What is your vision for Unyx in the next few years? Is it possible to go global?
When we started Zapateria, we know that a part of our mission is to be able to nurture the new generation footwear makers and designers who put creative practices and innovative thinking in what they do.
Our foundation is deeply rooted in our city's heritage of shoemaking. We hope to be part of keeping the craft alive and be able to pass it on.
A lot of what we have done from the previous years was to connect with the various stakeholders of our community and collaborate on what we can possibly do together to make sure the young ones or those interested to jump into the world of footwear and be welcomed and supported as well by the industry.
We had that period of getting the word out there, developing a community of sharing.
Last December, we had the first ever gathering of creative catalysts with the support of different members of the local shoe industry exchanging ideas about the creative sector of the footwear industry and how its backbone has been ever supportive. It was made possible by our co-presenters, Marikina City Government and the Philippines Footwear Federation, Inc. (PFFI). This was one of the many community programs we have co-organized.
As we welcome 2020, we have realized more how fortunate we are having a thriving shoe industry that's strongly supported by different stakeholders.
We have the heritage, infrastructure, supply chain and great talents that strongly show how much of what we have can scale locally and internationally.
Now, we can see better that our vision as the country's first ever creative hub on footwear design and development is to partake to make our country a destination for shoemaking known for globally competitive design craft and workmanship.
It's definitely a bold statement but we're optimistic that it can guide us with our mission in fostering footwear-based creatives and most especially independent shoemakers of today and the future.
Aside from the need to fill in the industry talent gaps or requirements, we hope to see more mindful homegrown footwear brands and entrepreneurs succeeding in the market.
It's also important to to never forget the need to discover ourselves, be more creative and ingenious in how our shoemaking can stand out and defined here and abroad.
We started here but we can scale regionally and reach out via international partnerships.
It's all about collaboration and establishing strong ties with like-minded individuals or organizations who have kindred souls for footwear making and the enterprises as well.