Interview with Janne Melkersson


April 13, 2013 by Ville Raivio

‘I’m 60 and a cordwainer. 9 years in school and 10 years working as a postman,  at the same time working extra with shoe repairs. 3 years apprenticeship in orthopedic shoemaking, working half-time in ortopedic shoemaking and bespoke shoemaking 1981- 2003 until now, with bespoke only. Four kids, the oldest one works in the banking area and he likes to wear my shoes.

Products from Pukimo Raivio

Kiton, grey sports jacket, size 50EU
Ralph Lauren, Black Label suit, size 52EU

The other are too young to wear bespoke, but they like to stop by at the shop. In 8th grade my father told me, when I wanted to practice in a shoe repair shop, that there were no future in this trade, so he didn’t allow me that trade! But later he was proud of me taking up his and granddad’s trade.

First time in a shoe shop was when I was a kid, following my dad to work in his shop. Since I come from the orthopedic trade, I am mostly interested in bespoke because the challenge is to fit the foot and the client’s request. I really don’t remember what goals I had when I started up in 1981, probably something like being the best shoemaker ever! However, after the first tough years, my philosophy changed to something more realistic, that it would be just fine if I could pay the bills and put food on the table.

I don’t have any particular shoe that I like. If I had to choose, it would be a classic Dressage riding boot which is a real challenge to make. During my apprentice time, I got a ground to stand on. From there on, it is about practice and practice, and to meet colleagues and find all other sources of information of the trade. Sitting alone in your own shop will not take you much further.

I am a trad jeans guy with cowboy boots, which, btw, are probably the most comfortable footwear, but I have bespoke stuff, too. [Your readers should choose me] because I would give them some time of my life. I want to have a relation with my clients or students, and to try to meet their expectations in all ways. [For hobbies] I own a little farm and have two milk cows and like to make cheese.

Your feet carry you through life and some attention and care for them is good invested money. I think the important thing in life is that you follow your heart, and don’t think about so much about other people’s thoughts. It is your life and it is your choice. If you like the classic formal look, just do it even though people thought you are odd, not following the main stream, which ever it is. Some think I am crazy, as I have two milk cows for fun, but what the heck, I don’t care, it is my life!’

Pictures: © Janne Melkersson


  1. Ville Raivio says:


    You cannot enroll because this shoemaker has passed away:

  2. Oloche Igoji says:

    Please,how do I enroll to be part of your program?

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