Over 14 years ago, Ms Tuong – a Hoi An local with a background in clothes making – decided to put the ‘sole’ back into the art of shoemaking in her hometown and founded the Shoe Shop 09 store. The number ‘9’ in Vietnamese signifies good luck and prosperity, which is the reason for the shop name – not the address! Through her family connections and good business nature, Ms Tuong has always had access to the choicest leather sources in Hoi An and the most experienced of shoemakers. She thus formed exclusive relationships with the most talented of shoe craftsman and embarked on making shoes not just for her existing Vietnamese clientele, but for foreigners too.
In order to hone the skills of her shoemakers, Ms Tuong would travel abroad to buy foreign-made shoes (particularly Italian shoes) and then pull them apart to see how they were made and what materials were used. She then trained her staff to mimic the art of Western shoemaking to cater for an emerging tourist clientele. With an attitude to always please the customer, Ms Tuong is always striving to improve and create new products. Her range has broadened over the years beyond shoes and she has is well regarded for her other leather products too. Her custom-made leather jackets, bags, purses and wallets are as peerless in quality as her shoes. Testament to this fact are the many return customers she has from abroad – most of whom she has known for over 10 years. A visit to Shoe Shop 09 will not only put a spring back into your step but won’t cripple your savings. You may as well ask yourself, why spend the equivalent of money on one good pair of shoes back home when you can have three or more pairs tailor-made in Hoi An?
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