• The Birth of a Comfort Generation

    By Diana on Friday, September 12, 2014

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    Way back in 1990, when mood rings, baggy shorts and hair scrunchies dominated fashion trends, husband and wife team Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup revolutionized the comfort footwear industry. How, you may ask?

    Well, it all started with the discovery of “the perfect barn shoe”—a comfortable, supportive clog found in a tiny store in Europe. At the time, Mandy and Peter were horse trainers in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and knew these simple clogs would change the lives of everyone who might wear them.  So they packed their suitcases with pairs to share with friends. When their friends tried them on, they told their friends. And just like that, the couple launched a comfort generation.

    From the introduction of our Professional clog to the present day, Mandy and Peter have diligently worked to achieve quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. Thoughtful engineering, highest-quality materials and rigorous testing enable every shoe we sell—including sneakers, boots, heels, flats and clogs—to deliver all-day comfort and support. This combination of materials and construction, or the Dansko DNA, as we call it, promotes good foot, leg and back health. What started with the Professional clog now benefits every Dansko style.  

    Below, we shine our magnifying glass on the original Professional clog by sharing ten keys steps in the design, construction and delivery process. Sit back, relax, and learn more about our iconic silhouette!

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      1. Putting the Pieces Together. At this step, all components of the shoe are combined with the Last to ensure that fit, function, and style all align with the creative vision. A prototype shoe is built around the selected Last. Each element is inspected by hand to evaluate quality and performance, both individually and when combined into the shoe.

      2. The Perfect Fit. Detailed measurements are taken and prototypes are fitted on the Last and on our Test Team (in-house Cinderellas!). The goal is to ensure that the shoe fits comfortably. If needed, the Last and shoe prototypes are adjusted. Materials, construction and fit are all finalized by testing a wide range of sizes (and types of feet) before production begins.​

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      3. Upper Material Selection. Our design team reviews thousands of fabric and leather swatches from all over the world each season, choosing only those materials that meet Dansko's high standards. The upper material is tested multiple times throughout the development cycle to ensure the finished product meets our high quality standards. Our Material Technicians take great care to ensure that the materials perform at their best - our full grain leathers are rich and luxurious, our patents bold and vibrant, our fabrics stunning, and our suedes silky to the touch.

      4. Pattern Cutting. With the upper materials chosen, it's time to start cutting. Our Material Technicians carefully place the patterns in such a way to ensure that the natural beauty of the upper materials is preserved and that waste is minimized. They also take care to cut the material so the grain of the leather is aligned with the design to ensure the natural wear and give of the material is preserved. Before an upper is attached to the outsole, it is inspected for material quality and workmanship.
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      5. Pre-Production Testing. We test shoe components, prototypes and pre-production pairs throughout the development cycle. Many tests are performed at independent laboratories, as well as our own laboratory, to ensure that our shoes perform the way we expect. Our laboratory, at our Pennsylvania HQ, has been certified by SATRA, the international organization that sets testing standards for the footwear industry. Dansko's lab performs a wide range of tests, including abrasion resistance, durability when flexing, and tensile strength.

      6. Stapled Construction. Our Stapled Collection launched Dansko! Each clog is carefully stapled by hand to attach the upper with the outsole, delivering maximum performance and durability.
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      7. Baked to Perfection. Once the shoes are constructed, they are heated to 'set' the upper materials. Creams, waxes and finishes are applied to enhance the handcrafted beauty of every pair.

      8. Testing, Testing, Testing. All Dansko shoes go through an extended fit and wear test process. Our Fitting Experts evaluate every Dansko style and size, working with our Test Team to conduct evaluations such as the 30-day "Walk & Wear" marathon...boots in August anyone?
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      9. Final Inspection. The final step is a detailed inspection for quality, aesthetics and craftsmanship. Only those shoes that pass all the rigorous inspections are approved to proudly wear the Dansko brand. These pairs are then placed into Dansko shoeboxes to begin the journey to your local retailer and, eventually, your closet.

      10. And Out the Door! More than 2,800 independent, national and online retail partners proudly carry Dansko footwear and would love to introduce you to your new favorite pair!

