Since their founding in 2003, the brothers of the Monastery of St. Mary of the Guard have been developing their talents as shoe makers. It has taken them nearly 20 years to perfect their modest monastic sandal, but now the fruits of their labors have been reaped and they have become a worldwide sensation, with orders coming in from as far as Japan.
They offer three different styles of sandal, one for men and two for women. The men’s sandal, which they call the Benoît, in honor of the founder of their order, is a simple black sandal with thick straps. The women’s line includes the Scholastique, named for St. Scholastica, which is similar to the Benoît, but in red, as well as a more elegant sandal with several thin straps called the Hildegarde, named for St. Hildegarde of Bingen.
The Benedictine monks craft all the shoes themselves on the monastery property. Teller Report notes that they get their resources from the surrounding region in order to stimulate the economy and receive their raw materials promptly, although they outsource to Italy for the rubber soles.