This is a footwear designer interview with Sitrana.
Hey guys, welcome to City Soles TV. I'm your host, Scott Starbuck, and I'm here with Eric Pitzer, the co-founder and partner in Sitrana. Sitrana, it says in here, "hecho a mano?"
Yeah, yeah, sure. Hecho a mano, that's handmade in Spanish.
Hecho a mano, see I'm learning every day, something new. Handmade in Spanish, and where are they from? You guys are from?
Yeah, absolutely. We're based out of Santiago, Chile. We have our workshop there. I have my business partner, he's a 32 year old Chilean guy. Half Italian, half Chilean. He founded the company about 4 years ago.
Does he have the footwear making skills in his background? Is it a family thing?
You know, I would say he has more of an artistic background in design. It's more in his blood than really in his training. Chile as a whole, they have a shoe-making community.
Artisan Community? Yeah. Absolutely.
They're fabulous. So you guys seek me out or seek out City Soles, came in last fall, right? They stock me online and sent me a free pair of shoes so I was sold as soon as I got my shoes. I got them on right now, actually! So they have a great hand to them, actually. They're hand done, they're an oiled leather, and they really break in. They've got a nice feel to them once they break in. They only get better. The more and more you wear them, the more you break them in. So this is like, your first shot at this, right?
Honestly, yeah, as far as putting shoes in stores and going at it, yeah. I started building shoes in 2010, I met him in 2011, I read about him in the newspaper, and just really appreciated his work.
So you live in Santiago?
I live in Santiago, I'm from Cincinatti, Ohio.
Absolutely. And just really appreciated his work. Everything is handmade, the leather is all from Chile as well.
So did you guys seek out an artisan factory, and he designed?
Actually, we built everything from the ground up?
Yeah. It initially started by seeking out a workshop to make shoes, and he found that they were copying his designs. And as a guy who really respects what he does and all that, he founded his own workshop and founded his own shoe-makers and we have five shoe-makers that work with us.
They say the sincerest form of flattery is somebody that's knocking you off but still, you want to be able to build your own line before people copy it. They're gorgeous. They're all handmade, all leather, leather lined, leather soles, I mean they're beautiful, beautiful shoes. So let's look at some of the patterns. We've got a ton of men's patterns. By the way, the number one thing, and we think it's because of the red lace, is this shoe with the red laces in it, so we started getting more with red laces in it. They come with a natural lace and a red lace but it gives it kind of a pop, it's something really cool. There's actually some women's patterns, too.
Absolutely. Yeah we've launched our women's line just this year, actually. This is the matcher that kind of matches the men's shoe here. We're having a really good reception with the women's shoes obviously, they sell like hotcakes to the ladies, and they really like the shoes. So we're really happy.
Nice, man-tailored, sophisticated look. This is my favorite shoe in the line, actually. I love the zipper. I want this in men's, by the way.
Alright! Yeah, I'll make a note.
I totally would wear this in men's. Just a great little feel, love the shoes. I love the story behind the company. A small company out of Santiago, Chile. Literally, how many customers do you have in North America?
Right now, two.
That's awesome! We love that story. So you know for a fact you're getting something that very few other people have the privilege to have, and we love that at City Soles. We want you to wear stuff that looks like it came from here and that you can't find anywhere. So check us out, here in Wicker Park in Bucktown, and at citysoles.com of course. Free shipping, free return shipping of course and as always, we guarantee all our shoes for compliments. So Sitrana is guaranteed for compliments because they're cool and different. Does Sitrana mean something? Is that a Spanish term?
Yeah, actually there is a little bit of history behind the brand. Yeah, the name Sitrana is actually a family name, an artistic family name of his grandfather when he was young. In the 50's he was a singer and traveled around South America as a singer. It's very common in Chile where artists have artistic names. His grandfather's artistic name was Victor Sitrana. So the name comes from that.