If you have never visited Peters Shoemakers & Restorers, then take it from me, you need to! As well as an array of stunningly crafted shoes to choose from, you are welcomed into the store by an amazing team, full of life, personalities and stories!
I would even go the length to say that my visit became more of an experience. Pete’s energy is infectious and working alongside his now business partner Lilly, the pair seem to fit perfectly together and within minutes of being in their company, you can see why Peter’s has been around for as long as it has and continues to thrive.
When we first arrived, Pete sat outside of his shop, polishing some beautiful boots that a lady had on. Admiring the boots, I complemented the lady and was told that they were in fact from Peter’s – Pete then told us that they were indeed a design of his and Lilly’s.
Agreeing with how great they looked, and in complete surprise, Pete gave her the boots! Yes, I am still kicking myself for not arriving a few minutes earlier!
Both Lilly and Pete have great stories on where it all began for them. For Pete, he was just 12 years old when he began working for his local shoemakers. Dropping off his brother’s shoes to a local cobbler to be repaired, Pete saw the shoemaker couldn’t fit his hand into the small boots and asked if he could help.
Impressed with Pete’s attitude and interest, he offered Pete a part-time job, Pete’s entry into shoemaking followed the traditional time-honoured method of passing down skills from the craftsman to the apprentice and there began Pete’s life-long career.
Lilly, who has recently been made partner, fought her way into Peter’s 4 years ago. Hearing of a apprentice role on her University forum, where she studied footwear design and found her flair, she persistently “pestered” Pete for about a month before he agreed to see her.
Beginning part-time, Lilly told us “she paid her dues” to win Pete over – catching 6 trains every day just to get to work and back. Building a strong relationship with Pete, he began teaching Lilly all he knew, as well as pushing her to train with 5 world class master shoemakers!
Peter’s is a piece of Nottingham City Centre’s furniture and when we asked Pete why he chose Nottingham, in his cheeky way he told us “I fell in love with Robin Hood as a kid, play fighting with friends and when I thought about the city I wanted to open a shop in, it could only have been Nottingham – although I never wore the tights”.
Peter’s is currently designing a bespoke pair of boots for our very own Robin Hood and hangs an impressive painting of Robin Hood by artist Joe Ganech, in the shop window.
An exciting step, Peter’s will be launching their very own Ladies collection in 2018 and we are almost certain that the collection will fly off the shelves and get some much-deserved attention from the public. Crafted, sleek and stylish, the selection offers women a perfectly empowering and striking collection to choose from.
To close the interview, I asked finally, what was it about Peter’s that kept them successfully standing and growing. We were told that with the base of a family business, family values have been pushed through the business and after our visit, we absolutely believe this to be true.
Passed down from the shoemaker who originally taught Pete the craft, Lilly told us “It’s always about quality and ensuring this key factor is within everything we do”. From amendments, to designing bespoke shoes and their own collection, to simply dealing with customers the way they do, this is the key to their success, alongside their extremely hard work ethic.
As a partner, Lilly will soon be solely running the Nottingham store whilst Pete sets out on his quest to expand the business to other cities.
And so, to conclude, if you have never visited Peters, Shoemakers & Restorers then please do, we can guarantee you won’t regret becoming part of the family!