INSIDE THE BAGGINS CUSTOM PRINT SHOP
The plain white canvas of a Converse shoe has a long history of inspiring artistic talents. Whether it’s coloured markers, glitter or buttons, the brand’s wearers have found no shortage of ways to customize their sneakers over the decades.
In 2013, Baggins decided to take things one step further. Importing a modified t-shirt printer from Los Angeles, the crew set up their custom print shop in downtown Victoria. Today customers can submit their unique designs to be printed on a pair of Converse Hi-Tops, Low-Tops or Vans Slip-Ons.
Of course, other print mediums don’t have to worry about things like eyelets and shoelaces, so creating a design to be worn on feet can get tricky. Fortunately, Baggins has on-site graphic designers available to help customers create on-of-a-kind, eye-catching arrangements.
How does printing process work? The printer transfers colours directly to the garment. Ink is cooked into the fabric at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring the design won’t crack or fade. As an added bonus prints are water resistant, which is practically a necessity for west coast weather. The process happens incredibly fast – with an entire pair of shoes printed from heel to toe in less than an hour. (That’s including the prep time!) While customers can get their kicks customized in just about any shade (have you seen the new spring colours?) plain white tends to work the best.
Slow and steady to begin, the custom print shop took off after a high-profile collaboration with Tourism Victoria in 2015.
Since then, Baggins has seen no shortage of creative requests over the years – ranging from popular local art pieces, like the beloved Perogy Cat, to whatever meme is currently trending. (Harambe, anyone?) In recent years personalized shoes for weddings have skyrocketed in popularity, with some of the team’s most bizarre design requests coming from bachelor parties. (You can use your imagination.)
While pop culture nostalgia icons like the X-Files, Miyazaki, and Calvin & Hobbes are always in high demand, there is one theme that has consistently remained #1 in the hearts of converse wearers: Pets! Two legs or four, animal companions have continued to be the print shop’s top request since its opening.
Custom printing for businesses has also seen a rise in popularity with the Baggins team creating custom logo designs for a variety of companies. While personalized sneakers have been popular on the local Victoria scene, the print shop’s work has expanded beyond the island with clients that include A Tribe Called Red, the Grey Cup, and even Ben & Jerry’s!
Baggins has seen its designs make it to some pretty famous feet in recent years. Justin Trudeau was gifted a pair of Victoria-themed sneakers during his February visit to Victoria, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge each received a pair to commemorate their trip to the West Coast, as seen below. (How Baggins got William and Kate’s shoe sizes remains a tightly guarded secret!)
Other notable people and places include Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, the President of Jamaica, the Ellen DeGeneres studio, and a Shaolin Temple in China!
To check out the print shop’s latest projects, along with their past designs, follow Baggins on Instagram.
Interested in getting your own custom pair of sneakers? Our print shop staff makes every possible effort to ensure each pair of shoes we produce is of the highest quality. Because they are made custom to order, please allow for minor imperfections with inking and layout. Please note that because these shoes are made custom per order, there are NO returns or exchanges on any orders.
For more options in Converse and Vans, come visit us in Downtown Victoria, or browse the rest of the Baggins Web Store. You’ll love our fast shipping times and no-hassle return policy just as much as you love our HUGE selection!