I feel grateful when I have a chance to be an observer of our SOM journey. This is not something I often have a chance to do, but it happened recently and so I’d like to share this with you.
We have a new team member, our strategist, Scott, who has been working remotely for several months now. We haven’t had a chance to meet in person, but his name is always mentioned in the regular conversations at the factory, when we share the progress of his work. Scott has been waiting for a pair of SOMs for quite some time. I had put a pair assigned to him on the board for cutting but, a couple of days later, I noticed that this cutting order was still waiting to enter the process. When I visited with the shoemaker Olie (who is also our CEO and founder) I learned that he was waiting for material to come in, in order to make a pair of the Trailhead’s new generation (TH3) for Scott. Unfortunately, the material has been delayed for weeks, which has pushed back the transition date.
I reminded Olie that our strategist’s pair of shoes was long overdue, and the reason he gave me was that he wanted Scott to have the latest and best version of this model. His answer didn’t surprise me.
Olie is very particular. His work doesn’t allow him to interact with our customers very often, but he is always thinking about them. He wants them to have the best of the best he can make. And, as the shoemaker, he is constantly thinking of how to improve his models. In his creative mind, which is constantly simmering, the next version is going to be better, despite the fact that when he presents a model to his customers, it is the very best at the time.
The Trailhead sport model was a long time in the making. Early on, when Olie started to make SOM’s first shoes, he knew that he wanted to make a sport model. He wanted to create a shoe that would suit his lifestyle activities no matter what he likes to do. That was his dream when first becoming a shoemaker in 2011. At that time he was an avid runner, and he also liked to rock climb and mountain bike in the summer. Today he is somewhere between a mountain trail runner and a Crossfit Barn guy (he loves to do crossfit in his barn which he calls the Crossfit Barn). Although he always succeeded in making SOM Footwear models very versatile, he couldn’t call them “sport” models. The Trailhead changed this dynamic when it finally came to fruition in 2018. This is the reason you are seeing a third version of it: he is constantly improving his first official sport model.
“We serve our customers in every possible way, so they know in their hearts how important they are to us.” - SOM Footwear
Photo Credit: Pictures were taken at Craters of the moon National Park. Nature is is always our source of inspiration.