Marco Vaghetti travelled the globe to learn the art of shoemaking before launching LANX Shoes.
But now, with his range of classic men’s and women’s winning loyal buyers at Altrincham Market, he explains why he’s ramping up manufacturing at its new base in Lancashire…
ALTRINCHAM TODAY: This is your second Christmas as a trader at Altrincham Market – how has the experience been for you so far?
MARCO VAGHETTI, LANX: Blooooody hell, our second Christmas at Alty, only seems two minutes ago we turned up with just a box of shoes and tried to flog a few outside to passers-by. Alty is our home from home, a special place which has given us a chance to meet new customers face-to-face and learn a lot. The Alty crowd are a great bunch to speak to and get valuable feedback from, it’s shaped the direction of our brand and shoes designs.
AT: Which of your styles have proved particularly popular here – which shoes do Altrincham buyers particularly favour?
MV: A very good question. To be honest Alty Market differs from all other events and pop-ups we sell at. Most other markets we take certain styles to cater for the type of punters we know we will meet, for example the slightly more casual styles we sell in the Northern Quarter differs to the formal shoes we sell in Spinningfields. Alty however seems to have a very mixed bag of clientele which is both beneficial and challenging. Our new women’s styles have probably been our most popular at Alty in the last six months.
AT: This year has been a particularly significant one for the business as you’ve moved premises and made some significant strides with your manufacturing. Tell us more about that.
MV: Yes it’s been a very exciting and stressful year for me and the LANX team. We’ve moved premises three times and we have increased manufacturing with our partner factory in Rossendale, Lancashire. We’ve also just opened our new warehouse shop in Whalley, which took six months to complete. There have been a few bumps along the way but it has been worth it (I think!).
AT: How important is it for you to make LANX shoes in Lancs (Lancashire)?
MV: It’s a huge part of our DNA. Making shoes in Lancashire gives us great pride and seems to strike a connection with our predominantly north-west customer base. Rossendale is the home of shoe manufacturing in the north of England, however over the last 50 years this has slowly died out. We are proud to support one of the last remaining factories and work with local suppliers.
AT: For those who aren’t familiar with LANX, can you give people an insight into how you design and make your shoes?
MV: In a nutshell… LANX is based in Whalley, a small village in Lancashire about 50 minutes north of Manchester. From here we design and sample all our shoes, we also have a warehouse shop that customers visit. Our shoes are made in Rossendale, which is about 20 minutes drive away and we tend to spend two or three days a week working alongside our partner factory, making sure we are happy with production. We also work with other suppliers for materials and components, these are based in Lancashire, around the UK and overseas.
AT: The company seems to be growing fast – where do you want to take it next?
MV: I wouldn’t say we are growing fast, we are still a very small team of four full time staff and a pool of around seven part-time staff who work on the weekends. We are a start-up business and we all pitch in sweeping floors, making brews and preparing parcels. Our focus for 2020 is growing our events/pop-ups schedule and creating a new range of casual styles.
For more information about LANX Shoes, visit lanxshoes.com or find the stall at Altrincham Market