Footwear retailer Scott Starbuck is on a mission. The owner of City Soles, a shoe boutique in Chicago, is rallying the support of fellow shoe lovers to back a documentary showcasing the stories of today’s artisan shoemakers.
The Kickstarter campaign, which launched on April 21, has to date raised 73 percent of the $30,000 goal Starbuck slated for the project. Starbuck, who appears in a video on the Kickstarter site, talks about the lack of appreciation and support for this dwindling group of artists as they continue to go up against footwear powerhouses turning out mass-produced looks.
Starbuck says he’s committed to educating consumers about the many pairs of hands it takes for shoes to make it to store shelves. Customers, he said, are often surprised by the higher prices that come with these artisan looks.
Starbuck, accompanied by a documentary crew, will travel to Italy, Spain and Mexico this summer to film. He anticipates releasing the documentary in the fourth quarter of this year.
Just about anyone can get involved in the project, with pledges starting at $5 all the way up to $5,000. For a pledge of $25, donors will receive a digital download of the completed documentary, while a $2,500 pledge comes with two pairs of handmade men’s or women’s Italian shoes from one of the featured artisans. The two $5,000 backers will have their own shoe designs produced and then sold at City Soles, complete with the backer’s name and image.
The documentary will initially be available for viewing by its backers, said Starbucks, followed by showings in private screening rooms and film festivals. It will also be viewable at Citysolestv.com.