Big Feet Matter!

This year, Black History Month is keen to promote and support Black owned businesses and encourage their growth and development. We are delighted to have our friend, Lara Jonah, a British-Nigerian who has written about her trials and tribulations finding a good pair of hand made shoes until she went to Nigeria and met Xamod.

“You need to believe yourself deeply even if you don’t have anyone believe in you”

Xamod

“Are you from England?” I heard, in a German accent.

I looked up to see a young, very tall woman, with a hopeful look, sitting across the way from me. Like me, she had a dozen or so shoes strewn in front of her.

I noticed her feet and recognised that look. She was keen to learn about the availability of ‘good’ shops for people with large feet in England. I told her. We then spent the  next five minutes bemoaning the difficulty of buying large-size women’s shoes in our respective countries. She’s a UK size 9 and I, with broad feet, feel more comfortable in a size 10. We were sitting in the Clarkes outlet shop, in New Jersey.

This scene has been played out in front of me many times at home and abroad for more than 30 years. I have considered setting up a business making shoes and  holiday destinations have been used to explore possibilities to expand my shoe collection. Indeed, it was on a trip to Nigeria four years ago that I came across Xamod (pronounced Zamod), in a craft market in Lagos. Lekki craft market, sometimes known as Bar Beach Market is a wonderful showcase of African craftsmanship. There are more than 300 stalls selling traditional and contemporary wares including carvings, art, jewellery, bags, leather goods, woven products and clothing. The traders and artisans come from across Africa.

As we are interested in supporting and promoting local businesses and talent, my sister and I were introduced to Xamod by a Senegalese craftsman. Xamod is a young shoemaker who specialises in Converse-style shoes made from African fabric (e.g. ankara, tie and dye , Kente and Aso oke) as opposed to the usual canvas. His shoes are typically bought off the shelf, but can also be made to measure, in cloth supplied by the customer. Earlier this year, Xamod was able transform an old moth-eaten piece of one of my mum’s wrappers into a stunning pair of Converse-style slip-ons.  The shoes are beautifully crafted, leather lined and sport Xamod’s label.

Xamod’s inspirational story started when he was still at school. He dropped out having been asked to repeat a year several times, which is what happens in Nigeria if a pupil fails their exams. He really struggled with reading and writing, he said (possibly undiagnosed with dyslexia). Despondent, he decided to leave school to learn a trade. He had always been interested in fashion, so he joined his brother in Lagos and learnt shoemaking. He soon struck out on his own, starting by hawking his wares to motorists.

His big break came when his talents were recognised by two Nigerian businesses (Guarantee Trust Bank fashion week and Origin Nigeria) via competitions set up to support local entrepreneurs. The mentorship and prize money enabled him to buy much-needed equipment and train other local people to make shoes. Today he has his own business – a small factory employing seven people and a shop in the craft market.

As Xamod once told me ““You need to believe yourself deeply even if you don’t have anyone believe in you”. He now ships to customers abroad, taking orders from USA and Europe. I am keen to ensure that fellow British Nigerians like myself and anyone interested in great shoes gets in touch with my friend Xamod.

https://xamodfootwears.com

So, the next time I meet a painfully shod German in a shoe shop, I will be giving her Xamod’s details.

Comments

He’s actually the very best I have seen in Nigeria making such stunning designs of sneakers, he’s second to no other person I have seen with his elder bro, the CEO of skimmer footstyles who’s another hot professional in shoe making. Likewise Sulaimon, the youngest brother of theirs who also follows their footprints. They are all wizard in shoe making industries that no one can ever push aside on their creativities.


Where can i purchase a pair in Kente fabric. Regards Sherella


Xamod…shoe maker with a different sauce. His believe in himself has drove me immensely to also believe in myself especially when no one believed in me.


Xamod Shoes are simply awesome! They are beautiful, neatly made, great craftsmanship, and comfortable to wear all day! They are also durable! I’ve bought over ten pairs for myself, kids, extended family and friends! Everyone of them loved it and wears them proudly! He even built a customized huge size shoes for my son who wears a USA size 16/17!
Xamod himself is a great guy! Always positive and a perfect gentleman. Everyone should have a great pair of XAMOD shoes in their shoe rack!! …. Xamod Shoes are unique collectibles!


Heard a lot of good things about them. Another Nigerian putting us on the map of the world. Thank you for the highlight Lara.


Hi Sherella Mitchell,
Good afternoon,This is Xamod.
You can visit our Website or DM us on our Instagram page @xamodfootwears to make your order. Thank You have a great day!


If you need hand made footwear that is well crafted and neat @xamod is the best plug.


Xamod takes pride in his work and this is reflected in the uncompromising quality of his hand made shoes and leather sandals at affordable prices. He’s definitely heads and shoulders above his peers. It’s only a matter of time before his Xamod brand is on a par with other mainstream brands.


This is an amazing and inspiring story. So many talents in Nigeria are being wasted due to lack of financial support from the Government and banks that would help individuals develop these skills. Thank God Xamod’s talent is now making a fantastic difference to customers struggling to find Comfortable and right Shoes size, at the same time creating much needed employment for seven people.


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