Olang, the winter boot with pivoting grip, built to increase traction on ice and snow.
Created in 1990, OLANG was the first brand to offer the Canadian market fashion boots made in Europe and equipped with the OC System’s built-in swivelling and folding ice cleats, a proprietary system developed in Italy by the OC System CO.
In North America, the OLANG brand is distributed by Lil Paolo, a company that imports shoes, boots and slippers from Europe since 1967. Their expertise ensures high quality products designed to increase grip on snow and ice.
Enjoy a safe and comfortable winter!
About Lil Paolo
Lil Paolo is a company specializing in European-made shoes since 1967. Their expertise ensures a high level of quality in the confection of products made by an exclusively-adult European workforce.
The Italian plant is made up of motivated individuals working with the passion, perseverance and creativity required to design shoes using the latest technologies, while maintaining the same craftsmanship as 50 years ago.
The Research and Development Centre works closely with international universities and orthopedic clinics to study new materials and new technologies patented for the shoe industry, with a special focus on the latest studies on the physiology of children’s feet. New technological ideas, attention to anatomy and development of antibacterial soles that improve flexibility… each detail is minutely studied and considered in order to offer unique, exclusive products with a special attention to children’s health and welfare.
Attention to detail – that’s what it takes to create high quality, innovative products in Italy at competitive prices.
Special Ties to the Shoe Industry
The story begins around 1895 with Wilfrid Marchand who manages his own baby bootie distribution company. In 1945, after 40 years of service with the most important Canadian wholesaler at the time, Wilfrid’s son, Paul-Émile, who had worked as designer and purchase manager for the enterprise, decides to found his own company. Paul-Émile’s territory soon spreads to cover all of Quebec, the French-speaking part of New Brunswick as well as Ontario, along the Ottawa River. In the beginning, he works from his house and garage, but in 1950, he builds the company’s head office and warehouse in Sainte Rose de Laval. His son Pierre joins the firm and they become the first father and son shoe-duo in this family.
With Man and his World and 1967, Canada and Quebec open up to the world. This change also reflects upon the family business. Certain milestones had already been crossed with the purchase of products made in England and in the United States. Paul-Émile and Pierre visit Italy and France to expand their range of products. In the early 1970s, they begin what will become a stroke of genius… importing shoes made mainly in Spain. The initiative is crowned with success.
In 1974, a transition occurs. The founder dies on Labour Day and his grandson, Serge, joins the company, thus is created, the second shoe-duo. During the next 15 years, the business thrives in the golden age of Canadian shoe importers. Although Spain remains its main source, there are some incursions to Portugal, Mexico and Italy, which, will take on more and more importance. From 1977 to 1988, government policies aimed at protecting Canadian shoe manufacturers are equally beneficial for those importers who are already established; and the company continues to grow.
At the end of the 1980s, the disappearance of quotas protecting Canadian shoe manufacturers has important repercussions. The entire industry must cope with the brutal change and adjustment is difficult for both manufacturers and importers. The family business cannot escape this phenomenon. A restructuration and downsizing policy is implemented until the end of the 1990s. Objectives are reviewed, as well as business procedures. Italy becomes the sole source for the family enterprise.
All of these efforts finally pay off and the enterprise is once again successful. The 2010s welcome a new shoe-duo. Marie-Hélène joins her father, Serge, with new ideas and the vitality required to market their brands across Canada. Modern management, marketing and customer service methods are put to good use and the enterprise is still flourishing.
With your bootie, shoe or boot purchases, you are now the ones contributing to the growth and success of this great family story, a family with special ties to the shoe industry. The Marchand family would like to say, “Thank you!”.