It’s hard these days to mix profit, giving back, and good design. Handcrafted has managed to do it all whilst bringing unique fashionable product to the marketplace. Just launching in 2009, Aaron and co-owner Carla Carla Venticinque, were searching for a way to combine their artistic backgrounds with their desire to uplift their adopted homeland. Osborn Handcrafted shoes are made by a group of 20 cobblers nestled in the base of volcanic mountains outside of Guatemala City. Their artisan shoes are made in a old-world manufacturing environment dedicated to integrity and quality, which makes wearing them fell that much better.
SWP: Amazing product, can’t say enough great things. For those that don’t know too much about you, give us a little summary of who Osborn Handcrafted Â is.
OSBORN: Thank you! Osborn is a design team working creatively out of our NYC studio to design a collection of handmade products for the marketplace cultivated with positivity, hope and dedication.
SWP: What as your inspiration behind creating Osborn Handcrafted?
OSBORN: We are both working artists and decided we wanted to make really fun products in a unique way. Aaron has a long history with working in Guatemala, so naturally, we gravitated towards working with the talented artisans who we had developed relations with over the years.
SWP: Â Why shoes? Where did the idea come from? Do you have any plans to expand into anything else?
OSBORN: Aaron had met a couple of unemployed cobblers in Guatemala, which started the lightbulb going off, but we also chose shoes because it showed strength as a unique marketable product, and most of all- we all love shoes! We definitely have ambitions to expand into products and projects, but all with due time. I think a bag is in the works…
SWP: What is the community life in Guatemala? How much time have you spent there and what first inspired you to live there?
OSBORN: Aaron’s family lives in Guatemala doing non-profit work. As a result, Aaron spent several years in Guatemala running humanitarian aid, and developing art projects for orphanages. Over the course of this project, we spend about 3-4 months out of the year in Guatemala working on production, but our home is in New York City.Â
SWP: How does your production work?
OSBORN: We have a very hands-on approach to production and deal with all the logistical matters involved in our shoe production.Â Our fabrics are also custom designed by us and a small weaving coop is being developed as well in our workshop. Overall, we have a great team of dedicated artisans in a workshop environment who make Osborn shoes.Â
SWP: Â The designs are gorgeous â€“ very unique to the market place…what design background do you have?
OSBORN: Aaron went to RISD and is a painter, I do works on paper & sculpture and I went to Tyler School of Art. Guatemala has a long tradition of weaving and a very strong folk art tradition. This has been a main inspiration throughout the development of our shoes.
SWP: What was your background before Osborn Handcrafted?
OSBORN: We were/are basically artists. We always had a hand in something creative going on…from styling to art production to gallery shows.
SWP: Name a few people/companies whoâ€™s work you admire.
OSBORN: We love Apolis Global & LemLem.
SWP: Any collaborations for 2011?
OSBORN: Happy New Year! No collaborations lined up yet…
SWP: what the best way for your shoes to be worn…if you were styling them what would it look like?
OSBORN: I personally love when our shoes get paired with a classic preppy look….like button down blouse, trousers and then a little surprise on the feet. Also, a party dress can always be dressed down with a pair of cool boots while still keeping the look fashionable.Find out more @ OSBORN HANDCRAFTED