Softstar's 2022 Year in Review
As we head into 2023, all of us here at Softstar want to thank you for a terrific year! Here a few highlights looking back.
The Elves are always designing new styles and improving old ones based on customer input, and 2022 was no different. Due to supply chain disruptions, we had to adjust our expectations a little, but we were still proud to launch an all-leather version of the Switchback Boot and a limited edition of a new Oxford dress shoe.
Finding Our Way Back to "Normal"
2022 was all about finding our way back to normal post-COVID. Putting the pandemic behind us meant learning to interact as a team again. Just moving our sewing machines closer together again and taking down plastic sheeting didn’t make everything “right”. We actually had to consciously work on talking, sharing and problem solving together after 24 months of working masked and separately. Our team invested in a month-long series of LEAN teamwork training, play-day, and several communication classes. Additionally, a return to fun-filled employee gatherings helped us get back in the swing of things.
In 2022 our family members were also free to start visiting the workshop again. Having our work place integrated with our families and communities is one of our core values, and it felt like new life here again!
Passing the Torch / Team Growth
When C.Elf.O. emeritus Larkin left this summer for adventures in Malaysia, she left huge boots to fill in terms of project management, metrics, IT and all things data. Marketing Warlord Martin and Professional Money Spender Patty, each with over a decade of devotion to Softstar, also moved onto new opportunities. We miss them all dearly.
This summer we hired nine new elves—the biggest batch of training Softstar has ever undertaken.
All this change was hard, but it also meant a lot of internal growth and skill building. We end the year feeling strong and competent.
It has been a good year, and we would not be here without you. We are fortunate to be able to craft our made-in-USA leather shoes for such incredible customers. From the Elves, big thanks and cheers to you!
Trish has been an entrepreneur, marketer and maker ever since she crushed her first lemonade stand at age five. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, she spent many summers running barefoot with her sisters. These early memories later inspired her to build a brand which embraced the joy and freedom of childhood with the health and science of minimal footwear.
Trish relishes evolving the company to grow stronger and more competitive with each passing year. She is a frequent expert panelist for both e-commerce and entrepreneurship conferences. Trish enjoys spending time with her family, dogs and ducks on their property in Oregon and loves the proximity to both surf and snow. She has a background in Engineering Physics and an MBA from the University of Chicago.