It really does take a village! In this case, the perfect expression to indicate and acknowledge all of the people and their roles in the process leading up to the success of our project, Wrapton. We, Michael and I, are the two sides of the point that makes up the spear head and all the people involved; craftsmen, professionals and suppliers alike, are the long shaft that work together to reach a common goal. We are all part of the village.
Michael and I recently returned from our second trip to Europe to reinforce and solidify what we started to work on less than one year ago. Together, we began with a vision to create ecologically friendly, genuine leather, women’s shoes with fashion comfort features at a reasonable price and we had a plan to make them accessible directly to the public. We are constantly assessing our trajectory and making the necessary adjustments where they are needed, both with the plan and the product.
Our trip took us first to the Veneto area to visit suppliers and factories and then Milan, Italy, where there is no limit to the inspiration one gets from the multitude of high-fashion houses on display intertwined with both history and culture. In Milan, we attended back-to-back fairs and clocked over 80,000 steps in 4 days. Needless to say, I got a few badges on my fitness app! The first trade show we attended, Lineapelle, was the international leather fair dedicated to materials and the second show, Micam, was the leading international exhibition of the footwear industry. At both fairs we were so surprised to see how many people turned out and how many exhibitors there were. In fact, we found everyone was eager to get back to business as usual after Covid even though there was a looming sense of the war: FN, Strong U.S. Business Fuels Italian Players at Micam, But Mood Impacted by Energy Crisis, Russia Ukraine War, By Katie Abel
We found so many new items and endless possibilities at both fairs, however daunting a task it was. Happily, there was a prevailing trend towards sustainability at Lineapelle and we were able to make amazing connections for Wrapton going forward: WWD, Sustainability a Hot Topic at Lineapelle, by Teresa Potenza
Once done with the fairs in Milan, Italy we headed to Portugal to put all of our research to work. We sorted and sourced our new materials and worked with our factories on new samples and styles we wanted to develop for the next couple of seasons. Although, the process is a long one with many layers to consider, we are thankful we have a lot of help from amazing people and collaborators. It really does take a village!