A Visitor from Afar
We had a special guest at our workshop last week. Mikko, a long-time customer from Finland, came to visit the elves!
Mikko's RunAmocs on one of his colder running days in Finland: -25°C (-13°F)
Several years ago, Mikko went on a search to find natural, minimalist shoes for himself and his family. After discovering Soft Star, he quickly became a fan and one of our most memorable customers by giving us much endearing feedback and gratitude. Over the years, he has sent us many amazing photos of his adventures running through snow near the Artic Circle in our RunAmocs. We were touched to learn that his wife Maija also enjoys Soft Stars, as well as his 10-year-old son Ojkar.
Mikko's son Ojkar wearing his Soft Star sandals on a neighbor's farm in Helsinki
We received an exciting message from Mikko a few weeks ago saying he would be traveling through America. The primary purpose of his visit was to study primal rock art in Mexico, and also to run the Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon while he was there. Part of his journey included passing through the Pacific Northwest, which meant he could visit us.
I had the honor to meet Mikko in person last Friday and give him a tour of our workshop to show him step-by-step how we make our shoes. He was able to meet the customer service elves he has come to know person over the years, as well as Soft Star's co-owner Larkin Holavarri and founder Tim Oliver.
Mikko and Elf Martin at the Soft Star workshop
He and Tim had a lot to talk about regarding the shoe industry, and the difficulty of finding natural, minimalist shoes for their children—the struggle that led Tim to start Soft Star Shoes and led Mikko to find us!
We were thrilled to sponsor Mikko with a pair of RunAmocs for his trip, and he also had a gift for us: a copy of the Kalevala, the national epic of Finnish folklore and mythology. To be exact, the version he gave us wss The Canine Kalevala because he knew we were a family-friendly workshop with lots of kids. We love it!
Before Mikko heads to Mexico, he will also be stopping by Seattle to visit our Monkey friends and neighbors at Luna Sandals. Luna is also sponsoring Mikko with their awesome huarache sandals, and we assured him that Barefoot Ted will become a very memorable friend.
Incidentally, Mikko is currently producing a silent documentary film about the origins of human culture, appropriately titled The Origins. His wife, Maija, composed the musical score and a trailer has already been released. We wish him the best of luck with this project, and encourage you to check out the trailer: