This year in August is Gurmuki’s 10th Anniversary!

People always ask me how it all started and normally I just brush it off, because I don’t like to talk about myself, but today, after 10 years, I’m going to tell the story.

After studying Psychology and realizing with a shock after 2 years that it’s really not my personality to be a Therapist, in 2012 I fell into a deep depression.  Having spent a lot of money and not working for 2 years, I decided to take Lunah (my beloved white schnauzer) and go stay at our family’s holiday home in Betties Bay to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.  It was in the midst of winter and I had a pair of old outworn UGG Boots that really never fit properly and kept coming off my heals when I walked. One morning I looked at the design and thought, “Surely I can do better! “

I started researching shoe companies, footwear design courses and fashion boots design. Yet, all I could find was a course that started the following year, and the shoe stores that I contacted were not forthcoming with information about their suppliers. I didn’t have the patience to wait, so instead I started searching for shoemakers.  After 3 interviews and driving up and down to some dodgy areas in the Western Cape, I finally found Red.

We clicked immediately and he understood my vision.  I made sketches of the fashion boots that I wanted, and he made a sample.  In fact, we made 4 samples of sheepskin boots before we decided on the final product. This was the birth of the Sheep’s Wool Tribal boot.

How to start a Shoe Company

At this stage it was all just fun and games, not having risked much, but when the time came to start spending money, I went into the mountain, and standing under the waterfall in Leopard’s Gorge, I had a very serious talk with the universe and God and all my angels.

I told them that I cannot do this alone.  That despite everyone that I spoke to telling me that the footwear industry in Cape Town was dead because of all the imports from China and to start a shoe company on my on was ridiculous, I still had butterflies in my stomach.

I told them that I cannot stop now, that the movies that I had made in my mind the past few weeks, laying awake at night planning, visualizing, cannot end here.

So, I went ahead. And this is where the fairy tale started.

  • To make a shoe, you need a last, which is the mould in the form of a foot that the shoe is built around.
  • Then you need to have that last graded into sizes 3 to 12.
  • After that, you need to make a pattern from the design of the sample that you created.
  • The pattern then also gets graded into the 10 sizes after which
  • They are sent away to have knives made, because leather is not cut by hand, but with a Clicking Press.

Walla, now you have the equipment for One design.  Now, of course you need the machinery and the raw materials; after that, then of course, how to get your product it into Shoe Stores.

 To be continued….  Don’t miss out on the ‘next episode’ on How to open a shoe company. Sign up to our newsletter and keep an eye on our Facebook page.

Our Footwear range includes:Genuine Leather KUDU Boots, Sheeps Wool TRIBAL Boots, Sheepskin Slippers, Genuine Leather Vellies (Veldskoen), Vellie Booties, Leather Baby Dolls, Leather Pumps

🥂To celebrate our 10 year anniversary, every ORDER that leaves the factory in August

🎁will contain a mystery DISCOUNT VOUCHER.

Find our full range at