Meet Our Makers: Monica Menorca

Naomi Rohr   >  11 June 2019

If you’ve been an avid Avarca lover for some time, you’d know I’m ALL about authenticity.

When I stumbled across this fine shoes, I knew I had to have more.

I searched high and low to locate the manufacturers so I could place a bulk order for me and my lady friends.

Through my internet investigating, I stumbled across a family-run business called Monica Menorca run by the Juanede Marqués family.

Today, I want to share a little more about this beautiful family.

 

About Monica Menorca

 

Mónica Menorca is a family business established in 1926. They have been crafting traditional shoes since they first opened their doors. They specialise in Avarcas Menorca for men, women and children.

Since its inception, the Juaneda Marqués family has been concerned both with the quality of its products and with the comfort and comfort that its customers could offer the shoes that, generation after generation, they have been carefully making.

Avarcas have a rich and colourful history in Spain and I’m thrilled we can embrace the authentic traditional shoe here in Australia.

pciture of factory floor with workers

“What we value most about living in Menorca is tranquillity and calm, not having to run from one side to the other (we can cross the island in an hour) to be able to trust people, enjoy nature, beaches, good weather... It really is our little paradise and we wouldn't trade it for anything.”  - Juaneda Family

 

Meet The Team

 

When I finally made the track to Menorca, Spain last year I wanted to learn *everything* there is to know about crafting my much-loved Avarcas. And that I did. I learnt how the leather is dyed. All about hand stitching. The setting process. How glitter is glued so it stays put. How they keep the colours vibrant. How the leather stays soft. ALL of it.

Much more rewarding though was spending time with the Juaneda Family. The care they take in their work, their gentle nature and the stoic pride they have for their home is just beautiful. When I arrived at the workshop, I was greeted with a level of hospitality I had never experienced. Within about 30 minutes of me arriving, Carme (my go-to woman) invited me into her home to celebrate The Sunday of the Lamb (Dia Des Be), the first official day in the celebrations of the fiesta of Sant Joan with her entire extended family! It’s an experience I will treasure forever.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the A-Team behind Avarcas Australia.

 

JOSÉ

 

Jose is the chief and manager of the factory. Jose has grown watching his ancestors craft Avarcas and he couldn’t wait to follow suit. In 1975 he was given the official title of Cutter-Patron-Modeller which he still holds today, over 40 years later!

When Jose’s not crafting Avarcas, you can find him in his studio painting, walking the countryside and dabbling in photography.

Shoemaker Jose cutting out leather for avarcas

 

CARME

 

Carme is my go-to gal for all things Avarca in Menorca when she's not busy answering my millions of questions or managing our orders, you can find her living the good life with family and friends. She has the voice of an angel and sings in the local Gospel Choir. She has been classically trained to hit those notes and hit 'em good.

Side note: she's also the *kindest* woman on the planet and her three children are adorable.

Avarcas Australia Director Naomi Rohr with Menorca contact Carme

 

PABLO

 

Pablo joined the team 5 years ago and he hasn’t looked back! He had his own shoe factory for years but decided he wanted to join the Monica Menorca gang and closed up shop to do so. He’s in charge of assembly and packaging and he does an excellent job at it if I do say so myself.

Pablo loves watching football and travelling far and wide.

Shoemaker Pablo gluing the rubber soles onto avarcas

 

MARI & JUANA

 

Mari & Juana are the Monica Menorca logistics managers. They check all orders are perfect before they’re shipped off. They also ensure the factory is in tip-top shape and free of any hazards. Mari has been part of the team for 8 years and Juana for 10. They both LOVE shoes and thoroughly enjoy being part of such a booming business.

Both ladies are friendly, helpful and love nothing more than spending time with their families.

Shoemakers cleaning and preparing avarcas for shipment

 

FRANCISCO

 

Francisco is the head shoemaker and has been running the show for over 20 years. Prior to this, he worked in his uncle’s factory and loved it just as much. His craftsmanship is second to none and I’m thrilled we have Francisco’s talents behind our beloved Avarcas.

Francisco is passionate about producing locally grown delicacies. When he’s not creating masterpieces in the factory, you can find him tending to his vegetables in his very extensive home garden.

Shoemaker Francisco nailing leather straps onto sole of avarcas

 

LINA

 

Lina has been part of the team for 15 years and is a much-loved member. She’s dedicated her whole life to sewing shoes and it’s evident in the quality of our Avarcas. Always armed with a smile and a kind word, Lina is the beating heart of the business.

As a proud Menorca local, Lina spends her time in town with her many friends enjoying the relaxed lifestyle Spain has to offer. 

Shoemaker Lina sitting at a sewing machine showing a hand sewn pair of Avarcas

So there you have it, the official scoop on who makes these beautiful shoes!

We think avarcas are the perfect match for our Australian climate and love working with our friends across the oceans to bring you the very best and latest styles.

Please, don't get fooled by imitations. I'm seeing more and more of them pop up and follow me around the internet (gotta love digital marketing these days!) and it makes me sad.

Sad to think you're getting shonky products from companies who mass produce Avarcas - without the quality.

And sad for the workers in Menorca who have been wearing these shoes for centuries.

The workers who deserve to respected and celebrated. 

Don’t buy the cheap crap. #BuyEthically