about SONRA


about me and SONRA

I do not know if anybody is reading this. But I will try to explain SONRA : 
It was always my dream to have my own footwear brand. Everything by me. 100% me.

I started SONRA beginning 2016. I spend many days and nights with drawing shapes of shoes as an Average Joe in drawing. I guess you can imagine how hard it is to get your ideas on a piece of paper. 
Next step was to get this paperwork to reality. I started first on my own with disassembling existing shoes to get a feeling for patterns.
So I started to buy some leather pieces and get my own drawing on a pattern.
My wife helped me a lot on this one to assamble and sew my first pattern. I pulled the sewn upper on existing shoes to get a feeling for the shape/proportion of a pair of trainers.  
The outcome was ok, but somehow not really satisfiying. 
But I was sure to proceed with my work. 
I wanted to do the next step.
So I sourced factories. Since the beginning I had set the demand for a european based production. 
But this was not easy. All the factories I contacted were producing already their own brand/partners and had no ressources for me. 
But finally I found good people supporting and understanding my vision. And guess what: All here in Germany.
With the professional help and experience of the factory it was much easier to get the shoes done. 
After several Look&See samples and some adjustments the SONRA proto was born. 
"Proto" sounded so cool somehow, so I sticked to the name "proto". It symbolise the brands attitude. It is a kind of work in progress. A constantly prototyping.
In the meantime I had to work on a matching sole unit. And realized how expensive a sole unit can be. And that minimums can kill the whole project. But an experienced German supplier helped me with a custom made EVA sole. (Made in Italy). 
At this stage I had spend already a good amount of time, effort and a lot of money, without having a final product.
So I started to source materials and found with the help of the factory some good tanneries with excellent leather. Expensive but worth it. 
All leathers for the lining are vegetable tanned. Some of the leathers are even tanned in Germany.
Economically it is a project, were every businessman would say I am out of my mind.
But my aim was to make a shoe in Germany with great materials and a fair price.
Off course my margin is shit. 
But the product is great and I love the outcome.
To round things up, I made some thoughts about the sustainability of my brand. So I have a reduced carbon print compared to many other brands due to the local manufacturing. But the cherry on top is, that I offer insoles, laces and outsoles to repair my shoes.
Theoretically you can wear a pair of SONRAs your whole life.
I am wearing daily my first production pair made of vegtanned leather. They look beaten. But they became a part of me. A second skin for my feet.
I hope you will enjoy your pair of SONRAs like I do.
Thank you for buying and supporting my dream.