Pitta Patta baby shoes are so adorable, we want a pair in every style! We chatted to Konrad and Marjolein, the people behind Pitta Patta, about their business and why their shoes are so unique.
“In the year of 2005 we went through a very rough patch financially. Our family of three, I (Konrad), my wife (Marjolein) and our precious little daughter lived in peace and harmony despite the huge lack of finance. Amande-Leigh at that time crawled vigorously and her shoes chafed through. Needless to say, she needed new shoes. Money? With what money can we buy her shoes? You might think it strange that someone in our day and age can have hardly any money to buy his child a pair of shoes, but it is true. I went for many job interviews, but to no avail. My wife had a strong desire to stay at home with Amande-Leigh and bring her up herself. Many times it looked like a suicidal choice, but we stuck to our guns, and we are so glad we did. One day we went to Tygervalley shopping centre to visit a leather shop and asked them for an off cut piece of leather. They gave us a green piece. So excited about it we went home and my wife made Amande-Leigh one shoe. Then she realized that Amande-Leigh has two feet and she had to make another shoe.
“By now the excitement grew so strong in my heart concerning these shoes that I showed all our friends and I said, ‘We are going to have a business from this!’ They all looked at the green pair of shoes I was holding up, but I saw that no one had any faith in what I just said. Even my wife looked at me in disbelief.
“With excitement I showed our neighbours and they placed an order for two pairs. That meant BIG bucks! I mean R100! Wow, now I just saw dollar signs. We made the two pairs and took a picture of Marjolein standing with the money (we still have the picture).
“Then we heard about a craft market in Durbanville, a suburb in Cape Town. With 35 pairs of shoes, lots of faith and an ironing board for a table we were off to make our ‘millions’. Our packaging was wrong, the leather hard and the sun very hot, but we sold 5 pairs. This was a major breakthrough.
“We then showed our shoes to a very reputable company in Cape Town and they placed an order. Our first order from them was 300 pairs. That means there were 600 shoes. Every shoe had 8 pieces to it. 4800 pieces my wife and I cut with our own hands, day and night. All of it had to be glued then be stitched, every shoe had to be elasticized and then we had to make 300 boxes and brand them. It took a miracle to get us to deliver the order on time. Marjolein was our only seamstress and we had one domestic machine, and we made it. I told you it was a miracle.
“Today we supply some amazing stores around our country. We are still looking for the international market to open up for us. This business is summarized in one word ‘MIRACLE’. This is how we started and that is what we live every day,” says Konrad.
Pitta Patta products are made from 100% leather (bovine or antelope). “Our soft leather sole gives great opportunity for unhindered, unrestricted development of the little feet. Our wide variety of creative designs are a feast for any mommy (or granny, aunt, uncle, well anyone with a little angel in their life) who know what they want. Our extra special ability is that we customize for special occasions and outfits, we have made monkey, owl, smurf, purple dino, kitten, baby names, etc. Just send us a photo and we will try our best to convert it to a beautiful baby shoe. We also work with retailers on customizing our shoes to their clothing ranges.”
“We design all our shoes ourselves. We look for anything from cute, vintage, classy, classical and fun, in currently trending colours. We are organically growing the business and the family. Family values are highly placed for us. We will also keep increasing our colour repertoire and designs.”
Thanks so much to Konrad and Marjolein for sharing the story behind Pitta Patta.