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New Generation: Meet The Boot Institute

Dec 8, 2020 Portugal
New Generation: Meet The Boot Institute
Two friends, one day at the beach. That is how the project The Boot Institute was born. Sandra has a background in Marketing and Dina has 12 years of experience in the footwear sector
How did this project emerge?
Sandra: This project was born on a day at the beach. I was already preparing all the brand strategy and I knew Diana worked with footwear for over 12 years, so I asked her which were the best factories to produce footwear. After several hours of conversation, she asked me if I wanted to have a partner. I had knowledge in management and marketing but I did not have the know-how on the production part, so, two days later, I decided to accept Dina’s proposal. That is how this adventure of two women, who shared a dream, began.
 
Was footwear a natural choice?

Dina: In my case, it was natural because I already worked on the sector for many years. I always wanted to have my own brand but it never seemed to be the right moment, as I did not have management, logistics and digital skills, and those were the components that I lacked until I met Sandra.
Sandra: My parents live in São João da Madeira and I have had contact with the footwear sector since I was a child, through family who worked in factories, footwear designers and leather suppliers. And I always found it fascinating! Besides, I am passionate about fashion. One day, my mother told me: "you should launch a footwear brand”, and that sentence got stuck on my head. So, one day I started to idealize a brand and that’s how it all started.

What were the main challenges?

Sandra: Launching a brand is always a huge challenge, because no one knows us, there is no background information for the customer to support its purchase. Therefore, the main challenge for me was creating a brand that is perceived by its quality, service and price. We are constantly communicating with our clients and potential clients. Online sales are still a new market, where there is the stigma of not having a face, behind the computer, brand and product, so our main challenge is to humanize the brand. Right now, I think we are at very challenging time, just like any other business, due to the actual pandemic.

How does The Boot Institute distinguish itself?
Dina: The Boot Institute combines beauty and comfort, which is definitely our main differentiation. All our models are super trendy and we always try to use high quality materials. The Boot Institute also does ‘test drives’ in all shoes before launching them, to guarantee maximum comfort. The most recurrent feedback from our clients is: "The boots are beautiful and very comfortable”.
Sandra: Moreover, our business model is based on a smaller scale production to make every model unique. That allows us to make monthly launchings and offer a vast range of products to our clients, without massifying our brand, which makes our models almost exclusive.

What are the future plans for the brand?
Dina: At the moment, brand has one month of life, which means the plan is to reach the maximum people as possible, launch new models and internationalize the brand.

What piece of advice would you give to youngsters entering the industry?

Sandra: Be persistent, produce in Portugal, as we have a very strong and high-quality industry. Make partnerships with other brands, from the fashion or footwear sectors. And we are at a more complex period, so there is no right time to start a new project. You have to take the risk and believe in your dreams.

For more information about The Boot Institute please refer to the brand's website HERE.

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