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cdb boston
KGR Building-5th Floor, 60 Island Street
Lawrence, MA 01840

Telephone: 617-387-3100

Year Started: 1993

# American Employees: 5
  Years ago, the mills of Lawrence hummed with typicial sounds and the familiar activity of manufacturing machines. All along the canal and Merrimac River, mills shared the energy and livelihood afforded by shoe making, apparel makers, paper and box mills, to name just a few. As manufacturers moved their production off shore, the mills became empty and mostly fell into disrepair and neglect. In 2001, we moved into a small corner of a mostly abandoned five-story mill set between the Lawrence canal and Merrimac River. Today, the mill is fully occupied with over fifty small businesses and a neighborhood college campus. àpropos conversation shoes was conceived in 1990 by a woman working in the athletic shoe industry in New England. To build sales, she was commissioned by her company to evaluate the potential use of athletic shoes as street fashion in Europe. After visiting five cities in eleven days, she noted how obvious and unusual American tourists looked in their sneakers. She developed a concept for combining a functional rubber-like sole with funky fabric patterns, or a “dressy sneaker.” By 1997, a year-round manufacturing and retail/direct mail business was in gear. We canvas textile mills around the world for quality fabrics in unusual and distinctive patterns and combinations of color – all with an eye on the practicality of machine-washing and durability.  
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Thoughts on America:
Still viable to manufacture successfully in the USA with good product and company strategy.
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