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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

– this is the question, what you, or at least some of the shoemaker student ask from themselves, after a certain time spent with shoemaking, participating expensive courses, purchased fancy stuffs from e-bay and different web shops, and other stuff, like books, accessories, lasts, whatever.

I saw people giving up learning this trade, just because they couldn’t make their living from it. That’s a pity, and I try to give you some advice, to avoid it.

1. First of all: learn well (and do it well), and make your homework

“how does this guy mean this? I made 3-4 courses, I learned from the bests… “ Yes, you did. And did you learned your lessons or only the 99% of it? I don’t mean 90% – that is obviously not enough, but let me tell you something: we shoemaker teacher really teach only the basics in a beginning course, so learn EVERYTHING from there. Believe me, that will save you money and time. And what is “homework”? You made those things in school, correct? Who the hell wants to make it again? You. You, because the evaluation this time will be hard, from the hardest teacher – LIFE. If you don’t make a decent work, in terms of quality, quantity, style, etc. – you just don’t make enough money. This simple. No bad marks, fail. Immediately.

2. Specialize

You – and nobody – will not be able to make everything. I mean: everything well. Even big companies specialize some sort of product line, some style, some market segment. Smaller is better. If your market segment is tiny – it is almost sure that your name will be well known there. I don’t want to give you ideas (As a matter of fact I wrote a few, just removed),  find it out – make your homework

3. Make quality

Nobody wants to buy shit from a craftsmen, and on the other hand: you probably can’t spend millions  dollars on your brand, can you? So use only the best materials, test your product and sell. Don’t forget: Internet made the image of word-village – everybody can speak with anyone. If your product is crap – people will learn it, and that opinion will be there (almost) forever.

4. Try, try, try

Should I explain this? Don’t give up. Nobody said it will be easy.

5. Be the best

Why should they buy from the second or the third. How you can be the best? 2nd point – specialize.


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