By the Indepenent Team
Dalton Ahimbisibwe, 43, started making shoes when he realized that all people want to wear shoes. That was in Ntinda, a Kampala suburb, in 2005. Together with a team of five artisans, the hand-made shoes are crafted with special attention to maintaining both the quality and durability. Each member works on a different aspect of the shoe; some cut the leather into long strips while others glue them together before they are sewn to the shoe base. The leather is then wrapped around a shoe shaper made of wood or plastic before being cut to different sizes. Ahimbisibwe’s greatest challenge is using manual sewing and skiving machines, which delays the big orders. His biggest clients are pupils and NGO’s, which buy them for their sponsored children.
Success tips; Be creative, curve a niche
Ahimbisibwe explains that the key ingredient to success in the shoe-making business is creativity coupled with having an incomparable skill in creating and designing footwear for everybody. “After learning the basics, you should now find out on how to design the shoes and decide what type of shoes you want to produce and sell to the buying public,” he says, adding that the process involves rigorous research on recent trends in creating designs on the shoes. Though the main goal is to make a profit, Ahimbisibwe cautions that the designs should not only attract potential buyers but also be affordable without sacrificing quality.