Handmade espadrilles and other small victories


Handmade espadrilles and other small victories

Every day most of us are chasing Big Goals. From getting that killer promotion, Kingdom of Wow slippers surpassing global sales of Crocs (I mean god-awful looking plastic shoes, how hard can that actually be??), writing a book, raising your children to become model citizens, to the all popular with visitors to developing countries “Making A Difference”.

The thing is with Big Goals they tend to take time and require incredible perseverance, if they don’t turn out to unattainable altogether. Haven’t we all written a chapter or two of what was to become the next Man Booker sensation only to realise it’s much harder than we imagined? Who here hasn’t travelled to developing countries and thought ‘I could do something to make it better here! If only they could all go to school…’ simply to discover after primary school comes high school, then vocational training or university, and that any form of education is quite useless unless followed by employment. Meanwhile our slippers have been out there for three years and our sales are nowhere near those of the public’s favorite plastic slipper.

Take a moment to appreciate the little things

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a plea to lose all ambition nor to not have Big Goals. Au contraire! I’m a firm believer of reaching for the stars. Your own imagination really is the only limitation. In fact, as a former diplomat with no handcrafting skill whatsoever now running a footwear brand AND workshop, I think I’m quite the living example of that adagio. I’m instead encouraging you to occasionally press pause and take a moment to enjoy the small accomplishments on the way to that Big Goal!

Today I’m doing exactly that: I’m letting in the Kingdom of Wow-effect.  Rather than focusing on my computer screen I’m gazing around the workshop. My eye falls on a random pair of our Kingdom of Wow espadrilles sat on the edge of my desk. It was an idea born barely five months ago. And as it goes with many ideas, it wasn’t accompanied by a sensible and detailed plan. I simply went ahead and ordered 500 pairs of soles. Because, well, you’ve got to start somewhere!

Finding joy in the making of handmade

And now, as I’m sat looking at rows of neatly stacked espadrilles in an array of colours and sizes, it hits me: we did it!! Kingdom of Wow is actually making espadrilles! Like that, an idea came into being. And I nearly missed this moment of joy because some excel file kept screaming at me that the Big Goal is yet to be reached. It’s amazing. We make shoes! I think I need to go out and buy cake. Or Champagne. Or perhaps both!

Written by Godie van de Paal