Re-made In Britain
Ingmans' Shoes have embraced the online world but can't escape tradition.
For a while now, Andrew Ingman has been promoting his postal shoe repair service, he’s been organising pop up shops in banks in cities including Canary Wharf (London), Birmingham and in Derbyshire too. He’s also been talking to Northampton Shoemakers to become an authorised repairer for their shoes (ie Barkers, Loakes & Joseph Cheaney) and he’s been promoting the business in the online world. Andy, in his own words ‘is humbled by the fantastic Google reviews that ‘Ingmans’ have received.’ His amazing web design team creativitysells.com, who are Chesterfield based, have been quite simply a dream to work with, they’re so transparent and so technically gifted, nothing seems too much trouble for them.
And all this hard work has now started to pay off.
"This week I received a pair of shoes to repair", says Andrew. "It lifted my spirits and there are three more to come. The first pair will be almost £200 to repair; my first pair of Graziano & Girling shoes from a Saville Row tailor. Call me a shoe geek but these are fantastic shoes to work on and I have to admit I’m pretty chuffed with the repair I’ve done.
"It’s the small things, if you take a pair of Loakes, they stitch the soles on with seven stitches per inch, the Graziano & Girling shoes are nine stitches per inch, not everyone has the ability to stitch this close. I sat back and smiled after hitting every hole spot on, perfection! This repair also needed extensive work on the inner lining of the shoes so we needed to make our own three dimensional templates." Andy learned this technique from his former guru, and it really came in handy on this pair of high end, English made shoes.
The shoes were fully refurbed like a factory repair but done in a fraction of the time, unlike sending it back to the original maker, however the quality is not compromised. Ingmans use only the best components and they refurb the uppers with Saphir polishes and creams as standard on every repair.
So as Andy says, "The service we have built up over the years in Derbyshire can now offer repairs nationally and globally, we've recently repaired a pair of shoes from Australia. The shoes were British manufactured funnily enough and came back home to be repaired!"
"We are trying to embrace the way the world works now, but our service and work ethic are from bygone days and have never wavered. It's quite surreal really that some things don’t advance with time, like the wheel. Goodyear welted shoes have stood the length of time and don’t need improvement only refinement and refurbishment.
"We can't wait to open our doors again to our lovely customers. We hope you’ve been walking a lot, your shoes need fixing and you feel like treating yourself to some new shoes and clothes", laughs Andy.
There are thousands of small businesses like Ingmans at the moment, waiting to see their customers back and it’s our job to support them. It’s never been more important, but I already feel that a ‘Re-made Britain’ will look very different to today’s landscape and if people all have Andrew’s desire to succeed, I’m sure we have reason to be optimistic for the future.
Ingmans, Burlington Street, Chesterield.
Words: Paul Chapman
Images: Andrew Ingman