Published on April 22nd, 2015 | by mundohr0
Elena Ferro at the Mercado de la Cosecha Parladoiros
The story that took Elena Ferro to where she is now began over 100 years ago, when her grand-father began to make hand-made “zocos” (clogs). Back then, they were the footwear par excellence in Galicia and were as widespread as undervalued, even by their users. Elena says that she never had to make the decision to make clogs. It’s what she learnt to do as a child. She represents the third generation of “zoqueiros” (clog-makers) in her family. Together, they have kept this trade alive and, simultaneously, reinvented it.
To return the dignity they once had to the Galician “zocos” is the task that has taken up most of the time in her life. The materials are still the same, leather and wood, but Elena has gradually introduced colours and prints, turning her “zocos” into truly original pieces. After many years of hard work, the reward is now clearer than ever in the success of Eferro, her ”zocos” label that she still makes by hand in Vila de Cruces.
There, she works in the same workshop as always alongside a team that has grown as demand has grown, and that she got together without even leaving the house, offering work to some of her neighbours who were handy with a needle. All of them participate in the making of the infinite styles of “zocos” from Galicia to the rest of the world, without sacrificing a pleasant and homely atmosphere.
However, what is the secret of these “zocos”? Undoubtedly, one of the keys to the success of the Eferro label is creativity. In order to design her “zocos”, Elena gets her inspiration from what she sees, everyday elements from her own environment, once again demonstrating that if you want others to value you, you must value what surrounds you first. The constant flow of ideas that Elena and her team have are reflected in the “zocos” but also in curious and clever pieces, like an octopus tapa, a doll’s house, or a table football game made with “zocos”. Objects that share her workshop are present at the fairs they attend, and especially in social media, where there is a large following that never ceases to grow.
This post is also available in: Spanish