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  Docksta Skofabrik

History – from 1923 to today.
A journey on foot for several generations

From Örträsk towards Moscow on foot
My granddad, Ivar Königson was born in 1901 in Örträsk, a in a little village I Västerbotten. When he was 17 (1918), he and a friend decided to leave Örträsk and set out on an adventure to look for work, choosing to go north to Russia. The long journey was over 1000 miles and they went on foot, working on the way for food and lodge.

When they reached Russia, the border refused entry. Ivar’s friend continued alone towards Moscow and granddad started to walk back to Sweden, following the coast south towards Stockholm. When he reached Stockholm, he found work but was never happy working in a big city. He missed nature. After a while, he had had enough and started to go on foot northbound.

Whilst in Nordingrå, he took a job as a fishing hand in a fishing port called Norrfällsviken. After several years, he got together with a fisherman and started a smoke & preserves company called Königson & Nordlander. It continued until the end of the 1920s when they decided to swap over to shoe manufacturing in Nordingrå, Mjällom, 5 km from Norrfällsviken. Granddad took on a position at the factory, as he knew the most about comfortable shoes after walking so many miles on foot. He worked as a sales assistant first and later as office manager. It was here that he met Jacob Wedin who worked in the factory with manufacturing.

1923 – Founded Bjästa shoe factory
Ivar and Jacob complimented each other and longed to develop their own ideas with regards to better fitting, high quality shoes. In 1923, they started the Bjästa shoe factory which had earlier been a shoemaker. Here they made 10-15 pairs of shoes a day including sandals, boots and football shoes, employing 7-8 people by 1945.

The move to Docksta 1947
In 1947 and after partial construction, they acquired a small shoe shop in Docksta and the factory changed its name to Docksta Skofabrik AB

Gunilla and Patrik are born
Over the following 10 years, the factory grew both in terms of production and employees. Sales was the biggest part of the business based on wholesale and the other big part of the business were the buyers Oscaria & KF. The production consisted of classic slippers called Gunilla & Patrik and heavy duty shoes called Näbbstövlar (beak boots). In the middle of the 50s, the shoe factory expanded and a new warehouse was built. The number of employees rose to 120 people and one year later, Elfings shoe factory in Örnsköldsvik (Norrlands oldest shoe factory) was acquired. It was here that the production made 200 pairs of boots per day. In 1959, the next big expansion in connection with the factory was a military order of 250,000 pairs of boots featuring new soles made of compound rubber. 160 people had now been employed and a new factory had started to take shape.

Räls + Vägg Norrlands biggest shoe factory
In 1965, a new factory was built which became Norrlands largest shoe factory with ground space measuring 5000m2. The production line has now moved from Elfings shoe factory and delivery to the military had finished. The number of shoes had grown to 350,000 per year with the top sellers still being slippers, sandals and now ski-boots.The production had earlier based its values on sales to wholesalers but this was starting to change. The sales to specialist shops had now grown bigger which meant the smaller businesses were now dominating.

By the start of the 70s, they had acquired a shoe factory in Kumla. They had specialised in finer ankle boots under the brand name of Ambassy. Docksta took over both customers and production. During the 70s, 80s and 90s, they produced many shoes for shoe shops and even the military. Slippers, clogs and beak boots where still the best sellers but now the business had branched into special orthopedic shoes for hospitals who were thankful for their expertise in comfortable footwear. In 1996, they bought Medins shoe factory in Ullånger who produced riding boots, rubber boots and other heavy duty work boots. The production moved to Docksta to develop further.

Everything is still made by hand in Docksta
Today, the company is driven by Stefan Königson, Ivars grandson. The production of slippers has not changed since the company began in 1923. Everything is still made by hand including Cutting, Stiching, Lasting and Finishing. Every pair of slippers if unique and it is something we are proud of. We have kept the same level of quality whilst making extremely comfortable shoes.

Locally produced
Docksta shoes take active environmental responsibilities and use several ecological materials. Among these are vegetable tanned leather from Tärnsjö tannery in Uppland. Tärnsjö tanners and their products are certified and controlled by TUV in Germany. Being locally produced means shorter delivery times from us to customers and also to our wholesalers which contributes to lesser effects on the environment.

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