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  • The “Art” of Mneme Therapy: How Kim Ingwaldson Makes A Difference Every Day

    By Nick on Friday, August 08, 2014

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    ​As a talented artist and committed caregiver, Kim Ingwaldson benefits from a seemingly unrelated set of gifts. But last June, Kim stumbled across the opportunity to combine her passion for art and her love for people, kickstarting a new career.

    At the time, Kim, a watercolor artist by trade, discovered an ad for an organization called “Art Without Boundaries” (AWB). The pitch sought qualified artists to become trained therapists, with an end goal of using art to help people with brain illness and injury. Kim followed through. And when she met with AWB founder Noelle Hammer, she knew she made the right decision.

    “We chatted for hours,” Kim told Karma Wilson, author of No Boundaries! The Art of Mneme Therapy, an article published in 406 Woman Magazine. “She said my combination of skills was perfect for their program, and thought my art was phenomenal.”

    After a year of intensive schooling, Kim became Montana’s first certified “Mneme Therapist.” The title, pronounced “Memma Therapist,” describes a professional who uses a “unique, multi-modality process incorporating movement, storytelling, directed painting and praise to achieve sustained focus, which taps into the ability of the brain to heal itself.” On a daily basis, Kim encourages those suffering from dementia, autism, Alzheimer’s, stroke or other brain-related injuries. Along the way, she proudly sports her signature pair of Dansko clogs.

    “I spotted Dansko’s Paint Splatter Professional clogs and, as a watercolor artist, I had to buy them. They were just so me,” Kim said. “Most of my clients are wheelchair-bound, and see my shoes first. It makes quite an impression!”

    After meeting Kim and her creative Professional clogs, clients begin painting their own works of art. And by works of art, we mean professional-quality landscapes, wildlife scenes, floral arrangements and more. The pieces then travel home with their artist, or feature on calendars, greeting cards and mouse pads for client fundraisers.

    Because her clients’ conditions often help them forget about their inhibitions and fears, Kim chooses to see their situation as an opportunity for creativity; they just need someone to open the door for them. Thanks to her beautifully-unique set of gifts, Kim opens doors every day, using her empathetic heart—and her passion for art—to develop optimistic, grateful, and free-spirited artists.    

    To view our colorful collection of Professional clogs, visit Dansko.com. Or, to learn more about AWB and Kim’s influential career, visit ArtWithoutBoundaries.net.

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      Leaf on Water, by Kim Ingwaldson

      [Photo Credit: Kim Ingwaldson]

       

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  • A Passion for Fashion: Q&A With Marcus Allen

    By Diana on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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    ​As a high school student, Marcus Allen experienced a typical teenager’s plight. Torn between his passion—modern fashion—and his studies, Marcus took a job with popular clothing store Abercrombie & Fitch before moving on to work for Ralph Lauren. Along the way, he discovered that a hard-working hobby can turn into a successful future.

    “My family actually asked me not to work during school so I could focus on my studies,” he said. “But I had my mind set on buying Purple Label and Ralph Lauren; I’ve always been intrigued by who you can become with clothing.”
     
    Marcus harnessed his passion all the way through school and into his current role as a New York-based stylist and consultant. On a daily basis, he surrounds himself with “amazingly inspiring people,” from fashion photographers, to the city’s top creative minds, to client Melet Mercantile, a vintage showroom.
     
    In early 2014, one of Marcus’ influential partners—Australian-born designer Drew Villani—introduced a men’s clothing line. Marcus served as Drew’s professional stylist, pairing clean, contemporary tops and pants with Dansko clogs. After speaking with Drew this spring, we had to know more. So we caught up with the ever-stylish Marcus to ask a few questions about his passion for fashion—and to learn more about his enthusiasm for “minimalistic” Dansko clogs.  
     
