We are here, today, because of you.
Without your initial support back in February 2013 and in each subsequent round of boots, there simply would not have been another way for us to launch the project at the time. It was only with your support, which was at its core an investment, that we were able to take that risk and the leap of faith to begin something new and different like this. Boot by boot, it has been quite a journey.
A year ago, we had an idea, but we didn't know how we were going to make it happen. So Sanders, Travis and I decided to just go for it. I have never felt so energized as I did those first few days of seeing what textiles y'all chose, working with the bootmakers and the weavers, figuring out our systems, and getting to work. We started from scratch, and that was a pretty crazy thing to do...add to that the fact that we wanted all the boots to be an expression of you, so no two would be alike. I remember, at one point, I literally thought I was about to faint because I thought I had mixed up the translations for the measurements and that all the boots were made in the wrong size. The thought of letting you all down made me feel sick. Luckily, I realized that the translations had been correct and it was all ok, and we ended up having a 90% success rate with that first round (we are now at 93%!). There was this immense feeling of risk, knowing that you had put your faith in us. It is truly remarkable what faith like that can do for the human spirit, it makes you feel like you can accomplish anything, if you have your community behind you. We hope that we can repay that faith and kindness to you, and support the things that you are passionate about.
Making it happen
It has been quite a year in the boot world. In May, we decided to go full steam ahead and make the boots a permanent part of the Teysha family. Boy, were we in for a wild ride. There were times when we all felt like it would be impossible for anything else to go wrong, and then one more thing would happen, and then another, and another. There were times when we questioned what the heck we were doing, whether or not we were totally crazy for trying to do this. Of course, with those challenges, came learning and opportunities. Here, we want to give our immense gratitude to the incredible leadership of Hanna Hall, our Guate Boot Lady who has now been at the helm of the workshop for 9 months. Hanna was down there, day in and day out, figuring out how to create a system, build a team, improve quality and consistency, and bring this happiness to our customers. She bore many challenges and frustrations, but among those, she also grew an incredible bond with the people who would become our team. We also would like to thank Victor, who started out as a quiet leather cutter, and is now the assistant manager of the shop. We have seen him blossom through the opportunity to gain more responsibilities and to lead, a chance he never had before. Through those challenges, Hanna, Victor, Travis and co have built up the most amazing team of 15 boot makers in the community. The past few months we have felt like we have been hitting our stride, feeling really solid, and really excited. Excited, because now that we have built (and continue to build), this strong foundation, we know there is so much potential for the community, the families, and the art form. It's the greatest feeling to see the world full of possibilities. Thank you.
The future is bright
In this second year of Guate Boot World, we want to continue to grow our team and our boot family, innovate and create the best darn boots there ever were, and share this beautiful world with all of you, and with the whole world. We have plans in place to expand our workshop, continue to develop our Kuna Kicks line, invest in improved infrastructure, create new programs for the community, and many other projects that we don't even know yet. As we do this, our goal is to plant the seeds and form the basis for what will some day become a Teysha school of sorts, for artisans, designers, youth, and for all of you to come and learn and grow and exchange ideas. Slowly but surely!!
How you can help
We will be reaching out to you all again soon about our fundraising for our expanded workshop, new boot and shoe styles, and a new line of accessories. And, a new home coming soon in Austin!! Thank you for your support!
We also want to see who of you all would be interested in coming on the inaugural Boot Tour in Guatemala!!? We are thinking April, if you are interested please send us dates that might work for you. Click here for a sample itinerary. We want to do this as much as possible throughout the year, so if April is not a good time, there will be more!
It truly means the world to us that you supported us from the beginning, and we thank you so much for being a part of this journey. May the adventures continue, and may you come and visit!! Peace, love, and art!