BEHIND THE SOLE
pole + swede was founded in 2015 by Joanna Wnorowski (the pole) and Caren Carlson (the swede). As co-founders, dear friends, and kindred spirits—“sole sisters” seemed the obvious epithet. Our footwear boasts a unique balance of style, craft, heritage, and comfort. The design for pole + swede’s signature line is inspired by a traditional Polish house shoe. It is a craft that has been passed down through families for generations. Both relevant and timeless, this shoe's unique aesthetic and ease of wear made the brand concept simple: everyone needs a pair.
We are diehard advocates of the imperfectly perfect and these shoes don’t fail to hit the mark. As artisanal pieces, every detail is meticulously crafted from the waxed cotton embroidery to the distinct leather sole— a molding process that is a trademark in the region of Poland from which they originated. We love that each pair of pole + swede house shoes is unique in its subtleties which sets them apart in today’s market.
Across the board, pole + swede's creative force runs deep. Caren (the swede + CEO + creative guru) hails from Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning where she and co- founder Joanna (the pole) became fast friends. It was a magical day in the dorms when Joanna first unloaded an understated bag of slippers her dad brought back from Poland. From that aha moment to our inception, we've made it our mission to shed light on the traditions of craft and untapped talent in this pastoral Polish town.
We've since brought on board talent closer to home. Our third partner, Liz Lang (a proud norwegian), works to find creative means of building our brand both on the front line and behind the scenes. Liz and Caren have a deep-rooted friendship of 27 years and have worked alongside one another for six and counting.
When it comes to fashion our team has always shared the same philosophy: style doesn't have to trump comfort and comfort doesn't have to be void of style. We also have a common compulsion for minimalism, global goods, and seeing the world. This has created a rich foundation of design and culture from which we continue to seek inspiration.
Through testimonials and personal experience, we’ve learned something special about our brand... pole + swede is more than style. We are comfort. Warmth. We’re about making memories in the one space where you can just be. That place where you welcome and confront some of the most meaningful things in life. You see, pole + swede becomes a part of your story. And wherever you take us, we’re along for the ride and always there to bring you back home. #INDULGEYOURSOLE