Hey Guys this time I’ll be introducing you to an Actual Shoe-maker. Yep! You read that right; A Shoe-Maker.
This is not a random cobbler that we erroneously call a shoe maker. No, Tomiwa Femi-Philips is a talented young man that designs and produces his shoes from scratch to finish, how amazing is that? Really amazing I’d say.
Tomiwa was born on the 21st of September in the Late 90’s. He is from Papa Ajao, Mushin Local Government in Lagos State. He also grew up in lagos, but in Egbeda and Akute in Ogun state (the new settlement close to Ojodu Berger) where he spent his early teenage years.
Tomiwa attended Maryland Convent Primary school Ikeja. For his secondary school education, he attended Woodland School, Shasha Lagos and Federal Government College, Ikirun, Osun State where he was the House Captain of Niger House (Blue-house). He then graduated from Bowen University with a degree in Computer Science.
Shoe Designing and Production
Tomiwa started designing and making shoes about 2 months after his graduation from the University in 2016. In 2017 during his NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) he paid to learn under one Mr. Gbemi in Ibadan and also under one Mr. Abiodun in an apprentice arrangement.
‘Shoes are Ready-to-wear items and most importantly unlike tailoring, shos can be made in the absence of a potential customer. No need for measurements and all that’.
– Tomiwa Femi-Philips.
Asides shoe-making, Tomiwa also sells and brands imported promotional and gift items for companies. He started around October 2017.
History of FOOT NG
The name of Tomiwa’s Shoe brand is FOOT NG. The name was quick to pick because footwear can only be worn on the foot. ‘Foot’ was perfect because it is the body part closely related to Tomiwa’s work.
There are no exclusive rights to designs in Nigeria so most of Tomiwa’s designs are inspired by old trends.
Tomiwa combines resources with other people to produce and sell the shoes and then they split the profit. He hasn’t had any full-time investors yet.
‘Many people are out to exploit because they believe shoe making and related stuff is for “needy” people. They come with slave deals most times. I have been offered few slave deals which I have turned down’ – Tomiwa Femi-Philips.
Tomiwa hardly has enough products to meet the demands of his customers so it’s hard to find time to make shoes specifically for modelling on a run-way. However, he is open to participate if he is informed of fashion shows months ahead of the event.
Tomiwa does not release shoes in collections because he does not want his brand to seem luxurious. He wants his shoes to be available and affordable to average people and the concept of collections will scare his target customers away. If Foot NG ever produces luxury items, affordable items would still be the main products.
Tomiwa majorly makes unisex foot slides. He makes them from scratch to finish himself; he buys the materials, cuts the shapes and patterns, couples them and files them. He uses hand-operated machines to make the shoes. He makes these palm slides with leather and suede.
Tomiwa does not make high heeled shoes for women yet because of the details involved. He also does not produce children shoes because of the misconception that it ought to be cheaper because its smaller, when in fact children shoes have no standard sizes and so involve a lot of math. He only makes Children shoes on specific contracts.
Tomiwa does not currently have a workshop, he either works from home or at a friend’s shop. He plans to return to school to further his studies so he is holding on before making any major moves.
The major challenge is money to keep the business as a going concern. To deal with this Tomiwa has been applying for training programs that give a certain amount of money to aid entrepreneurs.
Another challenge was satisfying customer demands, however, I solved that problem by staying away from creating a Bespoke brand.
‘Many Customers want things that are not achievable. They want this place to be green, then here Yellow and there black.’- Tomiwa Femi-Philips.
Tomiwa would soon turn to the production of Sneakers (Follow his Social media for updates; his handles would be given at the end of this article) and Foot NG would eventually evolve into a sports brand.
He plans to return to school to study any business related course. As for his degree in Computer Science he said;
‘It’s B.Sc. it’s there, when I need it I’ll refer to it’.
Tomiwa delivers outside Ibadan to states across Nigeria and he also delivers to Ghana.
You can contact him on;
- WhatsApp: +234 706 526 4559
- Twitter: @Ftomiwar
- Instagram: @footng or @Ftomiwarfoot
DISCLAIMER: Lari’s CAFE does not claim ownership to any of the pictures on the site except specified, all Pictures on these articles are provided by the people being interviewed.