Adelante fulfills all Kickstarter orders and launches full service e-commerce site
If you told me two years ago that I would found an artisan shoe company that is redefining social enterprise, I’m not sure I’d believe you. But if you’ve followed our journey, you’ve watched this become reality over the past 18 months.
Adelante Shoe Co. started with a simple idea: if business shifts its objective from profit maximization to responsible profit, the private sector can become an unparalleled force for good. From this idea was born a new social impact model called the Living Well Line, which means that we pay our craftsmen a fair price for work well done, as defined by them and their families.
When given the choice between two pairs of shoes with comparable quality, style, and price, we believe that more customers than not will choose the brand that manifestly gives back to society. Proving this theory has driven our success to date — and will carry us forward in 2017.
We launched our Kickstarter campaign on Black Friday in Fall, 2016, and met our funding goal in less than 12 hours. This provided incredible validation for our team, and by the end of the campaign, we had raised $65,175, which was 217% of our goal. It was time to get to work.
We’ve spent the past three months working with our craftsmen partners to fulfill our Kickstarter pre-orders. During this time we learned that interns make the world turn, and that my mom has a knack for managing exchange inventory. We also learned that our partner craftsmen believe in Adelante just as much as we do, which provides even more motivation to continue driving forward.
In April, we won the social impact track of the Tufts 100K New Venture Competition, as one of six finalists to advance to the final round of live judging. We walked away with a $16,000 cash prize, and over $25,000 in additional in-kind services — a valuable boost as we turn our attention to pop-up shops and Boston events this summer.
These initial successes, alongside the dauntless disposition of our team, position Adelante for takeoff this summer. We are proud to report that all Kickstarter orders are fulfilled as of May 12, 2017. Many of you you shared your reaction on social media using the #AdelanteDelivers hashtag, and it has been gratifying to partake in your experience!
Today, we are officially transitioning to real time made-to-order on our website. You can now purchase a pair of Adelante shoes, and they will be handcrafted and delivered to your doorstep in 7 to 10 days. We call this model Cobber to Customer, and it removes the need for U.S. inventory and enables us to stay lean as we grow. To top it off, new colors are now available in all shoe styles, including midnight blue, desert brown, and nude.
Visit us again in June for our next exciting announcement, just in time for lazy summer nights, BBQs and beach days. Thank you for following us on this journey. I cannot wait to show you what our mission and impact model will bring next!
I have been asked many times what Adelante has to do with international relations, a discipline more associated with the foreign service than the shoe business. For me the two undertakings are deeply intertwined.