Peter Sacco is the Founder and CEO of Adelante Shoe Co., a made-to-order shoe company committed to paying its Guatemalan craftsmen a living wage. www.adelanteshoes.com
What makes Adelante different from other shoe companies?
Adelante makes each pair to order, and delivers direct to the customer’s door in 10 days. Made-to-order means our customers can order from a much broader range of lengths and widths, personalize the aesthetic of their pair, and connect with their craftsman via multimedia while he handmakes their shoes.
We were born from a vision of economic development in Latin America, which is why all Adelante craftspeople earn over the Living Well Line. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted us to launch an emergency aid program for craftspeople who are out of work as a result of the crisis.
Adelante has ties to Guatemala and you have extensive experience in Latin America—what are you hearing about business and economic conditions there these days?
Countries across Central America are facing the same challenging question as the United States: Is there a way to re-open the economy without exacerbating the pandemic? Some countries in Latina America got a jump on preventative measures (Guatemala, El Salvador) and are better off as a result, while others have a longer road ahead (Mexico, Ecuador). As a general rule, Latin American economies are largely intertwined with the US economy so the faster the US can rebound, the less economic pain Latin America will feel.
What are you learning about customers and the overall customer experience during these challenging times?
We always want to be transparent, empathetic, and human with our customers. Folks want their purchase to have a direct, positive impact on the damage caused by this pandemic; everyone wants to be part of the solution. Luckily, none if this is an adjustment for our brand actions or voice. Folks are also looking for lower price point products, so we’ve been doing some secondary product development at our workshop in Guatemala.