minnesota makers 03 : itasca leathergoods

i was first introduced to itasca leathergoods at arrow boutique in minneapolis. i was intrigued by the updated classic moccasin, and loved the idea of a soft sole, that, as the shop gals informed me, could be worn outside. a stylish shoe that felt like a slipper? what could be better?!

i recently visited the factory in lake george, minnesota-- which boasts the "smallest post office in the world". for the last leg of my drive, i was the only car for miles. 

itasca produces leather footwear, home goods, handbags and accessories, and every piece is designed and hand made right there in northern minnesota. this is just the kind of thing that gets me so excited… businesses that are directly supporting the local community as they grow. i was surprised to learn that minnetonka moccasins are machine sewn in china and the dominican republic, which explains the different price points between the two brands. i feel much better about making an investment in a pair of shoes from a company that values local production and honest craftsmanship. and, you can completely customize your pair of shoes, including sending along a foot tracing to get the perfect fit. this was exciting for me, because i really loved some of the mens styles! a big thank you to paul and the itasca team for so warmly welcoming me. it was a pleasure to spend some time in lake george, and i hope to do some part in spreading the word about this great brand.