A Look into Adelante Shoe Co.

A few hardworking Jumbos, Dana Sternthal, Kelly Moran, and Emma Balin (among many others!) have been putting their talents to work for Adelante shoe company. Adelante is a socially conscious shoe company that employs artisans in Guatemala and allows them to determine their own wages. Take a look into their experience with this awesome company!

1) How did you get involved with Adelante?

Emma:  I joined 180 Consulting this semester and was paired to work with Adelante, a socially conscious shoe company. 180 Consulting is the world’s largest volunteer consulting agency with branches all across the world. 180 strives to help non-profits and social enterprises reach their full potential. Adelante was founded by a fletcher student, Peter Sacco, so the Tufts chapter of 180 was lucky enough to get to work with them.


2) What's your favorite part about the company?

Emma: It’s incredible to see how much thought and passion goes into Adelante. Peter Sacco, the founder and a Fletcher student, has cultivated a company that combines his entrepreneurial spirit with his focus on international relations. My favorite part of Adelante is their focus on remaining socially conscious. Adelante, produces their shoes in Guatemala by artisans who determine their own wages. Adelante pays their artisans at the “Living Well Line”, which ensures that the craftsmen and women have enough money for themselves and their families to live comfortably.

Kelly: My favorite part about Adelante is the way that it pays ode to “terroir” or, in other words, where the shoes come from. With the effects of globalization, so many of the products we use each day could be made anywhere in the world. Each pair of Adelante shoes has a unique Guatemalan identity and tells a compelling story about each cobbler’s experiences.  


3) Most exciting/fun part of your Adelante experience?

Emma: Because Adelante is still a relatively young company and Peter is continuously iterating his ideas, our work for 180 is highly valued. We have done thorough market research and come up with hypotheses that we believe will greatly benefit the future of Adelante. All of our work for Peter is taken very seriously; it’s amazing to have that sort of influence as an undergrad.


4) What's the most difficult part about working with a startup?

Kelly: The most difficult (although also my most favorite) part about working with a start up is dealing with situations in uncharted territory. There is no guide book or step by step explanation for the problems we face. This requires more thorough market research and thoughtful decision making, but it’s so much more redeeming and meaningful to start from scratch.


5) Any advice you would give for someone interested in consulting based off of your experience with Adelante?

Dana: Consulting is all about teamwork, and the 180 team working with Adelante is so talented in so many different aspects. We all bring something different to the table, and by working together we are able to create the best possible deliverable to really help Adelante grow. My advice for anyone interested in consulting is to find a team that you trust and work collaboratively as that always results in the best product.


6) Most exciting/fun part of your Adelante experience?

Kelly: I’ve loved working with and getting to know the Adelante team! Everyone brings something unique to the table and now that Adelante won the 100K Venture Competition, it’ll be interesting to see where we go from here.

Dana: The most exciting part of working with Adelante is being able to see the vision Peter has for the company in the long run and being able to help him achieve that goal through the work we are doing now. By analyzing markets and comparable companies, we are really able to provide meaningful information that helps Peter view the future of his company more clearly.