Meet the Maker: Second Generation professional Boot Maker.
Cory Mackwell is a second generation Boot Maker and has been part of the Steel Blue Malaga Manufacturing team for 18 years, located in Western Australia. Here is his Steel Blue journey.
I went to Balcatta Senior High School and at age 15, decided that school wasn’t for me. My dad was a Boot Maker at Comfortwear Footwear which sounded like the hands on job I’d enjoy so I decided to give a Boot Maker Apprenticeship a go. I learnt everything from cutting, sewing and knowing every part that goes into putting a safety boot together.
"My favorite part about Steel Blue, and why I’ve been here for 18 years now, is the camaraderie."
In 2002, I joined the Steel Blue team, where my dad had been working. They had just moved premises from Bassendean to where we are still today in Malaga, Western Australia.
I worked with my dad for five years at Steel Blue and I became his boss during this time too!
I’ve had many roles during my time at Steel Blue, including working on our women’s range back in 2002 to Leading Hand to Foreman. My role today is in the Making Room to prepare the boot before the PU midsoles are directly injected onto the boot. Here I get to use my favorite tool, the Forepart Lasting machine.
Plenty has changed over the years. Some of the things that come to mind are the new machines, including the Forepart Lasting machine, and the growing range of boot styles.
My favorite part about Steel Blue, and why I’ve been here for 18 years now, is the camaraderie. Not only do we get to make great quality boots, we’re all mates here and chip in to help each other out. The people are what makes it such a fantastic place to work.