    Q: Describe your style in five words or fewer:
    A: Eclectic
     
    Q: If you had to select one fashion icon, you would chose:
    A: I’m always impressed with the personal style of L'uomo Vogue fashion editor Robert Rabensteiner
     
    Q: Number one tip for those looking for a style update:
    A: Comfort always looks best so I wouldn't try too hard to update—just re-evaluate your wardrobe and purge when things feel dormant
     
    Q: If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, you would wear:
    A: A black t-shirt and tux pants
     
    Q: Favorite summer fabrics:
    A: Linen and cotton blend because of their drape and flow
     
    Q: No man should ever leave his house without:
    A: His card case
     
    Q: How does confidence influence a man’s style?
    A: Confidence allows you to try new things and speaks to how you carry yourself
     
    Q: How do Dansko shoes complement your wardrobe?
    A: Dansko provides an unexpected element and makes for an interesting style combination—and most definitely a topic of conversation
     
    To view our complete men's line, and learn more about Marcus' must-have shoes, visit Dansko.com.
     
    [Photo Credit: Christopher Fenimore
    • A Passion for Fashion: Q&A With Marcus Allen -

      ​Marcus sporting our Karl clogs with denim and a scoop-neck t-shirt

      ​[Photo Credit: Justin Chung]

       

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  • Food, Farms and Comfortable Clogs: Q&A With Cooking Light Executive Chef Anna Bullett

    By Diana on Friday, June 27, 2014

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    ​A childhood in Auburn, Maine has shaped the career of Cooking Light Executive Chef Anna Bullett, who used her upbringing to develop an appreciation for the earth—and for tasty food, too. As sustainable Mainers, Anna’s family collected food from a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, knitted their own sweaters from sheep’s wool, and ate lamb and chicken from a local farmer. Although they didn’t know it, Anna and her family stood at the forefront of the organic food movement. 

    Fast forward 20 years. Now a successful chef for one of the country’s premier cooking magazines, Anna supports marketing and sales projects for clients, leads a line of ready-to-eat foods, teaches online cooking classes and ensures Cooking Light foods adhere to nutritional and flavor standards. Basically, if a task incorporates food, Anna gets involved. And any time she finds herself in the kitchen, she sports Dansko ProXP clogs, relying on comfort and support for long days of cooking and teaching. 

    We recently caught up with Anna to chat about her culinary creativity—and about her passion for Dansko clogs.

    Q: The moment you knew you wanted to work in the culinary industry:
    A: In my early teens, when I started cooking dinner for my family a few nights a week, I began to experience the joy that comes with taking responsibility for full bellies and smiling faces. That pretty much cinched the deal.

    Q: Hands-down favorite part of your job:
    A: When I meet people and they say, “I LOVE Cooking Light; I make your recipes all the time!”

    Q: Most eccentric dish you’ve ever created:
    A: No matter the cuisine, I tend to stick with proven flavor profiles. When I was trying to come up with a vegetarian meatball for work, I developed a great kofta-seasoned black bean ball with a carrot-raisin salad.

    Q: Favorite comfort meal:
    A: Homemade chicken pot pie.

    Q: Greatest lesson your parents ever taught you:
    A: Tread lightly on the Earth’s surface; good planets are hard to find.

    Q: Number one tip for dinner party hosts:
    A: Make a plan, write it down and start cooking at least two hours earlier than you think you need to start.

    Q: Why do you demand comfortable footwear at work?
    A: Safety is super important to me—so if I’m thinking about my aching feet, I am not concentrating on the knife in my hand.

    Q: If you could only wear one pair of Dansko clogs for the rest of your life, which would it be?
    A: Definitely my ProXPs in any color patent leather.

    Q: What designs would you like on see on a future pair of Dansko clogs?
    A: I love vintage scientific illustrations of fruits and vegetables, so perhaps a pair of patent ProXPs with printed blackberries or brussels sprouts!

    To learn more about Dansko all-day comfort and support, and to check out the ProXP clogs Anna sports in the kitchen (also available for men!), visit Dansko.com.

    [Photo Credit: Time Inc. Cooking Light is a registered trademark of Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. Used with permission.]

     

     

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  • A Mixologist’s Journey: Q&A with Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler (And a Cocktail Recipe, too!)

    By Meghan on Wednesday, May 14, 2014

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    ​Jeffrey Morgenthaler, a bartender and “mixologist” from Portland, OR, nearly walked away from his career and his passion. For years, Morgenthaler battled a painful foot ailment called plantar fasciitis, a disorder that turned bartending into a daily challenge. Now equipped with Dansko clogs, Morgenthaler continues to serve the Portland bar scene, serving one mixed drink at a time. We caught up with the west-coast bartender to learn more about the job he loves—and to borrow a recipe for a perfectly sweet summertime cocktail!    

