Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Carreducker Shoemaking School, the Launch

Hello once more, dear shoemaking folk f the world. Welcome back to the Carreducker blog, we hope you have had a good week

We have had a very busy week with London Craft Week, we had an event every day. Although, as you will see, things did not quite pan out as we had planned

The week started on Tuesday with a visit to Number 10 Downing St after an invitation from The Prime Minister to a drinks reception to celebrate the UK creative industries. We were there with a small display of bespoke shoes and a short demonstration of hand welting.
It was a great boost to be invited and we got to meet Theresa may briefly as she made the rounds to see all the amazing craft works on show.

Unfortunately they take your mobile phone from you so we were limited to a few official snaps

Wednesday saw us scheduled to speak at an event at the Leathersellers Hall organised by Cockpit Arts called Makers Stories - Live where they paired up craftsmen with other significant people in their professional lives. We were paired with the amazing Bill Amberg of Bill Amberg Studio who specialises in all things leather - interiors, accessories, furniture - the list is long.
The idea was that we shared our experiences of our professional interaction over the years - mentoring, support, information, introductions, inspiration etc and how this has helped our businesses grow and thrive.

This is where the week took a funny turn and we had to start improvising. On my way to the venue, I was knocked off my bike and broke my little finger which meant that I obviously couldn't go!

Unhappy shoemaker

Luckily Deborah and Bill, being consummate professionals, went on and carried the day. Apparently it was very interesting and well received, so thank you to the two of them for saving the day.

Courtesy of David Mirzoeff

This slight hitch meant that our plans for Thursday were also thrown out. I was supposed to be demonstrating at James Purdey And Son on South Audley Street in Mayfair to showcase the bespoke service which we offer there and Deborah was supposed to be preparing for our open day at the new carreducker Shoe Making School the following day. Obviously this was not possible so we reversed roles and Deborah made a great success of her day at Purdey where she described our wonderful craft; showed her hand welting skills and answered the questions of the curious public. Again, well done and thank you to her for saving the day!

I mopped floors, cleaned windows and filled the fridge with bubbly - the glamour! And with one hand.

And so to Friday and the official launch of our new shoe making school. We are super excited about this project and were thrilled to welcome people through the doors to see the place - finally!

We were open from 11am and had a steady stream of visitors through the day including students past and present, fellow tutors, friends and supporters of the business

Prestat Chocolates very kindly supplied us with a supply of delicious truffles, so a massive thank you to them.

Prestat Chocolates, yum, perfect for the Chocolate Studios

We showed our Design Museum film - thank you to Camilla Corr for your help.

Bill Amberg assessing the amazing student work on show

More Prestat chocs - yum!

And gorgeous George was suitably impressed

Several happy customers came in Carreducker boots to celebrate- we ,love you all!

The Barkan Family

 We had a display of the new courses we will be running including three small leather accessories - an iPad case, card case and key fob. These will be short Saturday courses, perfect for a taster of hand stitching.

And the 5 new styles available on our one day Blake stitched course in the five new colours - stylish. This will be a one day course and you will have a beautiful pair of leather shoes at the end of it. Roll up, roll up!

And at the far end of our beautiful new table, a selection of students past and present's shoes they have made with us - a very impressive display of handsewn shoe making.

And then from 6pm onwards we had a party! Yay. And it was awesome.

It was so lovely to have so many people share the new school with us and share in our exciting new venture. The place was buzzing.

And I think the school exceeded peoples' expectations which is always good. Guests said what a warm, inviting feel it had, but also how luxurious and professional it looked. Glowing I think you could call the feedback! And you can't argue with that.

We wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who came and to say what a thrill it was to have you there, to have the school full of people and to share our excitement with you. Long may it continue.

And so we are up and running. The new website will be live soon and you will be able to book the new classes we will be holding in the new school

Deborah and I can't wait to welcome you through the door

See you soon, guys

And until we meet you face to face, happy shoemaking!