? Shoes! Beautiful Shoes! ?
Restoration of that which we love can only be a good thing… Bird discovers a superfantastic company, ShoeSpa, and it’s not just for shoes…?
Having spent ten minutes happily swiping the ‘Before Restoration’ / ‘After Restoration’ function on the ShoeSpa website, I’m completely sold on the process!
Can you tell me, when did Shoespa launch, how did you guys come up with the idea?
We started two years ago. One of the business partners was working in finance for many years and his expensive shoes were often in a terrible shape. There are many cobbler services in London but they provide a very basic services, not suitable for designer and luxury items. As there were many other professionals facing similar problems, we started exploring and studying the subject, contacting various industry experts and that’s how it started.
What’s the best restoration shoe job you’ve ever done? (I can feel a daytime TV show in the making here.)
We restored some hiking boots which were more or less 100 years old! And an LV suitcase almost equally aged. It was an amazing adventure for us and a travel in time. The end results were also more than satisfactory, thanks to high-quality materials used in the past.
Any disasters?! I can imagine it’s like art restoration … nothing as bad as that monkey Christ job I hope?
It’s happened a few times with designer trainers of certain brand; their own colours were reacting with our dyeing materials during re-colouring. A reaction difficult to foresee in some cases and not visible on a small sample. We ended up designing our own dyeing materials and pigments and introducing our own techniques, often different than advised by the product suppliers.
Is there any shoes or handbags that are beyond salvation? People send in photos don’t they? Do you turn any away?
Sure, around 10% of shoes and sneakers we see are beyond restoration. For instance when the damage is so severe there is a piece of leather missing, or a deep hole, or when the rubber sole is broken, that’s often beyond restoration. In 99% of cases we can advise the appropirate service based on photos, indeed. In general, we can do magic when it comes to leather, but rubber parts can be repaired only to a limited extent.
Sounds like a job for Emergency! Shoe 999! … What’s the biggest reason for people using your service? Is it environmental, financial? or is it shoe / bag attachment? I had some Converse I used to skate in, I hung them on the wall when they died… RIP
I think shoe / bag attachment is clearly number one, followed by financial and environmental. We do hope that sustainability will be better recognised in the UK in the future, as it is the case in Sweden and Holland. We see this trend coming already, and more and more customers being focused on environment aspects and responsible shopping.
Is it damaged shoes sometimes? Like if a dog chews one? My girlfriends cat was sick in one of her shoes. It was totally deliberately. When good cats go wrong. It happens. ?
Yes, quite often. Dogs love expensive high heels in particular 🙂 We are able to restore them in most of the cases, luckily.
How creative can you get on them? Diamonds on the soles of my shoes…
When it comes to shoe and bag restoration, we just try to bring them back to original condition. However, with custom design, sky is the limit, really. Shoes and trainers can be glitter, have hidden initials, feature sky, stars or virtually any personalised design the customer can dream of.
Most memorable restoration? Celebrity Shoes 999?
We restored beloved suede boots for a celebrity here in London, which were burnt by a heater… we were surprised ourself as the damage was virtually invisible at the end of a (pretty lengthy and complex) process.
Blue suede shoes too hot to handle… just another day on Celebrity Shoe 999. Until next week… here’s the real thing. www.ShoeSpa.co.uk
And back to reality. Thanks Ella and the shoe crew. Much love. ?