    Q: The moment you knew you wanted to tend bar:
    A: Bartending was supposed to be just a summer job for me. Fortunately, I kept at it through college and eventually fell in love with it.
     
    Q: First job behind a bar:
    A: I worked for a very blue collar bar in Eugene, Oregon. The place has been around since Prohibition ended. I poured beer, served chili, and tended to an older group of customers every day.
     
    Q: With a full bar at your disposal, you would drink:
    A: I like simple drinks, so either an Old Fashioned, or a Daiquiri, depending on my mood and the season.
     
    Q: Qualities of the perfect cocktail:
    A: Balance, balance, balance, in every way. Perfect recipe, perfect ingredients, and perfect technique are what I look for in a drink.
     
    Q: Most frequently requested drink by customers:
    A: At our bar we make a lot of classic cocktails. I probably made a hundred Manhattans and another hundred Old Fashioneds tonight.
     
    Q: Most unusual drink request you’ve ever received:
    A: Every time I think I’ve received every possible drink order under the sun, someone surprises me. I worked at a bar years ago that had a regular who drank Beefeater Gin and Pepsi.
     
    Q: How does the bar/food scene in Portland compare to the scene elsewhere?
    A: Pound for pound, there aren’t many cities in the United States that can boast better food than Portland. We have so many options here that sometimes it’s daunting.
     
    Q: Favorite Portland restaurant?
    A: I have three favorite restaurants here: Little Bird Bistro, which is a pitch-perfect French bistro. Nostrana, which is the best Italian food in the city, and Pok Pok, which has incredible Thai street food. I could live on those three for the rest of my life.
     
    Q: Can you name three behind-the-bar essentials?
    A: Whenever someone asks me what the most indispensable bar tool is, I always recommend shoes. I’m on my feet for 10-12 hours a day, and my body would be a wreck without the proper footwear. But outside of that, I could probably make 99% of the drinks out there with just a chopstick and a Mason jar.
     
    Q: Why do you demand comfortable footwear at work?
    A: I’ve been doing this for nearly twenty years. A little over ten years ago, my feet started falling apart and I was at risk of not being able to do what I love. Someone recommended Dansko to me and they restored my ability to be on my feet for as many hours as my job demands. I don’t know, I guess I would say that I demand good footwear, because without it, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.
     
    To view clog and shoe options for men, and learn more about Dansko all-day comfort and support, visit Dansko.com.
     
    [Photo Credit: David Reamer and StarChefs.com]

     

    • A Mixologist’s Journey: Q&A with Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler (And a Cocktail Recipe, too!) -

       

       

