Hello ! Hi ! First of all, thank you for accompanying us in our beginnings. This automatically makes you a SAOLA “VIP” member for life! Which for the moment does not have much value – we grant you that, but we hope that you will soon be very proud of it!
On our side, it's the beginning of the great adventure. It is therefore a good time to update you on what has happened in recent months and to take stock of the development of the brand. But first….
A little history
It was about a year and a half ago that SAOLA went from a concept to a real project. Passionate about the environment and the Outdoor world, SAOLA had been on Guillaume's mind for a long time.
In 2015, it was time to take action (and no…it wasn't the midlife crisis!). After 13 years in Colorado, he quit his job in the outdoor industry, packed his bags and put his family on the plane to return to France and start a new adventure. Yallah!
Design + Development
The shoe design process, which is constantly evolving, has given us great lessons in humility. We got used to plans B… or C… well, ok, even D, but all this without compromising our initial objective. But with each prototype received, we get closer and closer to what we had imagined… the foot! Of course, we are under pressure, but who wouldn't want to design their own eco-designed shoes?! And we're almost there.
Nine months of development later, we went to meet our suppliers again. We're happy to tell you that the shoes look great and comfortable. Along the way, we realize – Oh! how much, it is not easy to remain faithful to our responsible commitment and therefore, we understand why the offer of eco-designed shoes on the market is so underdeveloped. Well, we'll explain all this to you in a new post next time, but for now, we guarantee that we're pushing to the max for the most respectful practices and materials possible.
Oh yes… that little detail… (gasp). The preview launch is planned for you – our super VIP network, via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter® next May. We take our diary and write it down in red, with exclamation points and happy emoticons because you are going to be the first to own a pair of sneakers that are committed to the planet. We promise, we'll give you more info very soon. Otherwise, SAOLA shoes will be on sale in stores and on our website from the beginning of 2018. We have already started talking to representatives and retailers who all loved the concept. Too happy! But first of all: let's explode the counter on Kickstarter!
The Outdoor Sports Valley Incubator
Based in Annecy, Outdoor Sports Valley (OSV) is the professional association that brings together companies in the outdoor sector in France. So inevitably when SAOLA was accepted among the first projects to be "incubated" last summer, it gave us a boost but above all, it was the first time that someone "official" showed us a little bit of 'love. In addition to the fact that they love us and reassure us (which is very very important?), the OSV offers us a roof… support, their network and visibility with the media. We have just completed the second phase of the incubator and are entering phase 3 for a period of one year. Thanks to the OSV community!
And There you go ! We're so happy to be able to show you the shoes soon and we can't wait for you to wear them!
But what makes us even happier is to be able, thanks to you, to support these projects that will help preserve OUR planet!
Together, we can #MAKEANIMPACT