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How a Men’s Brand Saved Shoemaking Jobs in Maine

George Vlagos has a dream to revitalize shoemaking in the U.S. — one moccasin at a time. So when the Maine factory that had been producing hand-sewn shoes for his men’s brand, Oak Street Bootmakers, went up for sale, the 36-year-old entrepreneur decided to make a play for it.
“Purchasing the factory and keeping the manufacturing alive was very much at the forefront of our desires, so we were aggressive in our bid,” said Vlagos, who acquired the Highland Shoe factory from Justin Brands Inc. in February 2017.

George Vlagos, founder of Oak Street Bootmakers

CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

The 7,500-square-foot facility had been making shoes for Oak Street since the brand’s launch in 2010, but it also produced private-label footwear for other companies. Vlagos said he plans to maintain that part of the business, which now accounts for roughly 20 percent of the factory’s production.
In addition to making hand-sewn offerings, Oak Street offers a companion line of Goodyear-welt shoes that are produced at another domestic factory in New York state. Rounding out its collection is a series of bags and belts.

Oak Street Bootmakers camp moc

CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Despite his enthusiasm for manufacturing, Vlagos admits that keeping the facility going has its challenges. “In

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Via:: https://footwearnews.com/2018/focus/mens/oak-street-bootmakers-american-manufacturing-jobs-maine-factory-1202714127/