Hello my name is Cory Bernatt and I have been operating The Sandalman Leathercare for over 35 years. I learned my trade by apprenticing with my father since age 6 and by the time I was 11 I sold my first leather purse to an actual paying customer. During the 1970″s my fathers shop produced custom made to order sandals in our city of Toronto. He got a lot of orders and that’s when I learned how to make a real authentic leather sandal.
In 1982 I branched out at age 17 and started my own store with a loan from the bank for $1000 and a few basic machines and some hand tools. I called it The Sandalman, after a trip to Jamaica and a walk on the famous 7 mile beach in Negril, I met an artist who called himself Drawman. Many artisans in Jamaica have nic names and it struck me right there that I needed to call my new business The Sandalman because I made at that point 100’s of leather sandals and it just seemed to fit. ( joke intended )
Each pair of sandals I made were all hand cut with knife and ruler and all sewn by hand 1 stitch at a time. Each pair taking me 5 to 7 hours. So I have learned from hard work and blisters the “art of the Sandal” I have made sandals that have appeared on Broadway in Aida and the stages of Toronto for Mama Mia and Miss Saigon. David Carradine also commissioned me to make the sandals he wore in his revamped show from the 1970’s, Kung Fu the legend continues. I also have 2 pairs that were accepted into the collection of the world renowned Bata Shoe Museum.
In the 1990’s, people in Canada stopped ordering custom sandals due to the cost, as well as the availability of manufactured sandals like the Teva sports sandal. Other larger companies jumped into the market and you could buy sandals in every department store for cheap, so the custom sandal market died.
A few years ago I traveled to the middle east and saw sandals in the markets of Jerusalem that were very reminiscent on my own sandals and it dawned on me to start buying and selling the Jerusalem sandals , which led to the Greek sandals and then Sandalopolis.com was born.
I have sandals made for me in both Jerusalem and Greece that are made out of natural vegetable tanned leather which is a lighter coloured leather that ages beautifully. They are made in small batches by real sandal makers. not factory made on an assembly line. helping to support small business and also to share with the world a classic footwear that has lasted through the ages.
I have chosen the classic designs we have all grown to love and some newer comtemporary styles that move the sandal into the future. When you buy sandals on Sandalopolis.com you can be assured that you are getting the highest quality workmanship and materials and very good value. We don’t sell super high end like some of our competitors. This isn’t haut Couture fashion but more laid back retro hippie and casually fashion forward with a hint of the past.
You will also find on our site some Yoga bags and some leather backpack as I am also a bag designer and have added these to my repertoire over the years.
If you are from Toronto, you probably know my leather repair store called First Aid for Leather, our primary service is the repair and restoration of leather Jackets, Purses and Furniture. Visit our sister site at http://www.sandalman.com check out the funny video I starred in portraying a doctor resurrecting an old destroyed leather jacket. 90 seconds and very funny, or so I’ve been told.
All our products on Sandalopolis.com are shipped from Toronto so you won’t have to worry about a lot of duties and getting your shipments stuck at the border from far off destinations. Good value, great selection, ease of delivery and supporting small manufacturers in a fair trade manner! All the reasons to shop at Sandalopolis.com.