I knew NOTHING about shoemaking. But I was intriqued and inspired to try it out.
One day , while on a fabric buying trip in Bangkok , I found myself in a shoemaking district with shop upon shop of intriquing stuff for making shoes.
BUT - no one speaks English !
In fact , tourists never venture here, so one is generally stared at with amusement and curiosity. When you try to ask for help, the Thais just giggle and shake their heads.
And then , out of the mainstream , while wandering off looking for transport - I found CHAI. Yes his name is CHAI - tea .And , like a good cup of hot tea , he came to my rescue .
as you can see from his shirt - he really is batman or my superhero because he not only speaks comprehensible English, but he sat with me and guided me step by step - with drawings - on the art of shoemaking .
Telling me about the dye cuts I need and the materials and glues I must use , and what slopes are for.
He now cuts and supplies all the parts for our Rain slippers which we manufacture back home in our Rain factory in Swellendam.
This is Chai's very full store, where he and I sit on rubber mats in front of the cooling fan to discuss my needs each time I visit.