Mohinders was born in 2012 when founder Michael Paratore's daydream turned into an amazing—and totally unexpected—excursion through India, searching for the source of a beloved pair of slip-ons. He quit his job as a corporate lawyer to become a shoe peddler and hasn't looked back since.
Today, we're driven by designs and materials that come with a good story. As a team of two, we create distinctive products and share the Mohinders story while keeping curiosity and a ready-for-anything approach at the center of everything we do.
Corporate lawyer-turned-shoe-peddler, Michael's been running Mohinders since 2012, all while convincing his wife and kids to join him on as many spontaneous adventures as possible.
Kristen is a creative director, artist, and leather worker, designing products and Mohinders visuals while jumping in the ocean as much as possible in her Outer Sunset neighborhood.
A real-deal, third-generation shoe peddler, Abbas runs his own successful family footwear business on the Colaba Causeway. He's a shoe designer, Mumbai expert, and runs our India operations and supply chain—he also tolerates our endless questions and finds us the best dosa spots when we're in town.
The Lead Artisans
We work with eight master craftsmen, all part of a cooperative working structure. They collaborate to set quality standards, grow as entrepreneurs, and establish pricing as a group. A bit about them all, shown left to right.
Maalesh | Learned the craft of shoemaking from his father during his teenage years, and went full-time 22 years ago. He and his wife Parvati work together in their home workshop to provide for three teenage sons.
Vittel | A father to three and grandfather to six, Vittel spent time working in Chennai until family brought him back to Athani. He learned from his father, and started doing repairs until becoming a master craftsman. He works with his wife Sumitra and his sons.
Maruti | Started making shoes 40 years ago—he learned the art from his father and grandfather. He was one of the first craftsmen to join the cooperative, almost 20 years ago.
Krishna | A 4th-generation craftsman who's made footwear for 46 years, Krishna's a true master. He worked with Abbas's father and grandfather, and now with us. He and his son Sunil create beautiful products.
Prakash | Master craftsman, grandfather, and our go-to leather guy. He can sense the best quality hides with a scrape of his fingernail, and he took us along to the leather market and family tanneries so we could make the best connections and learn about leather from the perspective of a master craftsman.
Suresh | Born and raised in Athani, he comes from three generations of master craftsmen. He and his wife Lata graciously hosted us in their home for tea, which has freshly-added work and living spaces.
Ganesh | Learned the art of shoemaking from his father, master craftsman and cooperative member Prakash, and his grandfather. He has a two- and five-year-old, who he and his wife Puja will be sending to school.
Anil | A third-generation craftsman born in Bijapur, he settled in Athani Village three years ago to make shoes with his wife Yallava in their family workshop. He's worked with the cooperative since, and earns more than before.