Since the first PENSOLE class in 2010, more than 90 Academy graduates have been placed professionally, full-time or as interns, for footwear companies worldwide, including Columbia Sportswear, The North Face, Timberland, Converse, AND1, New Balance, Wolverine, Cole Haan, Under Armour, Keen, Ariat, Stride Rite, adidas, JORDAN, Kenneth Cole, Reebok and Nike. When you become a SOLEHOLDER your contribution will continue to create life-changing opportunities for others.
Our goal is to build PENSOLE into a world-class academy and the funds raised in this offering will go towards the following:
#N0.2 PENSOLE Scholarship Fund:
Since 2010, PENSOLE has provided a FREE education to the majority of our students and our goal is to make PENSOLE FREE to 100% of our students and with the creation of the N0.2 PENSOLE Scholarship Fund will help us achieve our goal. This fund would cover the student's tuition, housing and supplies for all PENSOLE programs.
In addition to our current programs we are looking to expand into three new programs:
PENSOLE High School Program:
When PENSOLE started in 2010, our goal was to become a pipeline for the footwear industry. To date we have done a good job in working towards that goal, but we discovered that we need a High School farm system to feed that pipeline. With art programs and other career development programs being dropped from High Schools across the country, we realize our future footwear leaders are in jeopardy. Building off our successful High School program called L.E.AD (Leaders Emerge After Direction) at MIT, we want to make a career in the Footwear industry more accessible.
PENSOLE Diversity Programs:
In 1989, at age 19, D’Wayne Edwards was one of the first professional footwear designers of color in the industry. Sadly, diversity in the footwear industry is still pretty low with less than 3% of the footwear designers of color and women are also underserved as well. PENSOLE would like to create two-annual programs, one that focus on people of color and the other for women only. Our goal is to provide people of color and women the opportunity to showcase their talents and become contributing members of the footwear industry.
MLab Color and Materials Programs:
In 2011 the MLab launched its CMD program, which includes, CMD Color + Material + Design, CMF Color + Material + Finishes, and starting in 2015 CMI Color + Material + Innovation. Our students do not pay for any materials during their sessions. The MLab is generously supported by close knit relationships with global vendors across industries.We strive to excel in bringing technology in materials to MLab and look forward to adding new partners and point of views through SOLEHOLDER partners.
PENSOLE Innovation Studio:
PENSOLE’s “learn by doing” curriculum teaches students the entire footwear design process: inspiration, concept-development, design process, problem solving, materials, business, networking, marketing, and branding. With the addition of the PENSOLE Innovation Studio, our students and other aspiring designers can learn the art of patternmaking, sewing, sculpting, 3D modeling and build prototype samples by hand.
The PENSOLE Innovation Studio will be located on the 2nd floor of PENSOLE. This beautiful 4500 square foot, open floor plan space, will also be made available for community and corporate programs:
Community Master Classes:
In an effort to embrace being a Community owned academy PENSOLE will create a series of Solesmith Master classes that will teach the art of shoemaking. As more and more manufacturing is moving to the U.S. our goal is to bring the art of shoemaking to a new generation as not only as a hobby but, as a possible new career.
After school program:
With most skill based “learn by doing” programs being discontinued in high schools PENSOLE will also offer Solesmith Master classes for high school students.
The PENSOLE Innovation Studio will also be a resource for companies looking to make virtual samples thru 3D modeling, 3D printed samples and physical prototype samples in Portland. Sample making in the U.S has long been a viable resource for larger footwear companies to increase product accuracy before the shoes are placed into production.