January 2013 Newsletter

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January 2013 Newsletter

Categories: Two Ten News


Featuring Steve Madden, 2012 Dinner Chair, Kenneth Cole, and Aldo Bensadoun; this video will help to increase awareness for Two Ten and provide hope, ignite opportunities and strengthen our footwear community.

Did you know that Two Ten has helped 463 footwear industry employees who were affected by Hurricane Sandy? Of the $291,100 awarded, 98% of financial assistance was delivered to families in need within 48 hours.

Please share this video with others in the footwear industry so that we can continue to provide hope and caring for individuals in time of pressing need.


Cordwainers and Cobblers – Old world Craftsmanship meets Modern times.

The art of shoemaking continues to intrigue many as modern-day cordwainers and cobblers continue a tradition of making beautiful shoes for discerning customers from the sole up.  In the following months we will spend some time focusing on those companies and individuals working hard to make their mark in the footwear industry by combining classic, tried and true methods of shoe construction with new techniques and technologies.  We begin with CYDWOQ and SmartFish.  Two very distinct companies sharing a common love of, and commitment to hand crafted shoes.  From what we have seen, the results are stunning.

SmartFishAlisha Budkie

Alisha Budkie’s spent two years under the apprenticeship of Italian cobbler Gerry DiManna before starting SmartFish. Her one-woman shoe company makes beautiful shoes from scratch; using sustainable, locally sourced materials with a constant focus on quality and craftsmanship.  She starts with mixture of natural latex and sawdust poured into custom molds to create her outsoles. Her antique Singer sewing machine is then used to meticulously construct each shoe from vintage wool, canvas, bamboo and cork.  If you find yourself in Cincinnati, stop by Smarter Than a Goldfish, were Alisha has all her creations on display.  Or, just pay her website a visit and indulge yourself.

Video and article from Cincinnati.com

CYDWOQRafi Balouzian

Rafi Balouzian comes from a long line of master shoe-makers.  As designer and owner of CYDWOQ Shoes in Burbank, California; he is committed to creating hand-crafted shoes using the best biological leathers and glues to provided ultimate walking comfort trough unique and timeless design.  Rafi draws from his education as an architect and love of automotive design, ensuring that while form should always follow function, it is never far behind.  All shoes are available at CYDWOQ.com but for those customers looking for something truly unique, a factory/showroom visit is in order; where a truly bespoke experience awaits.

Watch the CYDWOQ video

Are you interesting in learning more about shoe construction?  Ars Sutoria focus’s on the production processes used in different methods of shoe construction to give a deeper understanding of the materials used in each stage of the process.  Classes at Two Ten, start Feb 11 2013.


Few people understand the mission of Two Ten better than Katie Whewell.  If you called Two Ten in 2012, chances are, Katie was the first person you spoke with.  In her new role as Two Ten’s Office Manager, Katie collaborates with each team to make sure the office runs smoothly so when shoe people call us for help, we’ll have everything in place to meet their needs. “She can do ten things at the same time and she does it all with a smile and a wonderful work ethic,” said Neal Newman, Two Ten President.

Katie was instrumental in our success in 2012.  Through two hurricanes, a record number of emergency relief calls, big changes to our college scholarship program and finally, our biggest and most successful Annual Dinner in history, Katie made sure everything ran smoothly.   She knows first hand the difficult circumstances that people can find themselves in and makes sure that each caller feels comfortable and confident in Two Ten’s ability to help his or her unique situation.

“I like to constantly challenge myself,” says Katie.  Whether she is focused on efficiency in the workplace or excelling on the soccer field, she is fully committed to the decisions she makes. “I get bruised a lot,” she says proudly, when mentioning her involvement in her coed indoor soccer league.  She isn’t afraid to make mistakes when working towards her goals, or looking to score one.   “There is always something to learn and interesting ways to grow,” we couldn’t agree more.

Katie graduated with honors from Emmanuel College in Boston and earned distinction in the field of political science.  She is also a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the honor society for political science.  Her professional credentials include positions at M.I.T, Barney Frank’s 2010 Campaign for Congress, Needham Community Council and the New England Aquarium.


“Oftentimes its people who work behind the scenes who make all the difference to organizations like ours. They make the wheels turn.  They solve problems. They get the job done,” says Neal Newman, Two Ten President. Ernesto Teixeira is responsible for making sure the thousands of shoe people who depend on us every year, get the help they need as soon as possible.  “Regardless of the check’s size, what matters most is that the money arrives in time to help resolve the need,” says Ernesto.

During his 8-year tenure at Two Ten Ernesto played an active and passionate role in the development of Two Ten’s scholarship program before transitioning to his current position as Accounting Associate.  Ernesto’s value never goes unnoticed.  “Ernesto will always go the extra mile in processing relief payments/checks.  He is very caring and knows that the people who receive the checks really need the help,” says Elba Marcillo, Two Ten CFO adding, “Families look to us to provide a little relief during tough times.  Ernesto makes sure those needs are met.”

Outside of work Ernesto enjoys immersing himself in a good book or exploring unique New England adventures with his girlfriend.


40 Footwear Companies have already committed to National Footwear Community Service Week!

How are you going to give back to your community this April?  “During National Volunteer Week, we celebrate the profound impact of volunteers and encourage all Americans to discover their own power to make a difference,” said President Obama in his 2011 proclamation to increase national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service that urges you to make giving back a part of your life.

