at the 2014 Born to Run Ultramarathon in Los Olivos, California. Special thanks goes out to Luis Escobar for directing the race to Caity McCardell for both arranging this opportunity for us and manning the booth! Be sure to check out Caity's Unapologetically Ultra podcast.
New Elf in the House!
Hands down, the biggest news at our workshop this year was the arrival of a new elf! Many of you know Customer Service Elf Tesla as the voice that answers our phone (or responds to your emails). Tesla has been a vital part of Softstar for a long time, and this year she and her husband Michael had their first child. Right up to the August birth date, Tesla and Michael still couldn't decide on a name for their daughter, so she asked all of our social media fans for suggestions... and received hundreds of responses! In the end, they decided to name their super sweet and uber cute baby... SAGE!
Softstar is committed to providing a kid- and baby-friendly workplace, so Sage is now a regular at our workshop (often strapped to Tesla as she responds to customers).
All in all, it was a great year for us. We're super exited now to see what 2015 has to offer.
Wishing you a peaceful and joyous new year!