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The Story of Max & Ola's

I am a fourth generation artisan shoemaker.

My grandfather learned the art of making beautiful, comfortable shoes from his father, and he taught my mother how to make these kinds of shoes, as well as accessories. I watched them work with the leathers, and when I was old enough, my mother taught me how to do this too. In Poland we would say that I learned the craft of designing and making shoes "at her knee." As a child in Poland, I grew up wearing shoes that my grandfather or my mother made for me.

When I came to America 8 years ago, I spent my first year as a nanny for an American family with two children. These children were wonderful, and taught me more about English in one year than all the classes I took .One day they came home with new shoes, called Oxford shoes, and these shoes smelled like chemicals. When I asked their mother where these shoes came from, she didn't know, and when I asked her who made them, she didn't know this either. This worried me.

Since then I have married and we have started our own family. I now have two beautiful children of my own - Max & Ola. Ola is 4, and Max is 2, and I have more fun with them in one day than I had in all the years of my life before they were born. I want my children to have the best - all parents want this. So of course I want Max and Ola to have the most comfortable baby clothes, clothing, and accessories I can give them. But even more importantly - I also want them to be made of the highest quality materials available, materials that are natural, safe, and non-toxic.

Babies have skin that is thinner and more fragile than adults, and it has less natural oil also, so it absorbs more through the pores than our adult skin does. Their skin cannot protect them well from bacteria and harmful substances like toxins and pesticides in their environment. I know that the chemical toxins that are used in the manufacture of nearly all baby shoes can easily find their way into the pores of an infant's skin and into their little bodies. I wanted Max and Ola to grow up without exposure to the toxins found in almost all leather products and clothing when it is artificially processed. This is why I decided to begin making their shoes by hand, using only the best natural and non-toxic materials available, the way my shoes were made for me.

I want to carry on my family's tradition of designing and creating beautiful soft footwear for children that is safe, natural, and healthy. And because this is so important to me, I know there are mothers everywhere who feel the same way, and want the best for their children as well.

This is why Max & Ola's was born.

Soon we will be adding other non-toxic babywear items to our growing product line. If you ever have questions about our shoes, our process, or suggestions for our designs or products, please don't hesitate to contact me, my email is info@max-ola.com. I am always happy to hear from other parents who have children like mine, and feel as I do about raising them to be happy and healthy all through infancy - and beyond.