My Visit With The Sandalman ~ Handmade Flip Flops & Sandals

Rajka Hayden Doug Hayden
Pat Strader Scott Strader [Audio Length: 0:08:53]
Hello. Thank you so much for tuning in. I live in San Diego where we wear flip-flops
year-round. I am always on the lookout for a pair of well
made, comfortable, good for your feet, yet stylish flip-flops. Today, we’re going to head up to Newport
Beach, California and visit the Sandalman. But first, thank you so much for watching,
I really appreciate it. If you are a regular viewer and subscriber,
I love you, thank you. If you haven’t subscribed, please do. It’s just the button there, it’s free,
it means the world to me. We are also on social media, Instagram, Twitter,
Facebook, @Thedressupmom, #Thedressupmom. I’ve talked before on the channel how I
am an avid reader of the Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition called Off Duty. I get such great fashion ideas and product
ideas and places from that section of the paper. Recently, I was reading in there and they
highlighted in one of the articles, a place called the Sandalman, which is in Newport
Beach, California. I thought that sounded pretty cool. They make really nice, handmade, but good
for your feet, sandals and flip-flops. The tech executive that was being interviewed
only goes there and has them custom made there. So, it’s pretty close, it’s kind of in
my backyard, so Doug and I decided to take a trip up there and visit them. Again, it is called The Sandalman. Let’s head out there and see what we find. [Music] Pat Strader:
We were at the swap meet and a gal and her boyfriend had just finished a nice late breakfast
together. They were cruising down the swap meet and
the gal was going, “Oh, look. There’s the hat lady, there’s the wood
man, there’s the clothes man, and oh, there’s the sandal man.” So, it stuck. I always wanted Sammy Davis, Jr. to do the
jingle. Doug Hayden:
[singing] “The sandal man can, the sandal man.” [Music] Doug Hayden:
How did you decide you were going to be the Sandalman? How did that happen? Pat Strader:
I came back from Vietnam and went to back college. What we got from what they call the G.I. Bill, just was kind of like Social Security,
it didn’t cover anything. So, I went to work for the VA Association
at Cal State Fullerton and I met up with a guy who was also doing that. We would volunteer 100 hour a semester and
get paid 200 bucks, cash, money, green right up front. He was selling what they called depressed
sneakers. We were making them hand to fist, just enough
to get us to the next week. He would give us $200 or $300 that’s all
we had. Then, all of a sudden “The bottom fell out
of the sneaker business” people just stopped buying them. Because this was the middle of the 70s and
in Southern California was the beginning of the flip-flop age. Rajka Hayden:
Yup, the flip-flop age. I remember that. Pat Strader:
I mean women were buying these things that tall, with six different colors in them. Rajka Hayden:
I had those. Pat Strader:
Guys and gals were buying the all black sandal with a lightning bolt in them. It was the time. So, we climbed aboard. [Music] Doug Hayden:
How did you know that this guy is the best sandal guy? Rajka Hayden:
I read about it in the Wall Street Journal and the guy that they were interviewing, this
Facebook Technology Marketing Guru, everything he wears he’s super particular about. Doug Hayden:
So, you’re going on that? Because they feel fantastic. They feel fantastic. Rajka Hayden:
Yeah, and I love anything handmade, unique and different. I knew that this had to be great. Doug Hayden:
All right. Pat Strader:
I put a good sole on the bottom and then we put a slippery insole, so that when you’re
soaking wet and your sandals are soaking wet, you’re not fishtailing in the sandals. The strap’s going to hold you in. This is the better sandal out there on the
market. Since there are two straps there, that’s
mo’ better. We sold at the swap meet at the Orange County
Fair in our store, but then people were begging to buy wholesale. Well, we found out that we cannot acquire
enough raw material for our production function to go wholesale. Even the Japanese get a discount, but they
don’t get the retail, they’re going to go up. This sandal here, what’s it marked? What do you got on that thing? Rajka Hayden:
Seventy or something. Pat Strader:
Somebody chewed off that price tag. Rajka Hayden:
Seventy-five. Pat Strader:
Seventy-five. Okay. So, they get it for $70 and they sell it for
$400. Doug Hayden:
Wow. Rajka Hayden:
Yup. Because this is handmade leather. Pat Strader:
Yeah. Rajka Hayden:
Yeah. I know what I’m talking about here Doug. Doug Hayden:
I’m sure you do. [Music] Scott Strader:
This is a cutting machine and we use the dyes that you see here, along with the different
leather combinations and we cut. Like Pat said, these are samples for a Japanese
order. We’ve been exporting to them for 15 years. Rajka Hayden:
Yeah, that’s what he was saying, that’s awesome. Scott Strader:
I’m going to cut one more pair of straps. This one has a little visual strap. Rajka Hayden:
Oh, that’s cool. Scott Strader:That is a leopard look. That achieve that with calf skin, hair on
painted. So, this not only cuts the parameter, but
it cuts the holes as well. Rajka Hayden:That’s cool. Scott Strader:
That was made by Arman Kasha [ph] He’s an Armenian shoemaker. It’s our sculpturing machine, it’s what
we use to rough foot beds and do all the strap work and carve out the cradling. First, I’m going to do is change the belt
to a 24 grit which will make the work a lot easier for me. Of course, I have to be careful not to slide
into it. Rajka Hayden:
Yeah, I bet. [Music] Scott Strader:
Shoe size, from one to the next, do you have a guess what measurement that might be on
the ruler? How much distance between each shoe size? Rajka Hayden:
I’d say an inch. Scott Strader:
A third. Rajka Hayden:
It’s only a third of an inch? Scott Strader:
It’s only a third of an inch. So, half a shoe size is a sixth of an inch. Rajka Hayden:
Wow. Scott Strader:
That’s what I took off from toe and heel which was a sixth of an inch. [Music] Rajka Hayden:
Well, that was great fun for me. The brothers were so generous, so nice with
their time. They really treated us well. I learned a ton about making sandals, making
shoes, sizing. They were great. I think I’ll be getting all my flip-flops
there from now on. We got a lot of pairs, both Doug and I. I
got some gifts. I got this pair that I love. The inside has the nice shrilling it and I’m
going to use these. The foot bed is so comfortable. These are going to be my new slippers and
around the house shoes. It was great. I would highly recommend them. You can buy their things online. You can call them and they’ll ship to you. Please let them know that you heard about
it from the Dress Up Mom. Thank you so much for watching, I really appreciate
it and until next time have fun and dress it up a little. END OF RECORDING

One Comment

  • Thanks for watching.  Do you have a favorite sandal or flip flop brand?

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