It's that time of year again... and no, I'm not talking about cleaning that scary drawer in the staff fridge. It's time to PLAY!
Twice a year, we set aside most of one workday to turn off the shoe production and turn on our ingenuity. The entire staff of Softstar shoes is encouraged to work on any creative project of their choosing. We are allowed to use the tools and scrap materials in the shop to make anything we want, or to reorganize a messy workspace or improve a broken system. Most of our elves choose the first option.
The purpose of our playdays is to improve creative thinking, learn new skills, boost morale and occasionally find a new product to make and sell. Overall, however, the number one goal is to have FUN!
Our first playday of 2019 was a huge success, and the first for many new elves on our crew. We were thoroughly impressed with all of the clever creations that were presented at the end of the day and we'd like to share them with you.
Keep in mind that these were fun prototypes and not products that are available for sale from Softstar... yet. Let us know which ones are your favorites!
If you like these, then check out our complete gallery of every playday project our staff has made over the years.
Elf Hava impressed us all with her monster sandal!
More views of Hava's monster sandal.
Elf Lauren made earrings out of leather scraps.
Elf Molly experimented with a Dash RunAmoc made from vegan materials.
Elf Tsevle made fun new motifs from our existing die patterns (the spirals are made from our moon motifs).
Tsevle also made a leather bag with a bunny motif.
Elf Tory experimented with new sandal designs.
Elf Sarah used leather scraps to make tassels.
Elf Crystal made a Roman-inspired dog vest.
Elf Crystal's dog Ptera poses in her handmade vest.
Elf Crystal also used leather scraps to make mousepads and coasters for our shop.
Elf Crystal also made trays from leather scraps.
Elf Martin made a variety of removable leather shoe clips for our Ballerine flats.
Elf Martin also experimented with removable motifs for RunAmocs.
Elf Lindsey created new motifs for Soltice sandals (and learned that polka dots are a nightmare to sew).
Elf Ali made her first stuffed project: a leather neck pillow stuffed with sheepskin.
Elf Ali also made a pouch out of shiny leather scraps.
A longtime Nacho Libra fan, Taylor made his first leather wrestling mask.
Well, we had to show you what the mask looked like on Taylor, right?
Elf Taylor also experimented with a huarache-style sandal.
Elf Keita made a Roman sandal.
Elf Keita also made a waxed leather purse with fringe.
Elf Katie designed a shark motif. She had this in mind for a customer with a special needs child who likes sharks on his clothes.
Elf Emily reused an innertube from the tire place next door to our workshop to make galoshes big enough for minimalist shoes.
Elizabeth used the leftovers of Emily's innertube to experiment with moccasins made with rubber soles.
Elf Elizabeth also made a pair of earmuffs (perhaps inspired by Princess Leia?)
Elf Elizabeth also set up a basket for customers to deposit their used bicycle innertubes for reuse on our Primal RunAmocs.
Elf Tolaria worked on vamps for her first shoe design!
Elf Ken used sheepskin scraps to make a padded knee lift. This tool is used by our seamsters to operate sewing machines with their knees, and the padding helps prevent pain after long periods of use.
Elf Levi also worked on his first shoe design by making a loafer!
Elf Rob also experimented with his first stuffed leather toy and made... a skinny 2-legged rabbit that may scare small children.
Elf Rob also used leather scraps to make a decorative tree.