Amy Johnson, from MakerMama.com, recently toured the SAS General Store and factory. Below is a description of her experience in her own words.

I recently had the opportunity to tour the SAS General Store and factory and it was a wonderful experience. Walking into the General Store was truly like stepping back in time and into someone’s cozy, well-loved home. With vintage trucks to admire out front, to an antique stove in the snack bar, even the restroom is decorated in farmhouse chic style.

During my tour of the factory, I got to see the entire shoemaking process. From where the leather comes in and is graded, to the die cutting, stitching, adhering the soles, and final packaging. I was thoroughly impressed to see our tour guide happily greeting each of the workers and sharing how long everyone’s been working there--many have been with the company for decades.

Getting a firsthand look behind the scenes really gave me a sense of family the company has worked to establish. And as someone who creates and works with my hands, I was thrilled to see how the shoemaking process worked--how streamlined the system is, and the care put into each step along the way. To hear that the factory recovered after a fire in the late 90’s, and bounced back with little interruption for their employees, I can see that this is a resilient company that cares about the family and community it fosters.

Any frugal-minded mother would admit that sometimes it’s nice buying things at rock bottom prices. It’s convenient to walk in and buy something inexpensive and ready to wear, putting on blinders to the circumstances they were made in. As a busy mama, convenience is important, but it can come at a cost. How often have you bought a new dress only to have the hem unravel in a month, or a pair of shoes that you thought were cute but they killed your feet? It’s times like that when I realize that often it’s worth the investment to buy quality over low cost. That’s exactly how I feel about SAS shoes.

But for the bargain-lover in me, I’m absolutely in love with their candy and ice cream shop inside the General Store. With old-fashioned selections and classic saltwater taffy for just $2 a bag, and ice cream for $1.50, I can take my kids anytime for a sweet treat without breaking the bank. And their 5¢ popcorn and 10¢ soda is the perfect snack to keep them busy while I shop. The SAS General Store has a wide variety of products in addition to their shoes, and with nearly every product being made in America, I can shop without worrying about the quality of what I’m buying.

I received a pair of red Lacey shoes after my visit, and I’m in love! I was able to put the shoes on straight out of the box and go enjoy an afternoon lunch with my girlfriends. I spent the whole day in them (I even took them for a bike ride) and never once did they rub my feet the wrong way. That’s exactly what I need from a pair of shoes. Quality, style, and comfort. Whether I’m dropping the kids off at school, running to the grocery, standing at the sink doing dishes, or enjoying a picnic at the park, the last thing I want to worry about is my feet giving me a hard time.

I was invited to contribute content as a guest blogger to share my experience with SAS shoes. I was compensated for my contributions to the SAS blog.