WHILE the online space is abuzz with many new brands popping up and offering a range of services, there are some retailers who still believe that a bricks-and-mortar presence helps make a difference.
Badt & Co espadrilles are crafted the traditional way and are available online and in a couple of stores in Singapore.
Founded by Samira Tovar Badt, when she came to Singapore in 2014, the Canary Islander wanted to offer something from her Spanish background that would be relevant for the local climate.
“I believe that quality, design, versatility and innovation of espadrilles make them the perfect shoe for this region,” Samira says.
The shoes Samira brings in are made by Gaimo, a Spanish family of a father and four daughters, in an atelier in La Rioja. “They have been handcrafting espadrilles since 1978, and the family runs all aspects of the operation.”
But she wouldn’t have gone down this route if not for the ease with which she could set up a company in Singapore.
“Everything is smooth and easy to do here,” she says, smiling broadly.
“Starting a business is the reinvention of myself.”
At the StorHub facility, where she warehouses her stock, Samira pulls out pink Gaimo boxes filled with espadrilles in a variety of designs. She has five shipments annually, of which 80% wind up on the feet of Singaporean clientele.
Known for their jute soles, these shoes are believed to originate from ancient Egypt and were brought to the Iberian peninsula by the Romans in the 14th century. It became fashionable when personalities like Dali and Picasso put them on. More recently, Yves St Laurent spread the espadrilles further afield as a fashion statement.
Since coming to Singapore, Samira has immersed herself in the local environment. While work takes up a lot of her time and energies, the bubbly entrepreneur has also helped with charitable causes, and is part of the nascent Spanish chamber.
Badt & Co carry shoes for men, women and children online and in stores at Cluny Court and Joo Chiat. They range from $110 to $210.