OUR MANUFACTURING JOURNEY
We are sometimes asked why our footwear is not currently made in the USA. When we first started out in 1946, we owned and operated a factory just a few miles from our current Minneapolis, MN headquarters. Fortunately, we were able to maintain manufacturing operations there for two decades. But as the interest and skill set of the local workforce shifted in new directions, eventually it was not feasible for us to keep our factory onshore.
In 1966, we moved our manufacturing operations to the US territory of Puerto Rico, so we could keep jobs in North America. We operated in Puerto Rico for 30 years before the same issue of a shortage of skilled workers prompted us to move to our current location, in the Dominican Republic. Today, we still own and operate our factory in the Dominican Republic, where we continue to handcraft shoes, boots, slippers and accessories. We also partner with a select number of factories outside Shanghai, China, for manufacturing some of our other products. We still proudly maintain a US-based warehouse in our Minneapolis office which supports our local economy.
We have explored the possibility of reinstating a US-based factory, but unfortunately the same challenges we faced 50 years ago are even more pronounced now: few interested and skilled workers, and practically zero material suppliers. In lieu of manufacturing onshore, we work hard to ensure that working conditions in our Dominican Republic factory and at our factory partners in China are held to high ethical standards. You can read more about both of our factories below.