Sheepers started in 2015 when I was working as a graphic designer in central London. “While I enjoyed my job, I had enough of the 9-5 and was bored of doing the same thing over and over. I wanted to do something different. My dad, Stanislaw, brought a pair of traditional Polish Moccasins as a gift for me after one of his many trips to Gdansk Poland, as he knew my well-loved ones were getting a little worse for wear after years of wearing them every day…”
“I then came up with the idea of designing my own pair, so many people would comment on how comfy they looked so why not make them accessible in the UK. The slippers were made by the Gorale and we want to continue this.”
Normally Gorale would either work on a farm or hand make items to resell, this trade was dying out. This was the perfect opportunity to work together to make our slippers, which brought in some stability for them.
The Gorale 100% handmade
Sheepers have ensured that Sheepers slippers are made ethically and are used from off-cuts. This means that we do not bulk buy cheap sheepskin or wool. Instead, we use off cuts from other methods of farming. Not only is the handling of animals very important to us but also ensuring that the Gorale has a fair wage.
We ensure the conditions they work in are comfortable and safe, and that they are paid fairly.
“I used to work from my bedroom in my parent’s house whilst working in North London where I was born. I would go to the markets in London and try to sell them and get the word out. A lot of Polish people found it funny as they are seen as quite old fashioned. This made me question, but I persevered thinking of the fond memories I have of growing up in Poland and wearing these cosy slippers.”
“I began selling the slippers and other accessories at various markets in the UK, as well as on the Sheepers website and through Instragram. A lot of sales came from word of mouth which was so important to me, and still is. It was so exciting to have other people sharing in my enthusiasm and I felt like I was sharing some of my childhood with people. As I was ordering more and more stock, there were slippers everywhere! Anywhere you looked in my house, there would be boxes of slippers. I couldn’t find anywhere else to store them other than in my house as London storage spaces were just too expensive for my little dream. Luckily my family were very patient about the overflowing boxes of fluff!”
Sheepers’ First Studio in North London
“I eventually found a small studio in north London and have been able to employ a wonderful handful of staff who pack orders and help with the day-to-day running.”
We have stockists all over the world including Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Not On The High Street and Amazon, as well as independent brands across the world. Have a look at our Stockists.
No-one planned for what was coming (COVID), and this has holted some of our plans but we are working on ways to make Sheepers the best it can be. We have two new studios and more employees, thanks to all of you. We are also looking to move into a bigger studio where we can have a lounge area open to the public, so you can come by and have a look at our products personally.
The journey is by no means over, we have done so much, but we have so much more to do and can’t wait to see where this next year takes us. We hope you will continue to follow our journey and stay part of the Sheepers flock!