National Footwear Community Service Week, Chaired by David DiPasquale, is the only industry-wide initiative of its kind in the United States and hopes to engage footwear retailers and wholesalers throughout the US. 40 companies from the footwear industry have already dedicated time and personnel to the cause and the list is growing by the day. (see list below)

If your company doesn’t have a pre existing relationship with a local charity, Two Ten will be working with Feeding America on a national level so contact us so you can connect with your local Food Bank.

Email Jeanne Connolly-Horrigan at jconnolly@twoten.org, or call us at 781-736-1500 for more information.

List of 40 companies already committed National Footwear Community Service Week.



PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy, in partnership with Two Ten Footwear Foundation, has launched a series of 3-day CAPSOLES targeted towards Young Professionals with the purpose of increasing the knowledge base of footwear design professionals and developing future leaders of the industry.  PENSOLE will offer one scholarship per CAPSOLE to an individual footwear company to send a designer of its choice to attend a CAPSOLE class taking place at the Two Ten offices in Waltham, MA.

A percentage of the proceeds from each CAPSOLE at Two Ten will go to support the Two Ten Footwear Foundation’s design scholarship fund.

For more information log onto www.PENSOLE.com

CAPSOLE One: Material Design

March 8th – 11th

CAPSOLE Two: By Design

March 20th – 22nd

CAPSOLE Three: You Got Briefed!

March 25th – 27th


Congratulations to Ry Avery, Product Developer at Nunn Bush who has received a $2500 scholarship to attend the upcoming Ars Sutoria five-day training program at Two Ten headquarters.  The class (February 11 – 16) will focus on the production processes used in different methods of shoe construction and a deeper understanding of the materials used in each stage of the process.

“As Nunn Bush’s product developer, I’d like to hit the ground running and fulfill my thirst for knowledge.  This experience will provide me with the opportunity to develop a solid technical understanding of casual performance materials, construction and production standards,” said Ry.  The course is taught by Paolo Marenghi and managed by Wendi Sani  who said of Ry, “The thing that stood out for us was that while he is relatively new in the business, he has made his way very quickly up the ladder at Nunn Bush in an very short amount of time. This program will help him immensely and we feel strongly that he is worth investing in.”

The volume of qualified candidates for this scholarship exceeded expectations and we are thrilled to see excitement for this course continues to grow.  Click here to learn more about the Ars Sutoria program and how you can take part in future classes.


Elaine Dalton, VP Sales at Keds and current WIFI Boston Co-Chair was a mentee in the pilot WIFI Mentoring Program in 2010.  She hopes to encourage women at all stages of their career to consider the life-altering experiences that can come from a mentor/mentee relationship.  Elaine explains her thoughts on the program in the following brief interview.

TT – How did your experience as a mentee influence your perception of the footwear industry and your place in it?
ED – This experience was important for me in the goal setting process.  I think it’s easy to lose sight of long-term goals as they can get lost in the day to day.   This experience helped to keep me focused on my long-term goals and to regularly evaluate whether or not I was working toward them.
TT – What sort of relationship did you maintain with your mentor after the program officially ended?
ED – We do not have constant communication but I always feel that I can pick up the phone and call her with any questions or if I need some feedback on something.  My mentor has made herself very accessible to me.
TT – Why is it so important for young women in this industry to have someone to help guide them?
ED – I think it’s important for all young people to have a mentor in the industry.  Traditionally footwear has been more male dominated but there are many women who have done remarkable work in the industry and certainly have paved the way for the next generation.   Coaching and mentoring is an important part of career development.  It was especially helpful to me to have someone in the industry but not necessarily at my same company so that all the feedback I received was completely objective.
TT – What, in your opinion, creates the most satisfying experience for both a mentor and mentee?
ED – I think it’s important to be open and honest throughout the process.   A mentee needs to be able to come in to the experience with her own goals, whether it’s as simple as getting better at public speaking, or more complex such as moving in to a greater role within her organization.   This will help the mentor to better coach the mentee.

The WIFI Mentoring Program is now accepting applications until January 31st  for the 2013 / 2014 session.  This program matches women in the Footwear Industry with experienced professionals who help them define and reach their career and personal goals.

Be a Mentor: If you have at least five years in the footwear industry and ten years of business experience.
Be a Mentee:  If you have three years in the Footwear Industry.

If you would like to learn more about WIFI, please email Tanya Allain at tallain@twoten.org by January 31st.


It is hard to imagine now but golf season will be here before you know it. Held each year in the Tri State Area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Two Ten’s New York Golf Tournament is quickly becoming a spring tradition for our golfing shoepeople.  This year, the tournament will be held at the beautiful Alpine Country Club in Demarest, NJ. Proceeds from the event will go directly to supporting footwear families in times of pressing need and furthering educational support through scholarship opportunities.

“This golf tournament is not one to be missed.  It’s a great opportunity to mingle with those within the footwear industry while supporting a great organization,” says David Stamberg, New York Golf Committee Chair, President and CEO of Alpine Footwear Group.  Adding “To me and many others, it’s in the blood.  If you are in the industry, you are a part of Two Ten.” 

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