Hi, and happy Monday! I’ve been toying around with the idea of an official newsletter for a while now, to best keep you, my beloved customers, updated on all that is happening with my business. The idea has always landed on the back burner because, well, things have been happening within the company and now that we’re on the other side of it, I’m ready to fill you in on where we’re headed. But first, a bit of history:
I fell into handmade shoemaking in the late 1990s and built a business making custom and bespoke shoes for celebrities from LeBron James and Tyson Chandler to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Janelle Monáe, and Emma Stone. Made-to-order shoemaking became my bread and butter — a business model that I fell in love with because it blended the handmade process and high-quality artisanship with a necessary component of personal interactions from fittings to help gauge sizing, determine color, and select the perfect finish for each customer’s dream shoe. I molded my products to fit what I think luxury should be and did my best to give back in the process by gearing a whole line of stock products, called Esquivel X, towards charitable initiatives.
Through the years, I’ve continued to take steps to expand on what I built. In 2020, I took a leap in opening Esquivel House, a lofty combined showroom and studio space to bring my clients closer to the process so they can meet the craftspeople who are tasked with making their shoes over the course of weeks and months. “A slow fashion encounter,” as Christina Binkley put it, where a few clients per day build custom and bespoke shoes and preview how it will get done. It turned out to be everything I could have hoped for; I get to meet with clients I adore, in a space that I love, all day every day.
And yet, my most recent business maneuver might seem a little less intuitive — at least on the surface. It’s also the main reason for this newsletter. We’ve spent the last few months revamping our website, and we went live with it in early August. The intention was to create a comprehensive site to showcase a lot of my designs in a single, virtual store and introduce our new, fast shipping partner, Shoprunner. All items that are Shoprunner tagged are shipped to buyers with membership in two days’ time (find details on how to get a free membership, here). However, you should keep in mind that made-to-order footwear still has a six- to ten-week lead time, as these shoes are made from scratch, first beginning with a virtual or in-person consultation.
Speaking of consultations, the new website functionalities provide prices for different variants of shoes, including the one you might conceive in an appointment with us, which means you can check out more securely, without having to message us to complete your transaction with manual payment. Making space for details such as your typical shoe size and foot width along in the checkout process also speeds up the process for sending fit samples and leather swatches to virtual customers, which Shoprunner members receive within a few business days from confirmation of sizing and color options. (For non-Shoprunner account holders, the wait time will be five to seven business days from confirmation of sizing, through ground shipping services.)
This website also hosts our limited drops, which change monthly and generally consist of my classic styles in offbeat colors and finishes. Before, these drops were localized to Instagram and followed a similar, time-consuming manual payment process.
Despite all of these changes, I want to be clear: I’m still proud of our in-person engagement and welcome visitors to our atelier. However, I’m also thrilled about our new online presence and fast shipping system, because it allows us to reach more of our customers in a timely fashion. Even more importantly, with everything that’s happening in the world, it enables us to more effectively show our expanded Esquivel X product line to make it more easily accessible to people across the country. The effect: A higher amount of charitable donations to help more people who are struggling. (We pledge a percentage of all Esquivel X sales to selected charities.)
Lastly, you may notice that this domain has changed the georgeesquivel.com. Since I expanded beyond shoes some time ago but only recently made these important changes to the business, I took the opportunity to pivot our brand name in a way that felt seamless and that reflects the essence of this business. We’re no longer Esquivel Shoes; rather, all of our products and services are facilitated first and foremost by yours truly.
A gift for you
In celebration of this new and exciting chapter, I’m offering a promo code to be redeemed for 15 percent off of your total purchase through October 31, 2022: WEBSITE15. (Keep in mind that only a Shoprunner membership will afford you express shipping.) For any further questions, send us a note. Despite these changes to a more digitized system, we always love to hear from you, and we’re always happy to help.
Moving forward, you’ll be hearing more from me, too. Every so often, you’ll receive a newsletter like this one from me that will include the latest happenings in the business, from news about limited drops to event recaps and much more.
George is a Southern California-based designer and craftsman who designed his first pair of shoes in 1994 and began honing his craft thereafter. For over 20 years, he’s operated his namesake brand, Esquivel, which specializes in handmade shoes and accessories. In the last decade, George served as Creative Director of renowned luxury bag and luggage brand Tumi Inc. and as Creative Consultant for Italian heritage brand Fratelli Rossetti and has collaborated with many others for his brand. George was a 2009 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist and has been a CFDA member since 2010. When he’s not working alongside his team of artisans at his atelier, Esquivel House, in Downtown Los Angeles, George is enjoying time with his wife and high school sweetheart, Shelley, and their three grown children. He also loves mountain biking and hosting good friends for dinners and fêtes.