When I was a student at the Fletcher School, Dean James Stavridis told me that the key to international security is to build bridges, not walls.The Dean’s message — which coincided with the migrant crisis in Europe and renewed calls for a US-MX border wall — proposed the simple, yet powerful idea that people who empathize with one another are less likely to fight.
Our belief in building bridges and taking down walls is why we introduce our customers to their craftsman. It’s also why we share customer reviews with our craftsmen, and enable customers to send a thank you postcard to the workshop.
Cobbler-to-Customer connection lifts the veil between two people who are fundamentally connected — one bought shoes, the other is handcrafting the pair for them — but would never otherwise meet. It builds understanding and fosters empathy at a time when xenophobia not only divides us at home, but threatens to destabilize the international community.
People have a fundamental desire to connect with one another, just as we are inherently wired to fear people and things that we do not understand. Our hope is that Cobbler-to-Customer connection will encourage the first, and dissuade the latter.
If we can use business to build bridges across cultural and physical barriers, we’ll feel we are making the world a better, safer place.
We literally want you to meet your craftsman. It’s part of what makes Adelante #WorthStandingFor.