Michael Paratore quit his job as a corporate lawyer 6 years ago to become a shoe peddler, and hasn’t looked back.
He wanted to turn an amazing shoe, bought on a whim, into a full-fledged business—but only if he could do it in a way that reflected a few core values:
- Create well-designed, wearable, long lasting products using transparent + respectful sourcing
- Keep craftsmanship of the shoes in its place of origin
- Strive for low environmental impact and high social benefit at every step
Based in San Francisco, Michael and creative director Kristen Morabito do their best to uphold these values in everything about Mohinders. They collaborate on distinctive and easy-to-wear products, share the Mohinders story, and keep curiosity and a friendly approach at the center of what they do.
Corporate lawyer-turned-shoe-peddler, Michael's been running Mohinders since 2012, all while convincing his wife, Michelle, and their two 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 neighborhood of the Outer Sunset.
A third-generation shoe peddler, Abbas runs his own successful family footwear business on the Colaba Causeway of Mumbai. He's a shoe design expert, father of two, and manager of our India operations and supply chain. He tolerates our endless questions and locates the best dosa spots when we're in town.
We work with 3rd- and 4th-generation master craftsmen and women, who are part of a cooperative working structure.The artisans function as entrepreneurs, and also work in a cooperative structure facilitated by a local NGO. The cooperative provides tools and continued business education, including skills that empower the artisans to set their prices in a way that covers costs and earns a profit. As a group, the artisans determine the price they will charge us for each pair of shoes.
The artisans in the cooperative (many of them women) also work together to set and uphold product quality standards and set up groups to plan and track contributions to personal savings accounts.
When we collaborate with the artisans on product design updates, we do it in a way that retains the integrity and simplicity of the artisans’ traditional (and long-standing) of shoe designs.