In 2011, BAABUK founders Galina and Dan were spending Christmas in Russia and received a pair of traditional felted footwear from Galina’s parents. The shoes, known as Valenkis, were so comfortable and warm and an instant hit. Galina and Dan noted how popular these shoes could be if they had an updated look while still staying true to their heritage. Shortly after, when in Indonesia for work, the couple decided to attempt to make a pair of felted wool shoes in their kitchen even though they had no experience making shoes or working with wool. After a failed first attempt, they were able to make eight pairs of slippers, each taking about eight hours to make. In 2013, they brought these first eight slippers to one of the biggest retailer trade shows in Europe, where they received an order for 700 more. This was the official beginning of BAABUK. Galina and Dan went into overdrive to create their own tools and machines and hired a former colleague to assist them with the process. Six months later, their first order was ready to ship. After launching a few Kickstarter campaigns from 2015 to 2017, the brand is now very well-known and has employees on three continents with customers around the world.