Nermin Kastrati

Nermin Kastrati is a shoemaker from Peja. He makes handcrafted leather shoes upon order and according to client’s wish.

Before engaging full-time in shoe making, Nermin had worked in several projects with local and international organizations. But after a while, he decided to turn to what he loved: shoe making!

Shoe making is a tradition in Nermin’s family, he is already the 5th generation carrying on the legacy.

In a world of industrial mass production of shoes and a market full of ready-to wear footwear, presented in quantity rather than quality, people very rarely have their feet measured to wear the exact same shoes they have in mind just a few days later!

Always passionate about shoe making

Nermin says that it is difficult to execute what one has in his imagination without adequate equipment. Help team saw the uniqueness of his idea and the high potential in his endeavors. Nermin had been using a hundred-year-old shoe sewing machine, before he won more sophisticated shoemaking machinery for the making and cutting of patterns and stitching of shoes. A perfectionist himself, he says that the sewing is the first thing that catches one’s eye, and the equipment he won made him perfectionize his work and bring about the perfect final product.

About the process of the making of the shoe, he says: “Just like every handicraft, shoe making is not easy. It requires a lot of time and effort; It requires passion, loving the job, because there are a lot of processes: a minimum of 30 hours are required to make a shoe – there are more than 128 different operations…and if you don’t like it and feel it from the inside, it will be very difficult to make a shoe, because [the work] doesn’t go well, you make mistakes, you ruin it…At the end, you get dispirited and leave it. But when you love it, then nothing feels hard.”

Nermin is already known in the town of Peja and beyond for high-quality handmade leather shoes. He even receives orders from abroad, from people keen on having their shoes designed and custom-made to best fit their feet. As he says, “a new shoe, but when you wear it, you have the feeling that you have worn it for 10 years…”

Nermin says that he does not plan to stop, he wants to continue. He does all the shoe making operations alone, but maybe one day he will find one or two youngsters, passionate and eager enough to learn this craft and to continue the art of shoe making.