Jury Artola and Olga Grib enjoyed successful careers in the footwear industry after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2004. Jury has held footwear design and line builder positions at Steve Madden, Frye Boot Company and Guess. Olga worked in the women’s shoe buying department at Kenneth Cole and later product management at Tommy Hilfiger.
We launched our business to help bring manufacturing back home. We have traveled the world, visiting shoe factories in Italy, China, Brazil, India and Mexico, and have seen how manufacturing has transformed these countries, while decimating communities in our country. As proud Americans, we feel that there is something fundamentally wrong with this. We have spoken to our colleagues about U.S. shoe manufacturing, but our ideas are simply dismissed as too great a task, or just impossible. Well, we can no longer accept the status quo in our industry and in our country.
In 2009 we formed Artola® – The Brooklyn Footwear Company™. We’ve produced children’s shoes in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, at a factory founded in 1888 and some of our men’s shoes in Arkansas. Unfortunately, we have had to produce most of our men’s shoes in Mexico due to the limited number of available factories here in the United States.
We have organized some independent shoemakers to produce special edition shoes in Brooklyn and built a relationship with a factory in New York that has been crafting shoes for over 4 generations but was on the brink of shutting their doors just a year ago. We are committed to working with them and expanding our production in New York.
American-made is and always will be, something to be proud of and respected! For this reason, we launched our website to reach out to our customers directly who have been so supportive of our vision.
Our vision is to not only be a successful company but to establish a non-profit shoe factory in Brooklyn. Our vision is to create an after-school technical program for inner city kids, to work with their hands and expand their creative thinking. Our vision is to create opportunities for those who cannot yet create them for themselves. Our vision is to inspire young minds in public schools to look beyond their current circumstances, to give our children’s generation a bright future, rooted in education, strong work ethic and innovation. Our vision is to help bring back shoe manufacturing to New York and the United States. With your support, our passion, drive and experience, we know we can achieve it!
Thank you so much for your support.
Jury & Olga