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Monday, July 9, 2012

Tea at Anthology

dressed and ready for the tea party
Before summer ended, I was happy to have one last fun and educational activity for N - a shoe factory tour. E's ninang Jen of Next9 is a fan of Anthology shoes and she wanted to see how the shoes were made. So she spoke with the Creative Director Karrots Nazareno and was able to schedule a tour with our other friends. Karrots made it extra special by holding a tea party! I was pretty excited since I love tea parties.  I was also quite happy that Karrots permitted us to bring our kids.  N loves shoes and I wanted her to see how they were made - even if the factory was focused on men's and women's shoes - not kids shoes.

lecture time by hosts Karrots and Ivan
authentic scones and spreads
lovely set-up
We started at 2pm with a lecture from Karrots and her partner Ivan Cruz on how Anthology shoes were made.  What I found most intriguing was their "memory foam" inner layer which will let the wearer enjoy their flats comfortably.  Anthology had 2 main lines - wedges and flats.  I am definitely a flats mom and was quite happy with the wide selection available.
the shoe mold - this one has leather soles
Did you know that Anthology started as a Multiply store with Karrots doing a daily run to LBC with her bayongs of shoes to be shipped?  Due to its popularity, Karrots and Ivan eventually branched out to supply several retail stores and eventually put up their own website.   They shared that Anthology started in 2007 and is just one of the brands that Ivan manufactures in his shoe factory.  Apparently, aside from Anthology, the shoe factory has manufactured shoes for most of the major brands locally available at one time or another.  There is currently just one shift in the factory (8-5pm) and Ivan admitted that they were affected by the China imports.
Hudsons in a row
Ivan also shared that they provided housing for their employees.  The housing facilities are just beside the factory, making it convenient for the workers to get to and from home.  The quarters are dormitory style with separate areas for men and women.  Should the workers end up getting married, the policy is for them to move out of the compound.  I don't think there were any housing facilities provided for couples but I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a little girl sitting beside her mother who was working on the sewing machines.
the sale rack
The factory was not airconditioned but I was glad to see that there were huge fans installed to provide some ventilation.  The women also worked on sewing machines, piecing together separate parts of the leather while the men handled the heavy machinery. Ivan walked us through the shoe making process while I carried N the whole time so she could see the shoes being assembled.
After the tour, it was time for some shopping!  I targeted the sale rack and was able to purchase 2 pairs for my sister while I purchased Sydney brown flats for myself.  I have to admit that before the factory tour, I didn't own any Anthology shoes.  I used the flats was pleased by the soft inner sole and am now eyeing either a Quilted Noelle or Modena black flats.
It was quite an educational afternoon for me and N.  I don't attend a lot of blogger events but I couldn't pass this up as this event provided an opportunity for a learning experience with my daughter.  Kudos to Anthology and Next9 for organizing the Tea Party Factory Tour!

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