Episode 9: Q & A with Zlatica from @ZlaTush_shoes
Updated: Jul 21
Hi! My name is Zlatica, I am 47 years old and live in a very small country in the middle of Europe called Slovakia. In addition, I'm a founder of the barefoot brand ZlaTush, which is registered in the European trademark register. I am also the mother of 3 boys.
I design and sew barefoot footwear for everyone, for all seasons and occasions. I sew for children and adults, shoes for casual wear but also for social occasions. All my shoes are handmade and every pair is original. It takes me more than 25 hours to produce one pair.
You can find me on:
instagram : https://www.instagram.com/zlatush_shoes/
Good Morning Zlatica, Thank you for being on board
Good morning Alex, thanks for this interview. It's a big honour for me.
How’ve you been, and whats a normal day like for you?
Thank you for asking, I'm very happy and positive today. It was snowing during the night, so the morning scenery is wonderful...
My normal day is quite ordinary - working. I get up around 6:00 am, I prepare breakfast for my boys, than I drive the kids to school and to kindergarten. I come back about 7.30, prepare a coffee, practice callanetics, and then I start my work. First, I handle the correspondence with my customers, and when I'm done, I start sewing the ordered shoes.
About noon I pick up the youngest son from kindergarten and cook some lunch. After lunch we are going for a walk, cycling or we are playing together - I really enjoy this part of the day. Then I continue with my work until 8pm.
Evening is family time. We watch tv, play games or cards together, we talk a lot... Then I read fairy tales to my boys, and after they fall asleep I get the correspondence again. I help the customers to choose the model, the colors, or we are creating the design of their future shoes together. If necessary, I also order the material needed for production. I work until midnight.
On weekends my family and I go climbing... It is our new common hobby, however our feet suffer from narrow climbing shoes. This only happens for a while as we climb the wall, then we take shoes off and walk barefoot :)
How did ZlaTush start?
Well, you know - I'm a mother of 3 boys. They are growing very fast and need new pair of shoes almost every month. In addition, they have wide feet and find something that suits them in the ordinary store was impossible. Five years ago we changed our shoes to barefoot shoes but BFshoes offered in stores were very poor, so there was no choice but to learn how to sew shoes. 😁 The years of learning and testing followed. I learned with every pair of shoes about materials, adhesives, chassis .... Sewing has become my new passion, it has completely consumed me, I have devoted all my time to it.
My education continued with shoemaking course led by well-known Czech shoemaker and was completed with study at shoemaking school, which I ended with an accredited qualification exam. When I was absolutely certain of the quality of my shoes, I decided to establish my own barefoot shoes brand. So symbolically, on the fourth birthday of my youngest son, ZlaTush was introduced to the world (because he was the main reason for starting with my shoemaking).
Your mission is quite beneficial to the health of others, hypothetically speaking, what do you think you’d be doing if Zlatush shoes hadn’t been created?
It is difficut to say, but it's very likely that I would do what I did before my children were born. I'm a high school teacher specialized in economic subjects, so i suppose i would be back in school again.
Do you have any advice for people thinking of taking a risk, and starting a small business, or movement that they have a passion for?
Sure, go for it. Make your dreams come true. It's amazing to do the right job - The work that motivates you to wake up every morning and fulfill your heart and mind with satisfaction.
What shoe do you wear most regularly?
I wear Zlatush shoes only :-) . All my family wear Zlatush shoes, my sons with their own design. (the youngest one prefers green colour, so all his shoes MUST be green, of course :-) the oldest is 16 now and prefers "converse" look... Sometimes it's really difficult to sew appropriate shoes for a teenager :-)
In summer I walk barefoot, or in sandals when the concrete is already very hot. I wear ballerinas or canvas sneakers in spring and autumn. In rainy and cold days low leather shoes.
During the winter (we have very mild winter in our area) ankle leather shoes. When the frosts come, I put a warm lambskin insole in them, eventually wear woolen socks and I feel warm.
Have you suffered from any physical injuries yourself?
When I was wearing "ordinary" shoes, which do not respect the feet anatomy, I had few problems with my feet - flat feet (I did not have a shaped arch), my ankles were tucked in, i have hallux on big toe, and I often suffered from crossspine pain.
When I discovered the barefoot and changed all my shoe, slowly (very slowly indeed) my feet began to work and seem the way they should seem. The arch started to lift up, the ankles strenghtened, my big toe is in the right position now... I can pick the lego cubes up from the ground with my feet now, and i do it very often, and what surprised me the most.... my back pain disappeared :-)
What are your plans/goals in the future?
A lot of plans and dreams are in my mind... I would like to introduce Zlatush brand worldwide and produce high quality shoes for everyone. My secret dream is to have clients on every continent (maybe in Antarctic area would be a small problem :-D
I'm happy to see people satisfied with their "dream" shoes in which they feel comfortable and don't suffer any pain. I always listen my customers, try to make their ideas real, and if I succeed, it fills me with great happiness. I enjoy inventing new things all the time, experimenting. I don't like stereotypes, so I come up with a new models every now and then, and I'm happy to see that my ideas are widly popular between people.
Thank you for giving us the time of day in your busy schedule, and good luck with your future endeavours!
Thank you so much for your support in the barefoot world. All the best to you, Alex and Jade!
* For a limited time, use the code SHIPPING50, for 50% off shipping at checkout at https://www.zlatush.sk