After school today I made my way across town to the institution that is the Beautiful Shoes store (Street 143). Hand-made shoes made to order.
I had put in an order about 2 weeks ago for 3 further pairs of shoes (bringing my Beautiful Shoe count up to 7 pairs).... I am shortly off to Australia and New Zealand for a holiday and thought I might get some shoes when I am there so was doing some serious research! However, after looking at various Sydney based designers stores for hand-made shoes online I decided that Beautiful Shoes would be able to do similar for a price about $500 cheaper per pair. Oh yes.... on collection today I was right (!) The shoes are exactly as ordered to my own specification (including the size of heel /toe/colour etc) and I am very happy with them. So happy, in fact, that I immediately put my order in for a further pair of black heeled shoes. What a wonderful place this city is!
On a deeper level the history of the shop is interesting. The family business opened in the 1950s was the first on what is now a bit of a Shoe Street. Manager Ay Sisopheak’s grandfather originally set up the business, which has been passed down through the family. On the Khmer Rouge taking over Cambodia in the 1970s the family managed to survive the harsh regime in the fields and upon liberation returned to the city – Luckily they found that their business was pretty much untouched with all of their tools left and so the business then flourished...
More at: http://www.cambodiapocketguide.com/phnompenh/editorial/2006/KhmerCobblers.aspx