Introduction to the Business of Shoemaking







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"Introduction to The Business of Shoemaking"

3 Day Private Consulting Workshop

"Crash Course" Weekend

This program is an Advanced Level, extremely detailed, Business Oriented Workshop, designed for the individual that is considering a serious investment or career in the Business of Designing or Manufacturing Shoes.

Since this is a Private Advanced Workshop that focuses on your project and your specific needs scheduling can be arranged at any mutually convenient date.

Listed below are some of the topics considered fundamental to understanding how the shoe design and manufacturing business works.

During the workshop we will make a sample / prototype shoe from scratch, starting from a sketch, creating the pattern, and hand crafting a shoe. In this way you can gain a working knowledge and vocabulary of every step in the process.

We will customize the workshop to answer all your questions and help you to minimize the risk as you move forward with your business plans.



The Business of Making Shoes:
We will share with you the inside details of the shoe industry, so you can supply realistic numbers to your business plan.

The Foot:
The basic relationship of the foot to the rest of the body. How the foot works with an emphasis on how the foot relates to the function of the shoe.

The Shoe Last:
The solid form that a shoe is molded on is called a “Shoe Last”. The most important aspect of proper fitting footwear is the design, volume and shape of the shoe last.

Measuring & Fitting:
This is the first step to understanding the relationship of the foot and shoe.

Designing & Grading Patterns:
A pattern shell for each last must be fit and graded to insure proper fit and function of the finished shoe. Style lines are applied to the pattern shell to create individual designs.

Selecting Materials:
Each component is examined and analyzed, for proper application in regard to the function and style of the shoes being created. (upper & lining leather, insoles & outsoles, heel counters, toe boxes, etc.)

Insoles & Support:
One of the most important parts of a shoe is the bottom. This is the area of the foot that supports the entire weight and movement of the body.

Hand Tools & Machines:
An opportunity to observe Craftsmanship first hand, working with traditional hand tools and machinery used to make footwear.



Sourcing & Management:
It is vital to the success of any manufacturing operation to create detailed specifications sheets, production calendar, and reference manuals for each product and manufacturer.

Product Development & Testing:
From Concept to Design to Prototype to Fit Trial Samples to Sales Samples, you will learn how to manage every stage of the process.

Focusing Your Efforts & Resources:
We will show you how to focus your efforts and resources and give attention to the details at each step along the way. We will explain how to develop a realistic Action Plan and Time Line for your project from concept to marketplace.

Cutting Dies:
Steel Rule Cutting Dies are an essential element in the mass production process and an investment. Cutting Dies are an exact copy of the pattern.

CNC Technology: Tools & Machines
We will explore the latest technology peripherals available for performing specific tasks.

In some manufacturing situations, CNC Technology can replace conventional tooling with Water Jet, Laser Cutting, Oscillating Knives.

Questions & Answers:
You can ask any question that you wish, we will do our best to provide the answer.


Morning - Agenda

Afternoon - Agenda

Day 1

Before the Workshop Begins

To qualify for this program we ask that you submit a detailed plan of the subject matter that you would like to cover during the workshop, preferably 3 weeks in advance.

We would like to have samples, photos, sketches or prototypes of the footwear you are intending to make, as well as an outline of how you plan to set up and operate your business.


As part of our preparation process we will need to have telephone conversations with you, and devote at least one day in preparation for your time here at the workshop, reviewing your documents, samples, or other materials that you may wish to submit.

When you arrive we will be prepared with the right information and demonstrations to focus on your project, and maximize your learning experience.

Day 2

You Arrive at ShoeSchool

Overview of the Shoe Business, with focus on the operations for each step and process in creating footwear.

We will make a complete shoe from original sketch to the finished unit, so the student can see every step of the operations first hand.


Understanding the basic relationship of the Foot, to the Shoe Last, and then on to the Finished Shoe.

We will examine the concepts of proper fitting shoe lasts, as well as Designing Footwear & Selecting Materials.

Day 3

New business models are being created every day. We will Explore the Possibilities.

We will discuss and apply the technical data from Day 1 and Day 2 to your particular project.

Review the strategies and the financial planning required for operating a modern shoe manufacturing and marketing business in the 21st Century.

Questions and Answers, applying the information to your own business plan.

Weekend "Crash Course" Daily Schedule

8:30 ....Workshop Opens
12:00 ....Lunch
1:30 ....Workshop Resumes
6:00 ....Workshop Closes

Introduction to Business of Shoemaking - Special Program 5 + 1

This program is for people that want the Full 5 Day Hands On Workshop experience, plus one day of Private Business Consulting, you can stay for an extra day to focus on the business aspects of your specific shoe project.



Student Interview Videos

Watch Streaming Video

See and Hear what the students have to say about their experience...


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