I was just finishing up my senior year of college in 1988 when my father asked me a question that at the time I really did not think would have a big effect on me. He had started Up-Front Footwear in August of 1986 and after a year and a half of uncertainty of whether the business was going to work, he asked me if I would be interested in helping im out.
I was 22 years old and was just ready to start a job search when he asked me to join him. My entire life had been shoes and I saw how hard my father worked at running a small business. I also knew this was a new business and I could probably make more money working at a fast food counter. And for many years that is about how it was, low wages and a lot of work.
But I had the opportunity to work with my dad and learn from his experiences. The money did not matter because the main thing I was given was opportunity. Each day I learned things I was never taught in a college classroom. I absorbed lessons through observation and advice from my father just as his father taught him years before. These are the principles that would go on to shape me and this company for these 30 years.
Today Up-Front Footwear is 30 years old and I have been here over 28 years. Wow, where did the time go? From a 22-year-old college graduate to a third generation shoe maker. Yes, for many years we made all the shoes we sold. It was a sad time when the machines in our factory no longer produced our footwear.But the experience and knowledge of shoes passed down to me is what sets DINKLES marching shoes apart from all other brands. Every time orders are placed, the shoes are checked and rechecked to make sure the materials and construction are precise so the end customer will be satisfied and our company’s 30 year reputation will live on.
We make sure that each and every member of your band has the ability to put its “best foot forward”. Each day, every one of the employees at DINKLES do their best to live up to its heritage. I still feel I have a personal responsibility to not only DINKLES customers and employees but to the first and second generation shoe makers who came before me.
For now, I invite you to review our 2016-17 brochure, you will see this year’s editions of the quality shoes and gloves that we have provided for the last 30 years. We hope you’ll make the decision to march in DINKLES and become part of our continued heritage. We take great pride in our products and even more pride that DINKLES is celebrating 30 years of being the “Greatest Shoes on the Planet.” We make marching fun.
Learn more about our rich history as the leader in the band shoe industry.
See how we make our shoes, the artists that wear them, and more history of Up-Front Footwear!
Contact us today!