January 25, 2019
Exciting news from Guatemala!
In Stock vs Made-to-Order --
Teysha is one of the only workshops in the world that you can design custom shoes with. We love this model and it's always been a special way for us to directly link art-loving customers around the world with our talented artisans.
Over the years though, we've seen that not everyone wants to design their own shoes, and not everyone can or wants to wait 4-6 weeks for a unique shoe. So we are now also offering the option to buy In-Stock shoes that are already made and ready to ship from the US! These are our favorite styles pre-made in a select number of sizes and we know you will find something that you love!
Our Made-to-Order options are ones that we don't have in stock, and that will be made specially for you as soon as you order. These are often styles that we have limited quantities in the textile or leather, so we wait to make them until you order. You can expect to receive a Made-to-Order product within 4-6 weeks of your order date.
This expansion of our model allows for some instant shoe-gratification and also the sweet process of designing directly with the shoemakers and a worth-the-wait delivery!
Read on for some more insight into why we now have both systems and how it is helping our artisans grow!
Some exciting updates from Teysha Co-Founder Sophie, and Director of Production, Hanna...
It’s hard to believe the first Teysha boots were made in Guatemala in February 2013. Since that first pair of boots, our team has laid the foundation for an exciting new change taking place today.
Coming from a background of international development, the goal of working in Guatemala was always to provide the tools, training, and inspiration for the communities to continue on stronger and with more opportunities. Rather than a “top-down” approach or telling people how they should do things, we learned together about what worked and didn’t, with the goal of having local ownership of the ideas and plans.
(one of our very first pairs of custom Peace Boots from 2013)
Over time, our team of incredible shoemakers learned and perfected styles beyond their traditional cowboy boot roots. We learned as a team and even brought a professional shoe designer to come and spend time with our team, reaching them valuable tips and new ways to create styles. With the styles we are making now, our shoemaking team constantly says “wow, I cannot believe a shoe like this is coming out of Pastores!”. We’ve grown so much together, and together we've grown from our two original styles to now over 20 beautiful, handcrafted shoes.
(One of our favorite styles which debuted in 2018, the Amor Belt Slide, which features a traditional Mayan belt)
The next step of our journey together involves putting the shoemaking workshop 100% into the shoemakers and local teams hands. Teysha USA will be a client of theirs, and will hopefully sell as many shoes as they can make! As we began to discuss this idea about six months ago, the shoemaking team began to work with a different type of excitement. They had always been happy working “for” us, but the prospect of running their own company created all sorts of ideas for how to improve, make even better shoes, and create a longstanding institution and beacon in the town of Pastores.
(Our shoemaking base in Pastores, Guatemala, which was originally a one-story house that is now a shoe-making and creativity paradise)
This transition also brings some exciting changes for our customers. We plan to debut “in-stock” collections of small batches of handcrafted shoes, which you can purchase immediately. We SO appreciate everyone’s patience with our made to order system and hope this brings another option to you. We will still offer customizations and one of a kind experiences, but building some stock will benefit the new shoemaking business by having a steady and predictable stream of shoes to create.
We are excited to bring more consistency and ownership to our artisan partners, and more options to you, our customers.
Teysha will continue to grow and aim to support more Artisans and small businesses throughout the Americas and the world. Entering our eighth year in business, I couldn’t be more grateful for the support of our many customers who have become friends, our artisan partners without whom this wouldn’t have been possible, and the many team members who have been with Teysha throughout the years. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or if there’s anything you’d like to see from us!
Sophie and team Teysha
Hanna here in the Teysha workshop, or what can now be called the newest artisan-owned collaborative workshop of Pastores, Guatemala! I have been on the ground here in Guatemala for nearly 6 years now and it has been a wild ride to say the least. I went from a recent college graduate to the manager of a large team and designer in a new field and now all these years later, I've married and started my own Guatemalan family. In the workshop, we've produced thousands and thousands of pairs of shoes, we've expanded from only 2 shoe styles to over 20 styles and it's been a huge learning experience for not only me but our wonderful group of artisans.
Throughout these 6 years, we've all learned how to run a workshop from the ground up and we're excited to announce that we've gotten to a point where we are ready to expand and grow the workshop.
Our artisans were the first to suggest that they could run the workshop themselves, and we immediately loved the idea. By transferring the manufacturing workshop into the artisan's hands, each artisan will not only be able to directly affect their financial future, but they will also be able to experience success and failure in a supportive environment. By knowing the business inside and out, they themselves can make smart business choices, weigh risks, and reap rewards while steering their own ship. As you can probably imagine, many artisans in Guatemala and beyond do not have the financial capital to set up and run a business on their own, so Teysha is providing a path to independence that is comfortable for everyone.
Moving forward, the artisans have requested that I stay on as their advocate in the market and advise them moving forward on design, sales, quality concerns, and online presence. I plan to be there for them and help the workshop expand into working with other brands and setting up a direct online store for the artisans to populate with their own designs. Teysha will continue to be the backbone of the workshop production and will always hold a very special place in the hearts and histories of our artisans. And we hope we can grow to produce for brands all over the world and spread the art and tradition of Pastores.
I look forward to a very bright future with Teysha, the artisan collective, and many more exciting projects in the works that we can't yet reveal! Thank you for following along on our journey, here's to many more days of creativity, success, and happiness!