Welcome back once more, dear readers, to your window onto our world. A world of craftsmanship, creativity, passion and hard work. With a simple target - handsome shoes for satisfied customers. Sounds simple anyway, and in some ways, it is. A clear goal to work to, but, in our ten years in business, we have learned that the goal is not a static point at which you arrive, but rather movable point forever in front of you which edges ahead in direct relation to what you achieve in your business. This is an ever evolving landscape and we relish the challenge.
You might wonder about the expansive opening to this week's post. Well, while conducting a regular review of the blog statistics, we noticed that the hit counter has reached half a million page views which, to our eyes, is a significant achievement.
Apart from being astounded by the success of the blog, we are also humbled and delighted. We must thank all of you who read it; learn from it; make shoes from it; comment on it; and promote it. All of you around the world, from Eritrea to Japan, Finland to Argentina. This really is a global community of people who care about handsewn shoemaking.
Happily, over the past several years, we have noticed a huge groundswell of interest in our craft and we like to think that this blog plays a small part in that movement. From those of you who aspire to become shoemakers to those who simply enjoy reading about our shoemaking techniques, we are proud to have given our knowledge freely.
Of course, we benefit from writing it - our courses have become very popular (book early to avoid disappointment!) and the interest in the craft we generate eventually filters down to customers and new orders. But our prime motivation is promoting handsewn shoemaking and sharing our skills with those who seek this knowledge.
Just last night at an event called Best of Brittania, I met two owners of new British shoe brands who recognised me and said they read the blog regularly and had learned from it. This makes us really proud.
So, in a spirit of celebration, there follows a personal selection of Carréducker's"greatest hits".
In at number ten is this classic black wholecut shoe with red kid lining, made in 2006. Love the toe shape and the timeless elegance.
Number nine is our electric blue suede Chelsea boots made in 2010 - enough said.
Number eight is the Special, the Carréducker Extreme Brogue boot with added tweed, made in 2008 - love it!
Number seven. Our pared down tan loafer, transformed by an expert French patina artist, 2009
Riding high at six is our Mayfair Derby, chisel toe and wingcap, 2012. I love Derby shoes
Number five is mostly here because of the colours - grey suede and light blue kid, 2011
Number four is a ladies' shoe, the Dietrich. Love the retro vibe and the purple piping, 2009
Number three is a recent gem, again a Derby and a great colour combination. And they are mine to wear and to love! 2014
Number two is the original version of the previous entry - never bettered in my mind. 2009
And so to number one, an old favourite, the Saddle Boot, this one in blac and antiqued tan box calf. We have made a lot of these over the years and it was one of the first boots we made, 2004.
And that, as they say is a wrap. Once again, a special thanks to you, the readers. Here's to another half a million hits!
Until next week, happy shoemaking!