OESHer of the Week 7/26: Anne Newman!

This week’s featured OESHer, Anne Newman, came into the factory on Monday to show us the pair of black Classics she had bought last August (that’s her husband, James, in the background):

We were a little shocked to see how wrecked Anne’s OESH were until she mentioned casually that she had put “about a thousand miles” on them – 1,000 FREAKING MILES – in less than a year. Even though the rubber outsoles had been worn down quite a bit, the carbon fiber cantilevers were hanging in there, and the uppers didn’t look too much worse for the wear. What’s more, Anne was still in love with her shoes and couldn’t wait to get a new pair (but we might recommend replacing your OESH a little sooner). So major props to this hardcore runnerista (that’s a real word, as of now) for going the extra mile, pun intended, to make the rest of us look extra lazy.

Congrats to Anne Newman for clinching the OOTW title with her can-do attitude and can’t-stop running regimen!

If you would like to nominate someone you know for OESHer of the Week, email ellaevans@oeshshoes.com with their name, contact information, and what makes you think they’re the bee’s knees… get it? Bonus points for a picture of said nominee wearing their favorite pair of OESH.

(In other news, last week’s OOTW appeared on WVTF’s news program to talk about anti-psychotic drug abuse in area nursing homes – check out the article here! http://www.wvtf.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1940%3Aanti-psychotic-drugs-in-nursing-homes&catid=48%3Awvtf-news&Itemid=119)

OESH Sells Out! Classic 10s join Classic 11s as official Collector’s Items

More good news on the frontier of OESH sales. Though we have been selling a ton of Sandals this summer, we officially sold the last pair of size 10 OESH Classics yesterday. Again, Many Thanks to all of you who helped make this happen!

As we wrote in May when the Classic 11s sold out, the OESH philosophy is to create only Limited Edition quantities of our various patterns and colors. Maintaining a freshness to the availability is good for all of us–you might even say it keeps OESH management on its toes (ba dum dum, kissssssssh) to keep up with your demand. In the meanwhile, for those of you in the size range of these Classic sellouts, there are still OESH Lizards, size 10 and size 11, available.

Also, to emphasize the increasing international business we’ve been growing, it’s fun to note that we’ve sold a bunch of OESH into Australia. But this morning, we awoke to an order from a new OESH-Australian province. In honor of OESHer Taz-Looney Tunes.svgPatricia, we’ll leave you with this photo for now…but stay tuned, we’re off to make more Sandals…

New Contest: OESHer of the Week!

We do make some pretty fantastic shoes here at OESH, but lately we’ve been wanting to find out more about the fantastic people wearing them. OESHers, as Bob told me to call them, email us and come into the factory all the time with stories to tell, and we think they deserve telling.

Specifically, we are starting an “OESHer of the Week” series as part of our regular blog to feature some of the amazing women (and men) who not only have great taste in shoes, but more importantly go on to do things worth talking about. Every Thursday we’ll post about a new OESHer of the Week, who will receive some sort of shoe-related prize (we haven’t decided what yet) in addition to world renown and internet stardom.

This week’s OESHer of the Week is none other than my mom, Dr. Mary Evans. Hooray for nepotism!

Mary is our first OESHer of the Week because she gave me life and has been a devoted OESHer since this whole shoemaking thing started. She just bought her fourth pair of OESH, size 11 Plum Sandals, on a visit to the factory last week, telling us they’re her favorite so far. Mary loves to travel, and says that wearing her OESH shoes helps her back and knees feel better so she can explore more without worrying about pesky chronic pain.

In her professional life, Mary runs a successful long-term care practice in Charlottesville and takes care of nursing home patients like nobody’s business. She also does some consulting work for different healthcare companies to improve the quality of care within their buildings, and gives talks around the country to educate the medical community and the public about aging and how to make the “golden years” extra golden.

Aside from being an awesome doctor, Mary kicks booty at cooking (especially Indian food), gardening, parenting, and wearing shoes. She plays a mean mandolin, and speaks fluent French and German.

Congrats to Mary Evans for being featured as our very first OESHer of the Week winner!

If you would like to nominate someone you know for OESHer of the Week, email ellaevans@oeshshoes.com with their name, contact information, and what makes you think they’re the bee’s knees… get it? Bonus points for a picture of said nominee wearing their favorite pair of OESH.

