New Year, New Shop, New Look
Changes are afoot at the Softstar workshop!
If you follow us regularly then you know we spent most of 2016 renovating a historic building to be the new home of Softstar Shoes (originally a roller skating rink from 1950 that shut down many years ago). As much as we loved our cozy space in the small town of Corvallis, Oregon, we just didn't fit into it anymore.
After a busy week of moving we are now fully operational at our new location in the neighboring town of Philomath, Oregon!
But the changes don't stop there...
You may have noticed that our website looks a little different, as well as our logo. After 10+ years of our whimsical moon and star we decided it was time to give our brand image an update.
From its inception in 1985, Softstar sold exclusively baby and child shoes for almost 20 years, and our logo was designed to reflect those products. With the introduction—and unexpected popularity—of our adult styles over the past decade, we now cater to a much larger audience that includes office workers, window shoppers and hardcore trail runners. We felt we needed an upgrade that captures the personality of our adult shoes and their audience, but still maintains the fun playfulness that made our business what it is today... after all, kids' shoes are still a big part of our work, and we like to bring out the kid in all of us.
Hence, the new look of Softstar shoes!
Our new circular logo evolved from images of tree rings and fingerprints to represent the natural and individually handcrafted nature of our product. We expect most people will just see it as a fun icon while our shoes help them get moving to be their best selves.
We hope you enjoy the new theme. And if you ever find yourself in our corner of Oregon then we strongly recommend stopping by for a shop tour. Our official grand opening celebration will happen February 20-25, 2017!
In the meantime, enjoy some photos of our move:
The old workshop, before and after moving day. Sad to say goodbye!
Our talented shoemakers decide on the layout for our sewing machines and work benches in the new space.
Softstar founder Tim Oliver was a carpenter before he started making shoes, and he still enjoys tapping into his woodworking skills when we need new tables and shelves.
Elves Elizabeth and Keita arrange the storage system for our leather hides. These shelves will soon be the most colorful in our shop!
Although we've moved in, final renovations on our historic building will continue throughout 2017. It's a good thing foreman Alan isn't afraid of heights!
Elf Elizabeth unpacking all of our leather cutting patterns.
It's a lot of work to set up our sewing stations, but seamstress elves Sarah and Keita are up to the task!
The new Softstar showroom... now open to the public! We preserved as much of the old building as possible, and these refinished floorboards are from the original 1950 roller skating rink lobby.
So excited to have a mezzanine for our offices... not to mention the slide.
The new shop, before and after the move. It didn't take long for us to fill the space! It's a bit of a mystery how we managed to fit all of this into our old workshop.
Softstar founders Tim and Jeanie in our new showroom (January 2017), next to a newspaper photo from when they started the business in 1985. They've come a long way from making shoes in an old school bus! Click here to read the newspaper article shown in this photo.
The outside of the new and improved Softstar workshop. Exterior siding was a lower priority, so it will look like this for a bit longer :)