Friday, April 4, 2014

Heel The World- why our stuff are so 'dear'

After watching the CNN interview it occurred to me that I did not justify the price of our shoes properly and that others might also struggle to defend/understand the price so I have come up with the official answer for the price.

Handmade, bespoke from Africa
Acquired taste

Economics-Things are called expensive when someone doesn't have he resources for it. If it is financial reasons then we pray people get better-paying jobs to afford our products. We all deserve the finest things in life.

Perception/value- Money in itself has no value, it is just the means by which we put a number to qualify how much we really care for a product or service. People who think that because it is from Ghana means it should be cheaper are implying that Ghanaians are not good enough or capable of competing on a world-class basis. This is discriminatory if coming from an outsider, but even more blasphemous if coming from a Ghanaian.

Handmade and bespoke from Africa- In an ever-changing world where people use microwaves to cook because of a lack of time, we should be ever so grateful that these seasoned craftsmen take their time to create these custom-tailored masterpieces by hand to suit one individual's innermost desires. Every single hole, stitch, crease..all 250 steps to make a shoe...done by hand. Despite all the 'challenges' of being in Africa, look at the masterpiece in front of you. 

Acquired taste - Take a look at the products again. Are they beautifully designed? Are they well crafted? Not everyone understands or appreciates art, and we don't expect them to. You either appreciate world-class craftsmanship from Africa, or you don't. Some people are also late bloomers/take a while to buy-in and that's fine.
We just hope that by the time they have caught up, we will still be in reach.

'HTW's price is dear because it is dear to those who make it, and to those who buy it,'- VR

Rise. Step forward. And Heel The World.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

used shoes, the devalued cedi and Heel The World

This is a response I made to Eyram a young Ghanaian in Tufts university who saw a box with a label 'Africa needs your gently used shoes'

Hi Eyram,
 Saw your post earlier and nodded my head in agreement. I also read your email twice..because before attempting to help/answer you I wanted to digest the gravity of the question

First and foremost I hate to disappoint you but I don't have the statistics for you.. what I have for you is my story
A long Time ago I bought a pair of handmade Italian shoes in osu . I asked a wandering shoeshine boy if he could make a pair and he said it was impossible. I was a little saddened but even more saddened when my colleagues etc thought otherwise

A few weeks in I was walking around my neighbourhood when an airplane flew over
This is when I asked myself, if we cannot make shoes here when are we going to make planes?

In a nutshell the problem was not the shoemakers, the problem was the mindset..We like to say we are a conservative people but in truth we are a scared people

We are scared to make mistakes because we deem them as failures and such will not try anything different..For years we have been handed things down by foreigners and continuously import from them

So when there is a world crisis.. in Europe or the USA it affects us because we buy from then in foreign currency and so as their economy weakens things become more expensive and since we are heavily dependent on foreign nations with their increasing prices we also need to spend more cedis to get the same product

And there lies the issue with the falling value of the cedi

The cedi is devalued because we devalue ourselves

Money after all is a reflection of value

We do not respect what we do as Ghanaians and as such our products are priced accordingly

Heel The World was set up to create a world class brand with world class products meant for people with the finest taste in the world

When the dollar rises, we need to produce more in house and actually be export oriented like Heel The World because it is only when we face our fears that we will overcome the current economic conundrum we are in.

Africa does not need anybodies gently used shoes, we need the best shoes in the world. We need to make them ourselves

This is not an infomercial for Heel The World by the way..It is a justification of our existence

Have an awesome day..I hope this helped