Craftsman American Made Boots

Craftsman BootsThis past week Jefferson City, Tennessee television station WVLT ran a interesting story on Sears’ iconic private brand Craftsman and the private brand boots manufactured by in East Tennessee by Footwear Industries of Tennessee.

“I think in most Sears stores, you will see two boots that are made in the USA. And those boots will be made in this factory,” FiT General Manager Tim Bird explained to WVLT. “These boots are only made in this factory.”

Front rawhide to strapping up the final lace, the Craftsman private brand work boot is made entirely at the Tennessee facility. Most pieces are hand-sewn and cut to specific sizes, while the adhering of the sole to shoe is done by machine.

“A lot of U.S. consumers would rather spend their money on products that are made entirely within the U.S. They like to know that by buying a pair of shoes they’re giving another American a job,” Bird said. “But there’s also a limit to how much they’re willing to spend to do that. So our intention is to give them a choice that’s reasonably priced.”



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.