My Summer as a Cobbler

Some may not consider the life of a cobbler to be so illustrious, but unless you make your living writing for Portlandia or tracking down colossal squid, I can assure you that my job is much more fun than yours. Because I basically get to do arts and crafts all day, with the added bonus that much of shoemaking involves giant, awesome power tools.

I have to admit that when I first started working at OESH, I was a little disappointed at the lack of opportunity to develop a deformed claw-hand or some other industrial souvenir to show off when I go back to college next month. But I’m willing to settle for a hot-glue-gun burn on one finger and a few misshapen scrapes and bruises from running into tables and stuff around the factory. Hardly the proletariat struggle I had expected factory work to be.

Regardless, cobbling here is the jam because I get to watch stacks and stacks of rubber soles and pieces of suede turn into stacks and stacks of comfortable, not to mention super foxy, sandals. We already have the soles left over from making the black and lizard Classics, so they just have to be sanded (power tool count: 1) so the glue will stick to them. Then a very lovely man named Gary uses the water-jet machine (power tool count: 2) to cut out the suede uppers.

After those dry for a day or two, one of us stamps the OESH logo into the leather with a fancy branding press thing (power tool count: 3). I take a heavy-duty, power drill-sized hot glue gun (power tool count: 4) to attach the smaller suede pieces to the big pieces for cushioning, and Gary uses some other kind of glue contraption to bond the whole uppers to the soles (power tool count: 5). Then I attach buckles onto the suede straps with a riveting press (which is my favorite part because I get to say, “Oh me, oh my, this job is so riveting!” and we all have a good chuckle) before we cut the tips of the shoes off using the water jet, to make the finished product look more sandal-y and less like a running shoe (power count: still 5, but look how resourceful we are).

Once the sandals dry off again, I use a fancy metal cobbling brush to clean up any water marks on the leather, and, if needed, trim off any weirdness on the straps with craft scissors. Finally, if the finished shoes are pretty enough to send to customers they get wrapped in tissue paper – with extra love, like a burrito or a tiny rubber-and-leather baby – and sealed with an OESH sticker. Consider them cobbled.

Each of these steps is surprisingly fun, if exhausting overall. Even though I usually pass out at home for a few hours after a long day of cobbling, it’s totally worth it because everybody who works here is so nice – not to mention that my job blessedly involves neither cats nor children.

And I think it says a lot about the company that even its newest, lowest-level employee is so proud to work here. This might be a stretch, but I think it’s fair to say that happy workers make happy shoes. Happy shoes make happy feet, and happy feet make happy people. But I should probably stop thinking so hard about the shoes and get back to making them.

Running Insight magazine gushes about OESH

Many OESHers love, love, LOVE running in OESH! As the word gets around, we weren’t surprised when the major trade journal of running stores, Running Insight, asked to visit the factory and interview Casey. Writer Max Lockwood did a swell job, and you can read

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his effort on pages 15 and 16 of this July 3 issue.

The story highlights Casey’s extraordinary credentials–Harvard Medical School graduate, University of Virginia professor and department chair, engineer of the OESH product–as well as touting our sophisticated manufacturing facility. And though it’s most certainly true that we offer the ONLY athletic footwear midsole Made in the USA, we were less than thrilled that RI mistakenly published a url for OESH that sends you to a website where you might expect to see Homer Simpson eating a doughnut. Nonetheless, you are reading this on the one-and-only OESHshoes.com website, and we are psyched that you continue to tell your friends about the wonderful running and walking experiences you’ve had in OESH…and we’ll do our best to keep up with the increased demand!

OESH Goes West and Comes Back to More Amazing Natural Occurrences

Last weekend we took a quick jaunt to Arches National Park in Utah, near Grand Junction, Colorado, where we helped celebrate a friend’s wedding.

We went for a run in the park. 

Casey had a chance to put her feet up but couldn’t stop working on OESH. Here’s a picture she took of the new OESH sports sandal she’s been working on. What do you think?

During the week back at home, Casey focused on getting the computer controlled milling machine hooked up and turned on. No small task — it took her the better part of the week to get it running and then, fortunately, powered back down before a big unexpected storm came in that caused substantial power outage in Virginia.Trees came down all over Charlottesville. This one that got uprooted in our yard has to be at least 200 years old. The trunk is about four feet in diameter. Fortunately, it landed in the woods where there were no people or houses. Those settlers knew what they were doing, clearing those trees around the houses!