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A Message From Our CEO: The Power of Ethical Leadership

July 21, 2020

To our global community,

It's hard to believe it's been four months since I first wrote a letter sharing my initial thoughts on the Covid-19 pandemic and how I believed it would impact Cobbler Union.

Today, I write to you again hoping you and your loved ones remain in good health as we endure this historic ordeal. The Covid-19 pandemic, with its seemingly endless challenges, has put all things in perspective, hasn't it? However, despite the great hurdles we continue to face, I'd like to offer an inspiring and positive view of our world and humanity.

Over the past few months, we've seen millions of fellow citizens step up in unprecedented ways. And, I've experienced a great deal of leadership personally from our suppliers, my incredible team, and you, our customer - not to mention all the magnificent essential workers putting their lives at risk every day. I like to call this type of leadership: ethical leadership.

Ethical leadership is extremely powerful and selfless. Those who practice it are the true heroes in this pandemic.

Cobbler Union's suppliers in Spain, Portugal and Italy were hit extremely hard by this virus. However, each of them, as best as they could, worked closely with our team to adjust production and delivery schedules and, often, payment terms. They clearly understood that we all needed each other to survive this crisis before we can prosper again. I'm honored to call them our partners.

Another group of people that practices ethical leadership like no other is the amazing Cobbler Union team. We're a smaller team than we were in March, but that's just in numbers. My team is immense and I can't thank them enough for their dedication and effort during these difficult times. It's extremely hard to work right now given all the external distractions and worries. It's even harder to work as hard as this team has worked to service each and every customer in order to keep our wheels turning. I'm forever grateful for their commitment.

Of course, we wouldn't be here today without you, our loyal customer. We know you're struggling too. We also know you may not need to purchase shoes right now. Yet, you continue to come through for us, time and time again, some of you even rejecting the discounts we currently offer. Simply amazing. These are extremely difficult times in our industry. We appreciate your support. We need your support. If you can, this is a great time to buy our shoes. We will, at some point, get back to selling our products at full price. In the meantime, it's a buyer's market. Go for it, build your collection now and save big! 

Lastly, I must recognize our UPS and FedEx drivers as well as all the other essential workers around the world. These courageous people are not working from home! There would be no Cobbler Union without them. They've earned our business for life. 

We are in for a long fight to return to normal. Most of us are tired of Covid-19 and the pain it generates. We're also anxious about the future and may even feel hopeless at times. However, we should all be inspired by all the good and sacrifice we see every day. People from all walks of life are coming through, working hard, some risking their lives, many investing in others, all making a difference. 

Find the ethical leaders around you. Thank them. Use their energy to inspire you. Personally, I count on your ethical leadership to continue to cheer us on, help us pull through this crisis and defeat this virus (do wear a mask and practice social distancing!). Together, we can create a new and better normal.  

All the best,

Daniel Porcelli
Founder & CEO