Blundstone, a thriving business. Finally! After a boat trip of 93 days from the United Kingdom, John Blundstone and his sons reached the mainland of Tasmania. An excited new beginning. They arrive in the port city of Hobart. Hobart is the capital of the Australian island of Tasmania. After a few years, the Blundstone family explored all the hotspots of the island. Besides that, the family is fully integrated into the Tasmanian culture. John Blundstone is an adventurous man, he was tired or working in the local supermarket. Let’s start a real business!
Blundstone, the start
John Blundstone started importing boots all the way from the United Kingdom. The sales are going pretty well, John decides to design his own boots. These boots are made from locally produced leather. These new boots also sell incredibly fast. These are the first signs which make Blundstone a striving business. John’s hobby escalated in a serious business. In 1870 John started his own business called Blundstone. John builds his own shoe factory in the modern center of Hobart. This shoe factory is able to produce more than 2000 pairs of boots and shoes a week!
The turning point
A few years after the start in Australia, the atmosphere changes. There are some tensions between different countries around the world. The first World War begins. Luckily there is hope for the Blundstone family. Blundstone is selected as one of the twenty manufacturers to make boots and footwear for the Australian military. Again, this makes Blundstone, a thriving business.
Blundstone and the Cuthbertson family
However, after the war things are not going right with john’s company. In order to keep this thriving business going and to continue selling boots, Blundstone is taken over by the English Cuthbertson family. The Cuthbertsons already own a leather company in Hobart. The Cuthbertson family decides to keep the name Blundstone. Blundstone stands for quality and reliability.
A few years later, tensions rise again between different countries worldwide. World War 2 starts. Blundstone, the thriving business starts producing half a million of boots for the Australian army. The American soldiers were interested in the boots of the Australian soldiers. The soldiers changed boots various times. With a lot of success. The Americans loved the Blundstone boots, and they still do.
Blunstone successes after the war
After the war Blundstones popularity is rising. Blundstone is the market leader in advanced sole technology, design and ingenuity. More and more people get to know the brand. Blundstone receives requests from different parts of Australia. The potential customers want custom made boots that can be worn in the most extreme conditions. The Blundstone shoe factory received a huge amount of orders. By the late 1950’s Blundstone was producing up to 200 pairs of boots per day. Still a thriving business.
Award-winning #500 boots
In fact, in the 1960’s, Blundstone is Tasmania’s largest shoe manufacturer. Because the company was doing so well, the Cuthbertsons decided to launch a new series of shoes. The #500 series is officially born. The Blundstone 500 model is still the most well-known chelsea boot model. The 500 model hasn’t changed since the start. However, the sole is designed with new technologies. The new range of chelsea boots has been loved by workers, adventures and creative people. In fact, the 500 boots were so popular, more than 25 million pairs were sold worldwide! Definitely a thriving business! The Australian government even became aware of the boots’ popularity. The government partnered with Blundstone together with their company CSIRO. In the late 1970’s, the shoe manufacturer Blundstone became the lucky winner of the Australian Design Award.
The brand keeps growing
After the successes that were achieved after the war it is time to expand! The current factory moves to another village in Tasmania and a new factory is established in New Zealand. Not only the production capacity grows, the product range grows too. Rubber boots are added to the collection and they start with exporting to Europe. This makes Blundstone a thriving business.
Blundstone started a partnership with the Tap Dogs production of the Sydney Dance Company. There are expanding its collection with the children boots collection, safety boots, women’s shoes and lace-up shoes. The production of all these new products is so successful that as many as a million pairs of boots have been produced on a yearly basis since the mid-2000s. This makes Blundstone a growing and a thriving business all the way from Australia.
Meanwhile, the business continues to evolve and changes are being made to the global supply chain and trade agreements. Blundstone is taking a new direction. Which is normal for a thriving business like Blundstone. The production of the leather is expanding internationally and the products are produced at six factories around the world. International fame continues to grow. To advertise, Australian athletes proudly wear the Blundstone thermal collection boots. The athletes were even wearing the shoes during the 2014 Winter Olympic games. A year later, Blundstone was awarded with the Australian Design Award for the 980-mining boot.
Today, the Blundstone boots are worn all over the world and are loved by young and old, for work and parties. One of the most thriving businesses in the world. To this day Blundstone is a proud family business located in Tasmania.
Would you like to read more about Blundstone? Read the blog Blundstone, a brand with a history.