MANILA -- If you’re looking for stylish but durable footwear to complete your #OOTD without hurting your wallet like many broke millennials, Shoeracks is your go-to brand.
The local shoe brand blends meticulously selected products and age-old craftsmanship to create fashionable footwear that does not require sacrificing comfort or your hard-earned cash.
The dainty pairs, made from either genuine or vegan leather, are a steal, retailing for only P299 to P399.
"We are able to keep the price low because we manufacture the pairs ourselves," Tesalonica Matias, founder of Shoeracks Philippines, explained.
"Shoeracks is our online shop, but they are manufactured by our factory (in Marikina), Segullah Shoemaking," she added.
According to the young entrepreneur, her goal is to produce quality shoes that fit everyone's budget.
"Not everyone will be able to afford our pairs if tubuan namin ng malaki," Matias said.
While the price easily competes with those of cheap imports, Shoeracks guarantees its quality. Apart from from looking chic, the classic and minimalist designs are soft enough to get your feet through a busy day and sturdy enough to withstand the Philippine's erratic monsoon season.
For example, Shoeracks' TKISS flip flops, its bestseller since opening in 2012, are equipped with a non-slip rubber sole, perfect for the wet season. The thin leather straps, on the other hand, give a regal finish, providing a classier alternative to the usual rubber slippers.
"Before we release our styles to our clients, my family and I wear and break-in the shoes ourselves to make sure that our items are durable and comfortable," Matias reassured.
To keep the pairs affordable without compromising the quality, there was, of course, no other place for the factory but Marikina, the once legendary shoemaking capital.
The budget-friendly shoe factory puts a spotlight on Marikina's craftsmanship, a skill that has been handed down to Matias' family for generations.
"Shoemaking is our family business. It's started from my grandfather then eventually, my father," Matias said.
According to Matias, she along with her parents are responsible for the versatile designs.
"We wanted a minimalist and a classic look because It never gets old. I want out products to bw fitting regardless of their age- may they be a senior or a millenial," she declared.
Since Matias took her turn in the business, she has been pushing for the revival of the ailing industry and increase the demand for Marikina's famous shoemaking skills.
"Our goal is to help the local shoe industry grow and to help our 'sapateros' family and their livelihood. We also want to help out our clients that want to earn extra money to support their families."
To provide an opportunity for those who want to earn extra income, purchases on her online shop are even cheaper by the bulk.
"Shoeracks is actually an online supplier of footwear. Our items are open for re-branding. Meaning, everyone can have their own brand by using our styles."
She added, "We want to help everyone who wants to earn money and help our shoemakers."
The hopeful entrepreneur noted that she is starting to see a revival of the industry that was drowned by cheap imports from China and Vietnam.
"I know it in my heart. I can see the status of Marikina shoemaking improving. The people trust us again," the shoemaker declared.