Andrew here and I want to thank you for your patience and support during these transitioning times. I also want to let everyone know a bit more about the production and supply line delays which have occurred and what the plan is moving forward. I am excited to say thankfully, that the end of these is nearing.
As mentioned in my production update on the website these past few months now, an opportunity to diversify supply chains in an effort to stock more sizes in a timelier fashion and improve quality has arisen - and I will be taking it. With the labor and supply landscape here in the US, it is no longer possible to produce this exact type of boot from start to finish, up to the level of quality demanded as well as in the sizes asked for by customers. Most factories, suppliers, and manufacturers here are either closing, moving, or changing ownership which has begun to create quite a bit of uncertainty for production, at least more than I would prefer to have for Parkhurst. This has been going on for almost 2 years now. Aside from this, the few who are trying to stay in business still haven't opened back up yet at full capacity. The effects of this have been seen most prominently over the past year. Therefore, I have begun working with another US factory as well as a factory in Spain the past 6 months to help get production back to where it needs to be, as well as improve the quality of the boots themselves - which has constantly been a focus of mine these past few years. The 602 last and existing patterns will continue to be used on all boots moving forward. Newer patterns which you have been asking for will be available come Fall with some availability in August.
This will be a new phase for the company. Below is what you will begin to see come Fall and before the end of this Summer:
- Upgraded components used, particularly shanks, heel counters, heels, and true cap toe patterns all in a staggered release.
- Upgraded finishing on a few new dress models while still maintaining that rugged look and finish on the core styles of Allen’s and Richmond’s.
- New patterns which have been asked for during the past 2 years. Due to the lack of technology and equipment here in the US needed to make some of the requested styles to specifications and quality asked for by customers, a few new styles mentioned in #2 will be made in Spain and finishing touches made here in Western New York by myself. Logistics for this are still being worked out but as of right now I will still be nailing the heels on every pair of boots here in WNY (as I have always done) before I pack and ship them out to you. In addition to this I will be performing QC, burnishing and other minor details in finishing the boots when needed.
- A small women’s line using the same materials as the men's boots and the same 602 last but sized for women's sizes. These will be one style in two different leathers.
- Wide widths offered in a small collection of core sizes for the Allen and Richmond boots. This one is still a WIP at the moment, but it is on the agenda and actively being developed at the moment. Wide widths are difficult to produce and scale due to many things, one of which the last and patterns needing to be changed for all tooling and instruments throughout the production process, which can take much time.
- Custom Parkhurst outsoles which fit every size. One of the biggest challenges before was trying to get some branded outsoles to fit every size of the Parkhurst 602 last, which wasn't possible. For example, Vibram only fits the 602 last up to size 9 in most heels while Ridgeway soles only fit up to a size 10.5 in the 602 last.
Estimated Production Schedule/Releases (subject to change depending on potential production extensions and shipping times)
End of August - Introduction of moc toe boots and Chelsea's - two leathers in each.
Mid September - 2021 production backlog should start to finish up and will be released as they finish. This will most likely take place mid-September through mid-October.
Mid October through December - Staggered introduction of new Allen and Richmond boots
I set out to make a boot here in the USA from start to finish as much as possible and support the small American business with every penny I had. That goal has been accomplished. With this new phase comes two styles of news: The first being (and as mentioned the past few months in my production update on the website) most of these small businesses have now either had to close their doors, have moved, or have ongoing staffing and supply chain issues of their own which has made them unable to deliver product to Parkhurst. This, therefore, creates continued and unsustainable uncertainty for Parkhurst’s production. This is also evident as seen over nearly the past year with lack of inventory and sizes available.
The second bit of news is I will still continue to do business with the handful of remaining small businesses/manufacturers/suppliers who are able to deliver whatever is needed to Parkhurst not only during this time but moving forward as well. This will be done while working with another factory here in the US who will be finishing up part of this backlog from 2021. I would expect to see these styles introduced toward the beginning of Fall. Coincidentally, the newer factory with whom I will be working here in the US owns the factory in Spain and regularly sends workers back and forth from the US to Spain to work on production taking place in both locations – including mine. I will be present in both areas as well from time to time. Combined, the two factories have over 150 years of experience making specifically GYW and other hand-made leather boots/shoes. In fact, they own the tanneries too who are helping to develop Parkhurst’s own leathers for the future - particularly waxed suede's which will be introduced this Fall.
With this new phase and these plans, I can imagine there will be questions which arise so please feel free to send me an email at email@example.com should you have any. I will still be running Parkhurst as a one-person company here in Buffalo, shipping from my warehouse here, striving to provide great service and a better-quality product for you. Quality control, shipping, website, emails, and social media etc. will still be performed right here and by myself as they always have been. Thank you for being a supporter of both myself and Parkhurst. I wouldn’t be able to do this without all of you and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to get Parkhurst to where it’s at today without the help of the people in this industry with whom I have worked the past 3.5 years. Thank you.