Who is dansko??
Since 1990, Dansko has been the leader in providing innovative comfort footwear while standing at the forefront of sustainable and ethical business practices. Dansko is owned and operated by its founders, husband and wife team Mandy Cabot and Peter Kiellerup. Here is their story….
Peter: I still remember the very first time I saw Mandy, it was at her Mother’s farm north of Boston.
Mandy: Peter, was a guest instructor from Denmark. And I was one of his first, and dare I say best, students, certainly one of his favorites.
Peter: It was love at first sight, as they say, it actually does happen.
Peter: We established our riding facility/horse farm in Pennsylvania. Mandy & I were on a horse buying trip to Denmark, in my home town in fact.
Mandy: We found this amazing little shop with a pair of clogs in there I had never seen before, closed back clogs.
Peter: We liked them so much that we started to bring pairs back with us from Denmark every time we went over.
Mandy: First we were buying them retail which was o.k. for 1 or 2 pair. But when we started bringing home dozens of pairs for friends & family, staff & students, it was way too much.
Peter: Actually we got tired of carrying all those clogs home in our suitcase so we found a way to get them direct from Denmark and get them shipped to us.
Mandy: While we were avid horse professionals we were now avid shoe dogs.
Peter: We started to sell them at horse shows. We actually just brought shoes with us in our old Volvo. I still remember when we came into the shows and opened up the tailgate of the old Volvo, people came running over to buy these shoes.
Mandy: We found that many more people, beside just horse people were in love with our shoes. We had a demand that far exceeded our original thoughts. And we did what was only natural to do, we started a shoe company. We named it Dansko, literally translated as ‘Danish shoe’ and we grew it from there.
Peter: Mandy, of course, wanted to not just have closed back clogs, she also wanted to have something that was a little lighter…
Mandy: … and prettier and sandals and boots.
Peter: And I wanted to be sure that what ever we made had to be comfortable. We started with one employee 17 years ago and she in fact is still with us. Today we have about 130 people here with family and kids so we became part of the community. That really is put a lot of responsibility on us because now it was not just about Mandy and Me. Today we have a Foundation with programs for employees to volunteer in the community. We want to be really making a difference in the community.
Mandy: Not only to we pay our employees to take time off to go and volunteer, we take their salary and match it and give that to the organization to which they volunteered. It’s pretty great.
Peter: We also want to be part of the future of sustainable living, that’s part of my Danish heritage. We want to leave this earth in a better shape than we found it. So we are working very, very hard on that.
Mandy: And, it’s the right thing to do and that’s what we’re all about.