Customize your canvas – hand painted shoes

PicsArt_shoe Gifting season has not yet left us. December month brings on the shopping and gifting spree, thanks to Christmas and New Year. And, these days everyone looks for gifts that can be customized to add that personal touch. While, searching for such options I came across Shoe-U. Owned by 21 year old Stefan Fernandes, Shoe-U transforms your plain canvas shoes or sports shoes into a piece of art. Hand painted Converse shoes are a rage abroad. Now, it is gathering the status of a style statement in our very own Mumbai campus. If you are crazy about Garfield, get a customized Garfield design hand painted on your shoes, if your niece loves Transformers; get an autobot like Bumblebee hand painted on her little sneakers. If you like celtic tattoos, get them on your shoes too. And the list goes on. Run your imagination wild and get that design you have always wanted, hand painted on your shoes.

Or if you simply want to give your old shoes a makeover, join the workshops conducted by Stephan and learn to bring your design ideas to life with colourful fabric paints.

Sole makeover for old canvas

Sole makeover for old canvas

Stephan has been creating hand painted shoes from the past 2 years. He is still a student and pursuing his further studies. He loves art. For him, painting shoes is a stress buster. Initially, his family was a bit doubtful about his business venture but with his success he has proven that art can be a good business opportunity too. So, how did Stephan start with this creative venture? Let’s find out from Stephan:

MG:  How did you come up with the idea of creating customized hand painted shoes? Which shoes can you customize?

SF: The idea for this venture was actually an inspiration I drew from my friend who was part of a shoe painting workshop during a college fest we visited in Goa. When I saw the shoes she had worked upon, I knew for sure that this is a way of showcasing my creativity as well as my love for art. I get orders for canvas shoes but I also work on converse, DC shoes, etc.

Stefan Fernandes - owner Shoe-U

Stefan Fernandes – owner Shoe-U

MG: Till now how many shoes have been ordered? Who are your clients? What is the price?

SF: I’ve sold 70+ orders so far and still working on a few right now. My clients vary from time to time but mainly these are college students or older. The prices of these shoes are quite reasonable i.e. Rs. 900 (for canvas shoes inclusive of courier delivery) and the prices of the shoes increase depending on the urgency or a type of shoe (other than canvas shoes). I discuss the order with the client, ask details about their shoe size, shoe type and quality and the design they have in mind and eventually start my designing work.

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MG: What is your educational background? Are you happy being an entrepreneur? Do you enjoy your work?

SF: I’m a BA graduate from St. Xavier’s College and studying MA at Mumbai University right now. Yes, I’m happy being an entrepreneur and I really enjoy my work because I love painting and this sometimes acts like a stress buster.

MG:  Recently, you did a workshop at St Xavier’s college? How was the response? What did the students gain from this workshop?

SF: I did a workshop at St. Xavier’s college recently, which was actually my first. It was a special moment for me because I was asked to conduct a workshop at a place where this venture began and took shape. The response was surprisingly good. Around 20 students were present for the workshop. They got a chance to experience what I do for a living and they really seemed to enjoy the workshop. I helped them whenever they were unsure about their designs and gave them tips to paint something that they will be comfortable wearing. I was surprised to see a variety of artwork made by them.

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MG:  What are your growth plans? Can you do bulk orders?

SF: Yes, I can surely work on bulk orders but the order should be placed at least a couple of weeks or more in advance. I do plan to expand this venture by taking orders from people living in other cities. Once that works out, I will try to expand it further. A website is going to be launched soon. I am trying to spread the word by sponsoring a few events or college festivals. My venture is still young and gradually making a mark. I feel it will be a while for it to take off on a national level. Hoping for the best!

MG: Any message for the readers

SF: The only message I can give is that ‘never be afraid to follow your dreams and do something you love’. Also, do visit my facebook page i.e Shoe-U and The Artisans (my other venture where you can order customized hand painted mugs, T shirts, home décor and other gift items).

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If you are looking for customized gifts on a budget, contact Stefan. I am sure he will have an answer to your woes.

Images via Stephan Fernandes and pininterest

About MumbaiGloss

Parimita Chakravorty is an author, blogger, features writer and a communications specialist. She has written for various popular magazines and websites related to beauty, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle, including HAIR India, Femina.in, BeBeautiful.in, Hello, etc. She has also contributed to various youth blogs and magazines. Her book ‘Look Stunning At Any Size’ has been well appreciated and received by the readers. Currently, she is part of India’s leading IT brand and takes care of their internal communications. Parimita is also working towards bringing awareness about Endometriosis in India; a silent epidemic which is consuming a lot of lives. She manages a page ‘Endometriosis India Files’ where patients discuss their condition and diagnosis.
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