Samira Tovar Badt from Badt and Co.
Samira Tovar Badt is the founder of Badt and Co., a company specialized in espadrilles (the iconic Spanish summer shoes) and one of the founding members of the Spanish-Singaporean Chamber of Commerce.
- Hello Samira, could you please introduce yourself?
Hello, I am Samira, founder of Badt and Co. I was born in the Canary Islands, and ever since I was young, I was bitten by the travel bug. I studied in France and Spain, and as soon as I had my MBA, I started an international professional career. I first joined a humanitarian aid NGO, being deployed to the Southern Caucasus and the Balkans, and then added international cooperation and diplomatic relations fields of work with the European Union. Sixteen years and many countries later, I arrived in Singapore.
- When did you arrive in Singapore and what brought you here?
My family and I have been in Singapore for 6 years – time flies! Professional opportunities brought us here from Thailand, where we spent 4 wonderful years.
- Tell us more about Badt and Co.
Badt and Co. is a modern footwear brand specialising in espadrilles. I founded the company in 2015 with a desire to pay homage to the traditional crafts and designs of Spain.
At heart, Badt and Co. is not only about selling shoes but more meaningfully, it is about empowering women to look and feel their best and most confident in her multi-faceted life. It is about substance as much as it is about style. Whether it is a pair of flats, wedges or sneakers, in leather or in cotton, our shoes are handcrafted to make a woman feel like she’s walking on clouds.
- Which is your favourite Badt and Co. product?
That is a difficult question. As you can imagine, my passion for quality craftsmanship and excellent design has no limits. If there was a model I would like to highlight, that would certainly be the espadrilles made sneakers. They reunite time-honoured savoir faire with unquestionable style, preserving traditional craftsmanship with innovation at heart. As we like to say, this is when tradition meets design.
- How has your professional career and your company evolved since you are in Singapore?
Coming from another industry, founding and developing a company in a new country has been a leap of faith that has been extremely rewarding. Adaptability to change and adoption of new concepts and tools has always been at the core of my professional background, and this has certainly prepared me for the high pace of evolution of the fashion industry in Singapore. Starting with a few events with a limited selection, we are now present in three brick-and-mortar stores with our expanded collection (women, men and children). We have also strengthened our digital presence through our online store and social media channels.
- Regarding the current pandemic (Covid-19) that the world is facing, how has your company been affected and how have you adapted to the situation?
This pandemic has undoubtedly shaken economies worldwide, and we are seeing how new paradigms are emerging. In terms of our activity at Badt and Co., our ateliers in Spain saw, during the worst point of this crisis, a necessity to adapt their production capacity to manufacture personal protective equipment for health professionals, to support their daily battle to save lives. This was done in conjunction with other ateliers in their region and with volunteers among their staff. Here in Singapore, as you know, all retail stores were closed during the Circuit Breaker. After getting all the necessary official clearance, we focussed on our online activities, using all the tools and channels to recreate the customer’s Badt and Co. experience. We have shared through our social media channels the history of our products, the origin of the espadrilles and their time-honoured handcraft, and the expertise of the skilled and talented people that are behind every pair that accompanies our customers. We have also guided our customers in the discovery of our collections and in their choices, and we have managed to establish a truly lovely connection with them through these challenging times.
- What is your favourite place in Singapore?
One of my favourite places in Singapore is the Asian Civilisation Museum. Although having spent almost 14 years in Asia, I always come back to exploring and learning about the extremely rich culture and history of this part of the world. The wonderfully showcased artefacts take us to an extraordinary travel miles and years away.
- Would you like to give a piece of advice to someone new coming to Singapore?
As hinted earlier, I have lived, worked and travelled in a number of countries in different continents, where cultural aspects – mostly my lack of knowledge of the local languages- would represent a challenge to feel fully part of my surroundings. However, Singapore has allowed me to feel at home, establishing sound and solid professional and personal relations. An illustration to this is Badt and Co. latest project, where we have teamed up with local designer Ying The Label to co-create a unique limited collection of hand-painted wedges as an ode to Singaporean art and Spanish artisanship.
If I had a piece of advice to give, it would be to get ready for the fast professional pace, spare some time to recover from it spending time in nature or navigating through the small alleys of the historical neighbourhoods and to seize the unique opportunity that Singapore offers to be part of it.
Thank you for your time Samira!
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