This is the DigiLast story:
In 1985 I started my business
Digitoe Inc., to develop the Proprietary Know-How and Technology
for my vision of being able to make my own Custom Shoe Lasts
using computers. It was impossible for an individual Shoe Craftsman
to find a steady source of supply for small quantities of shoe
lasts. I intended to change that situation.
I pursued the DigiLast Dream
with passion and financial commitment for the next 12 years,
until 1997 when it became a reality, and I was able to produce
my own customized shoe lasts, made for the individual foot. Digitoe.com,
DigiLast.com and Shoemakers.com were launched on the Internet.
People flew here from all
over the world to have custom lasts and shoes made. It was totally
overwhelming, to say the least.
My business plan at that time
included setting up Retail Fitting Centers in 10 major cities
in North America and to supply my clients with personalized shoe
lasts and footwear. As a Custom Shoemaker, being able to control
the process and make Customized Shoe Lasts on my own gave me
the competitive edge in the marketplace.
In 1999 the stress of dealing
with all the eMail correspondence and clients that were coming
to us via the Internet, making the lasts, making the shoes, managing
the growth of the business, contracts, lawyers, trying to collect
bad debts from shoe companies, etc. etc. etc.... finally the
stress got me down and my health was suffering. I decided to
put the business on hold and take a break.
Now 10 years later I am in
fine health. However, I am now 64 years old and don't have the
ambition to set up and manage a large cottage industry workshop
for making shoes, plus running a business with retail outlets,
and lots of employees, etc. etc....
So, I have decided to make
DigiLast Customized Shoe Lasts available to the General Public
by selling them directly to individual customers. Once a person
owns a pair of shoe lasts they can go anywhere they wish to find
a Shoemaker to make their shoes. It is a revolutionary concept
that has never been available in the retail marketplace, and
will potentially help lots of people solve their shoe fitting
Traditionally a Shoemaker
would find some inexpensive used lasts, with a fixed style for
which they had no control. Then they would need to modify them
to fit the customers feet and style preferences. Last Modification
is a very time consuming and complex challenge that requires
skill, training and experience, not commonly available.
Starting with a DigiLast Customized
Last means that the customer invests in a last that is the style
of their choice and made for their feet, so that all their shoes
made on that last will fit the same. The other major benefit
is that the Shoemaker isn't required to spend nearly as much
time and effort to modify a last to the exact fit preference
of the customer.