ARCHIVED - Manitobah Mukluks – Job Creation and Economic Development

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Founded by two Métis siblings, Manitobah Mukluks has grown from a tiny native crafts outlet to a thriving commercial operation, providing employment and taking the worldwide fashion industry by storm.

Transcript: Manitobah Mukluks – Job Creation and Economic Development

Narrator voice-over:

Manitobah Mukluks has grown from a tiny native crafts outlet to a thriving commercial operation, providing employment and taking the worldwide fashion industry by storm.

The 100% Aboriginal-owned company was founded by two Métis siblings from Winnipeg with a passion for keeping their heritage and culture alive. Their stunning original footwear balancing traditional and contemporary elements is sold in retail outlets around the globe.

Narrator voice-over:

In 1997 Sean and Heather McCormick registered Manitobah Mukluks as a Canadian Corporation and began manufacturing mukluks and moccasins…

Sean McCormick – President – Manitobah Mukluks:

Here at Manitobah Mukluks we produce over 200 pairs of mukluks per day, those mukluks are sent to retailers and distributers right across the world.

Manitobah Mukluks is made up of three facilities…we have the head office and production which is located in Winnipeg…we have a 12,000 square foot warehouse which is also located in Winnipeg… and then we have our Global sales and brand office just outside of Gatineau Quebec where all our customer services and marketing activities happen.

Heather McCormick – Co-Founder – Manitobah Mukluks:

It's important for us to be made in Canada… it ties closely to our heritage and our tradition and our culture and so that's always been important to everything we've done at Manitobah Mukluks.

Sean McCormick – President – Manitobah Mukluks:

A Manitobah Mukluk is made up of natural materials, almost 100%… leather…different types of leather, whether it would be deer, moose, cowhides, suedes… we use a lot of really high quality sheepskin for the foot beds, so it provides warmth and comfort… there's a lot of different types of fur on them …and then now we have our newest urban mukluk that has a Vibram rubber sole on the bottom to make it more applicable for urban wear.

Sean McCormick – President – Manitobah Mukluks:

There's a very direct linear connection between all the products we make now and that would have been made for the last thousands of years…and part of that authenticity of our brand is …using Aboriginal designs and artists in every facet of the company.

Heather Steppler – Artist/Designer – Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation:

With the first sole they have mountains and a tipi and a fire so, you know, it's more of a winter boot…this one here I used a turtle …so I'm always looking into Aboriginal legends, stories, creation stories things like that to sort of get my inspiration from.

Narrator voiceover:

Celebrity endorsements have helped propel Manitobah Mukluks onto the worldwide market.

Distribution has expanded beyond Canada into more than 20 countries, including the US, Japan, Italy, Russia and Sweden.

Josh Fine – V.P. – Global Brand – Manitobah Mukluks:

The Global Brand Office is located here in Gatineau Quebec and here we take care of the sales, the marketing, the PR for the Manitobah brand.

Our marketing efforts really depend on a lot of grass roots movements…we need to be in touch with the retailers…we need to be in touch with the people selling our product and we need to tell our story. It's our story that sells the product, and everyone needs to learn about that….and as they learn, that's our best marketing.

Audio Only (Heather McCormick):

"Stitch by stitch bead by bead we tell the story of our people"

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