In a world where luxury often comes with an exorbitant price tag, BLKBRD Shoemaker has emerged as a beacon of affordability without compromising on quality, craftsmanship, materials, or customer experience. With a relentless focus on craftsmanship and a commitment to offering hand welted shoes of the highest caliber, BLKBRD Shoemaker has redefined what it means to provide luxury footwear at prices that won't empty your wallet, ensuring that the final price remained within reach for the customer who appreciates fine craftsmanship.
This article aims to shed light on the various strategies employed by the brand to ensure that customers can enjoy stylish and comfortable footwear without breaking the bank.
Keeping Low Margins for Indian Customers:
From the outset, BLKBRD Shoemaker's mission was to offer the best quality hand welted shoes to its Indian customers. To achieve this, the brand intentionally kept their margins low, ensuring that the final price remained affordable without compromising on the quality of their craftsmanship and materials.
True Direct-to-Consumer Model: We make them and sell directly to our clients.
By shipping directly from their workshop, BLKBRD Shoemaker operates on a direct-to-consumer (DTC) business model, eliminating the need for intermediaries such as wholesalers and retailers, and reducing the overhead costs associated with storage and retail space.
By bypassing traditional distribution channels, the brand significantly reduces costs associated with markups, making it possible to offer shoes at more affordable prices directly to the customers.
Made-to-Order (MTO) Production and Efficient Supply Chain:
Adopting a made-to-order production model, BLKBRD Shoemaker avoids the need for excessive stock and wastage. Shoes are meticulously crafted specifically for each customer's order, reducing costs related to maintaining inventory. This efficient approach enables the brand to optimise pricing while ensuring that every pair of shoes meets their impeccable standards.
Additionally, The brand has built an efficient and streamlined supply chain that enables them to minimise costs at every stage. By carefully selecting reliable suppliers and manufacturers, BLKBRD Shoemaker can source high-quality materials and components at competitive prices directly from producers.
Minimal Marketing Expenses and Emphasis on Online Sales::
BLKBRD Shoemaker has so far relied on organic growth and word-of-mouth marketing, resulting in zero marketing spend. By prioritising exceptional craftsmanship and customer satisfaction, the brand has created a loyal customer base who willingly spread the word about their affordable, high-quality shoes.
BLKBRD Shoemaker heavily relies on online sales, leveraging the power of e-commerce platforms and social platforms. Operating predominantly online allows the brand to avoid the expenses associated with maintaining physical stores, such as rent, utilities, and staffing costs. These savings are then passed on to customers in the form of lower prices.
International Expansion and Feedback:
Recently venturing into international markets, BLKBRD Shoemaker aims to receive feedback from a wider customer base to refine and enhance their product. To facilitate this, the brand has strategically kept margins low for premium offerings, enabling more shoe lovers to experience their craftsmanship and provide valuable insights for future scaling.
Affordable Seamless Wholecut Shoes: Why we call it an art piece, and why we want every shoe lover to experience one.
The brand's passion for innovation and inclusivity extends to their seamless shoe collection. Seamless Wholecut Shoes, known for their intricate craftsmanship, are often very expensive and time-consuming to produce.
BLKBRD Shoemaker has taken on the challenge of offering seamless wholecut shoes at affordable prices, recognizing them as works of art that should be accessible to a wider audience.
The brand acknowledges that prices may increase as they scale and introduce more refined collection but remains committed to affordability.
Own Manufacturing and Private Label Partnerships:
BLKBRD shoes are made by parent company, Blackbird Footwear Co., which also makes shoes for some private label brands effectively utilising their workshop's capacity and generating additional revenue, which helps share some operational expenses.
Shipping and Customs:
Shipping is FREE for Domestic Indian clients, but For international customers, an additional shipping fee of around $30-40$ is applied. You would have heard the saying, “There is no free lunches”. Most of the brands built this shipping and returns/exchanges overheads also in the price. We try to keep them separate from price, and covers the exchange expense.
Customs charges may also apply depending on the destination country, and are borne by clients.
Craftsmen's Dedication and Fair Wages:
Every pair goes through 100+ steps, and behind every pair of shoes stands a dedicated team of craftsmen, whose skill and passion elevate BLKBRD Shoemaker's products to unparalleled heights. These artisans receive fair wages, going above and beyond industry standards. In Fact the wages and salaries paid are almost 50% more than the Industry standard. Since we truly value the skill of our craftsmen and understand that our Brand is only because these accomplished craftsmen are with us. The brand's commitment to fair wages fosters a loyal and skilled workforce, ensuring the quality of their craftsmanship while supporting their lifestyle and livelihood.
Many of their employees are seasoned shoe makers who have been with the brand since its inception, their dedication, coupled with the brand's enduring support, creates a symbiotic relationship that has weathered the challenges of the past, including the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic..
BLKBRD Shoemaker's commitment to offering high-quality shoes at affordable prices stems from a combination of strategic business choices, efficient supply chain management, and a customer-centric approach. By embracing the direct-to-consumer model, streamlining operations, and prioritising sustainability, the brand has successfully carved out a niche in the market, providing stylish and comfortable footwear without burdening customers' wallets. In a world where quality and affordability are often at odds, BLKBRD Shoemaker has found the perfect balance, ensuring that everyone can step out in style without compromising on price or quality.
It is important for us to be transparent and share that we anticipate challenges in keeping our prices low for an extended period. As you would have noticed by now, price is defined by multiple elements and we might not be able to continue to absorb some of the costs for long, as we take a step forward to scale up, and start spending on better user experiences and marketing.
Thank you for your support and feel free to share any feedback you have for us!