Friday, January 23, 2009

Do you know Kino?

Do you have a pair Kino sandals? They are handmade in Key West and extremely comfortable and affordable. The quality is great and the prices are better. Only $8 - $14 a pair!

Here is an exerpt from their webite.

"A pair of once-wealthy Cuban refugees are operating on elbow grease, freedom, and a shoe string budget to pave the way for a new life in America." - the Miami Herald, April 27th, 1966
These Cuban immigrants were Roberto and Margarita Lopez and the business venture was KINO SANDALS. The company's name was Mr. Lopez's childhood nickname when he lived in Cienfuegos, Cuba, about 100 miles south of Havana. The founder, Roberto "Kino" Lopez, brought a skill and ambition with him when he fled Cuba one year after Castro's revolution.
In Cuba, Kino had a shoe factory. When he arrived in Key West, he had left shoemaking behind and worked as a handyman for four years. However, he had ambitions and goals. During these four years he saved his money and got a small business loan. He opened the doors of KINO SANDALS in 1966.
The original location was a shop rented at 105 Whitehead Street, where the factory spent its first 10 years. In 1976 KINO SANDALS moved to its current location at Kino Plaza. This building is reminiscent of the Cuban style buildings Kino knew as a youth in Cuba. The unusually high ceilings let hot air drift outside while keeping the terra-cotta tiled floors cool. The garden in the atrium offers shoppers a pleasantly shaded area that allows for relaxation in Key West's balmy summer breezes. The plaza is located at the corner of Greene Street and Fitzpatrick Street.
All of the sandals are handmade using natural leather straps and natural rubber soles. The are assembled and glued in our traditional sandal factory where the "sandaleros", the old-world sandal maker, works diligently at his station. In the aisles around the sandaleros you will see boxes of unfinished sandals as they move through the different stages of manufacture. The smell of leather permeates the room where you may select from a wide variety of sandals with your particular size and color range.
The popular and durable sandals are all designed by Kino. They are all versatile and inexpensive. They have been widely imitated, but they have never been duplicated. The fundamental difference is that Kino uses the traditional hand made techniques to assemble his sandals. The talent of the craftsmen can not be replaced by a machine. It is this uncommon effort that distinguishes this product.
We wish to express our sincere appreciation for your patronage. We hope that you will visit us again in the future so that we may serve you again.

Kino and Family

Getcha some.

1 comment:

Hula Girl at Heart said...

Love, love, love Kino Sandals! Saw a girl with hot pink ones. . .talk about envious!