Wayne-Based Manufacturer of Handcrafted Leather Goods Expands into New York

Image of Mike Balitsaris via Waltzing Matilda.

Waltzing Matilda, the Wayne manufacturer of handcrafted leather goods, has expanded its production to Geneva, N.Y., by purchasing Vere Sandals’ factory and equipment, writes Steve Buchiere for the Finger Lakes Times.

The Geneva location is seen by Waltzing Matilda’s founder, Mike Balitsaris, as a micro-manufacturing hub where the company can expand its line of products, which include sandals, bags, and jewelry. The new location will be run together with the owner of the now-defunct Vere Sandals, John Eades.

Balitsaris started creating sandals to earn money while studying at Villanova. He first connected with Eades through a mutual customer, and the two found common ground in their joint belief in both quality and sustainability. Eades’s use of recycled products for his footwear, as well as its leather tanning process that avoids processed chemicals, were clear assets for building new lines for Waltzing Matilda.

And while it’s not easy for a new footwear company to achieve success with so many big names out there, Balitsaris is doing his part to spread the word of the Waltzing Matilda brand.

“It makes for beautiful leather,” said Balitsaris. “It’s an environmentally conscious sandal and the comfort is crazy ridiculous.”

Read more about the expansion in the Finger Lakes Times by clicking here.

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