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Talkshop: Sharing the secrets of business success

(DESCRIPTION) A man and woman stand in front of a white wall with several printouts, photos, and fabric swatches for shoe designs. Text, Sabrina Finlay and Ryan Shaffer, Co-Founders, Otabo.

(SPEECH) My brother and I worked in factories for a long time with my parents. They owned a business. My dad was a pretty tough guy, so he made us start all the way at the bottom of the totem pole.

Mopping floors, whatever needed to be done.

I was actually a stitcher for awhile. I stitched shoes.

(DESCRIPTION) A blue shoe lace spells out hashtag talk shop.

(SPEECH) Otabo's a full-service footwear manufacturer. This is a family business. My sister is my partner. And, as a small business, we're trying to compete with the big boys.

(DESCRIPTION) Sketches of shoes on paper. Various shoes sit on a box and rotate out on the screen. Three other people pose in front of the wall, smiling.

(SPEECH) We're very unique. We have taught everyone every part of the business. A lot of heroes in our industry criticized us for sharing too much. We're now managing over 50 factories.

(DESCRIPTION) Designs flash on the computer monitor. A large map with tacks of different colors.

(SPEECH) Our home base is in Minneapolis, but we work with clients from all around the world-- Chili, Iceland, Botswana, Lebanon. What we've done is consolidated all services into one business model, which makes it exceptionally easy and also affordable if you're a smaller business. We can do everything from literally 12-year-olds with crayon drawings, stilettos, cowboy boots, athletic shoes.

(DESCRIPTION) Shoe designs are displayed on the wall. Rows of shoes of all types.

(SPEECH) Not really anything in footwear that we've come across that we can't make.

We push other companies that we work with to become better by introducing them to our processes. And you're helping someone grow their baby, in a sense. We're not just shoemakers. We're actually helping people realize their dreams.

(DESCRIPTION) Shoe designs are displayed on the wall. Logo, US Bank, the power of possible. Equal Housing disclaimer.


Talkshop: Sharing the secrets of business success

The owners of Otabo aim to help other business owners navigating the complicated world of manufacturing. 

Tags: Best practices, Business loans, Financing, Goals, Loans, Planning, How to
Published: November 08, 2019

The co-founders of a family-owned shoe factory Otabo don’t keep the keys to their success a secret. Instead Otabo builds its brand and helps other companies grow by introducing them to the ins and outs of the manufacturing process.


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