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Archive Vault

  1. 2014 (60)
    1. September (9)
      1. September 25 2014 Retailer Spotlight: A Time for Community with Dee Reid
      2. September 22 2014 Runway Rundown: Q&A with Designer Karolyn Pho
      3. September 19 2014 Spotted: TV Host Meredith Vieira
      4. September 18 2014 Kickstart Your Daily Routine With Airman Annelise Rowe
      5. September 17 2014 Dansko Voted Best for Workers
      6. September 12 2014 The Birth of a Comfort Generation
      7. September 11 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Tuning Into Your Taste Buds
      8. September 05 2014 Staff Picks: Our Favorite Fall Styles
      9. September 04 2014 Get to Know Tamara: Our Go-To-Work or Go-Out Shoe
    2. August (10)
      1. August 29 2014 Four Nursing Lessons and One Big Giveaway
      2. August 27 2014 Allison and the Country’s Top Food Markets
      3. August 25 2014 Recognizing our Footwear Family with Five Anniversaries
      4. August 21 2014 Shop the Trend: On Active Duty
      5. August 19 2014 Momentum Magazine: 5 Ways to Incorporate Bicycling Into Your Daily Routine
      6. August 14 2014 Touring Dansko Headquarters: Our Five Favorite Spots
      7. August 12 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Three Ways to Focus the Wandering Mind
      8. August 08 2014 The “Art” of Mneme Therapy: How Kim Ingwaldson Makes A Difference Every Day
      9. August 06 2014 Five Dancing Tips and One Stylish Sandal for your Latin Dancing Routine
      10. August 05 2014 Retailer Spotlight: Vintage and Modern Shoe Care Tips from Simons Shoes
    3. July (10)
      1. July 30 2014 Summer Days at Dansko: A Dip & Dessert BBQ Spectacular
      2. July 28 2014 Shop the Trend: Refreshingly Cobalt
      3. July 23 2014 A Passion for Fashion: Q&A With Marcus Allen
      4. July 21 2014 Dansko and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Team Up to "Save the Bay"
      5. July 15 2014 The "Idiosyncratic Fashionistas" Weigh In: How Do You Form a Style Identity?
      6. July 11 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Practice in Posture, A Seated Guide to Meditation
      7. July 10 2014 Fran’s Four Fabulous and Functional Summer Hairstyles
      8. July 08 2014 10 Summer Adventures for 10 Dansko Shoes
      9. July 03 2014 Retailer Spotlight: 10 Paddlesport Tips from Route 96 Power and Paddle
      10. July 01 2014 The Essential Guide to your Fourth of July Tablescape
    4. June (9)
      1. June 30 2014 In the News: Dansko Co-Founder and CEO Mandy Cabot
      2. June 27 2014 Food, Farms and Comfortable Clogs: Q&A With Cooking Light Executive Chef Anna Bullett
      3. June 24 2014 Summer Days at Dansko: Team Day 2014
      4. June 20 2014 Cabot Creamery Makes a Difference in Local Communities
      5. June 17 2014 Shop the Trend: Rooted in Vintage
      6. June 12 2014 A Moment For Mindfulness: Introducing Guest Bloggers Mindful Magazine
      7. June 10 2014 Kickstart Your Art Collection with these Five Artsy Tips
      8. June 05 2014 A Woman of Many Titles: Q&A with Image Consultant Michele Gustafson
      9. June 02 2014 Trend Alert: Your Complete Guide to Normcore
    5. May (10)
      1. May 30 2014 Shop the Trend: Fresh and Fabulous Florals
      2. May 28 2014 10 Summer Suitcase Essentials for your Next Adventure
      3. May 22 2014 Brooklyn Chef Justin Warner Shares Three Kitchen Essentials (Hint: He wears Dansko shoes!)
      4. May 20 2014 Let Your Garden Grow: An Early June Planting Guide
      5. May 16 2014 A Month of Celebrations: Dansko Recognizes Teachers and Nurses
      6. May 14 2014 A Mixologist’s Journey: Q&A with Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler (And a Cocktail Recipe, too!)
      7. May 13 2014 Dansko Volunteers Hit the Road During "Footwear Cares" Month of Service
      8. May 08 2014 Mother's Day 2014: Why Do We Celebrate Mom?
      9. May 07 2014 Lace up Your Sneakers and Visit Our Top Walking Cities
      10. May 01 2014 Six Stretches for your Workday
    6. April (7)
      1. April 29 2014 "America's Best Cook" Contestant Presses Onward – In Dansko Clogs!
      2. April 25 2014 A Step-By-Step Guide to Planting your Arbor Day Tree
      3. April 23 2014 Shop the Trend: Bright, Bold, Beautiful Tangerine
      4. April 21 2014 Earth Day 2014: Five Steps for Conserving Water at Home
      5. April 17 2014 Q&A with Street Style Blogger Dana Landon
      6. April 14 2014 Recipe Time: A Sweet Spring Treat from King Arthur Flour
      7. April 01 2014 10 Spring Adventures for 10 Dansko Shoes
    7. March (5)
      1. March 28 2014 Volunteers Leave a SPLASHing Impact
      2. March 26 2014 Spotted in Dansko: Acclaimed Chef Suzanne Goin
      3. March 24 2014 Celebrating Employee Ownership with a Little Competition (And a LOT of Laughter!)
      4. March 21 2014 Suits, Sweaters and Dansko: Q&A with New York Designer Drew Villani
      5. March 20 2014 Now Introducing: Word of Foot!
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