Feet in cotton. People from all over the country come to the White Carpathians for custom-made shoes

Source: Michaela Židlický - forbes.cz

In the hills above Luhačovice, there is a workshop where shoemakers sit with contented wrinkles similar to the gorges that pockmark the surrounding landscape. A small local shoe company has won the hearts of people from all over the country. They come here to stop in time at the machines from the Baťov factory.

Different widths and lengths, colors, half numbers, orthopedic insoles or even any other long or wide shoe can be handled here with ease. In the Slavičín footwear workshop of the family company Jančařík Shoes, the comfort of the feet is taken care of in shoes made to order by the customer.

Discover the collection of ballerinas →

Shoes in sizes 33 to 48, including half shoes, are designed and manufactured by the whole family. She decided that in a region famous for shoe production, at the foot of the White Carpathians near Zlín, she would not tread her shoe business with mass production, but with a personal approach and comfort for every foot .

And it is their custom-made production that makes it possible to vary the size and width of the insole, thanks to which they are able to fit almost anyone. And this is not only good news for people with special needs, but also for their family business, with which they will exceed thirteen million this year.

But their beginnings were gradual, they made the first pairs of shoes under their own brand in 2012 at home in the living room. Two years later came an imaginary turning point. "From that year, as a family, we began to devote ourselves properly to something that could have looked more like a hobby," describes the beginnings of the youngest member of the company, Tomáš Jančařík.

This was at their home in the living room, from which they gradually moved into a small office and bought the first three sewing machines. During this time, they used the already functioning productions in Zlín, where they were happy to accommodate them due to insufficient sales. There, they transformed the components prepared for them into the final product.

"For a long time, we realized our sales exclusively within the framework of various pop-ups, design markets and markets. But with the gradual growth, it was necessary to create an e-shop, which is of course much more convenient than ordering via messages on Facebook," Jančařík the younger adds, adding that they managed to launch the first online orders in October 2019.

At that moment, they also confirmed the theory that building a house without solid and above all its own foundations makes no sense and it is necessary to have its own factory. Just before the covid period, they found themselves faced with an important decision and a large financial investment to build their own production facilities.

But it was not easy to find shoemaking machines, suitable equipment was not available in the Czech Republic, until they managed to buy real gems made in Svit in Zlín, which they found refurbished in Slovakia and Poland. And although it took seven months before they were properly adjusted, repaired and rebuilt, orders kept increasing.

Each subsequent year was better than the last, so that today they can custom-make thirty pairs a day, and they have orders until the beginning of February.

"The main sales channel for us is still the e-shop. But there are also days when customers from Prague, Brno, Olomouc and other places visit us. Sometimes we can't believe it ourselves that someone is able to drive hundreds of kilometers for shoes. But it always makes us very happy and we are happy to show everyone behind the scenes of our shoemaking production," says Miroslav Jančařík.

It is he who is responsible for the designs of all the shoes, because he has worked in the shoe industry all his life. "Dad worked in all the shoe companies around, he also worked in a local shoe company that focused on the development and production of military and tourist shoes, and he managed to get a glimpse of production in France or India as well, " adds his son Tomáš Jančařík.

But he was always closer to business and marketing. In Jančařík Shoes, he takes care of the entire e-commerce and things related to it. But there are still days when he puts on an apron and helps shoemakers in production. His mother, Alena, is the company's customer support, who keeps a firm hand on delivery times, dispatch of e-shop orders and communication with customers.

Discover the farm girl collection →

"She is the one whom everyone who approaches us when choosing shoes meets. Because we put a personal approach first, this is an absolutely key position . The proof of her excellent work is the customers, who over time have become some of the closest friends of all of us," adds Jančařík the younger.

However, their business was not created as a calculus around a hole in the market. "Everything stems from a huge lust for owning a functioning business and a love for the craft ," says Tomáš, who was drawn to shoes long before he came of age.

"As a family, we are quite entrepreneurial, and just as my father led me into business from my childhood, he also worked in his father's company. In addition to learning how to make shoes together basically from start to finish - including operating all the necessary machinery and equipment, he also gives me an insight into the development process. We make all the decisions together, " adds Tomáš.

However, seventeen employees and seasonal part-timers work together on all shoes, who always produce specific orders agreed through the e-shop or the new showroom in Prague, where shoes can be tried on and ordered, including a facelift, and service and repairs can then be dealt with.

"The way we make our shoes goes hand in hand with that. The most important tool of all cobblers and seamstresses is their hands. Hands that give maximum care and attention to each pair of shoes. All the machines and equipment are just helpers for the work done honestly by specific people, " says Miroslav Jančařík.

His son then adds that they have people in the team who have been in the business for more than fifty years and are real masters. "Experience and knowledge are put together here and literally passed on from generation to generation. We continue the shoemaking tradition of our locality, but with our own story, with the fact that customer satisfaction and a quality product are the most important. "

In addition to taking care of the foot so that it is comfortable, they now also plan to expand the range of models while maintaining a personal approach and a high proportion of handwork. Jančařík have been convinced that shoes don't have to be just black, white and brown from the beginning, and they also don't want to release dozens of new models into the world.

Ankle boots for him and for her →

"We want every couple to find their owner. Therefore, in our offer you will find rather fewer models in many colorful and colorful designs. But we also have the most common classics, which must not be missing in any shoe store," adds Miroslav Jančařík, who can make military, orthopedic, children's, work, firefighting, barefoot or classic women's shoes.

“Because we are not a mass production company, we can give each shoe what it needs. That is why there are many customers who wear our shoes for five years. In case of any wear and tear, we can also revive them and replace the soles. Thanks to this, it is not necessary to produce additional goods, but existing ones can make the user happy for much longer," adds Tomáš Jančařík.

So, if you are looking for the ideal custom-made shoes, the Jančařík family business will be happy to help you with that in its picturesque workshop.

Source: Michaela Židlický - forbes.cz

Shoes for her →

Shoes for him →