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Life & Work with Khalid Naitzehou

Today we’d like to introduce you to Khalid Naitzehou.

Khalid was born into a Berber tribe in Southern Morocco. At a young age, Khalid and his family moved to the city of Taroudant-Morocco. At age nine, Khalid began an apprenticeship with a local sandal maker in Taroudant. For the next ten years, Khalid worked under a handful of different leather artisans, learning diverse talents and techniques from each. This gave Khalid a unique balance between art and textiles. Having multiple mentors allowed him to gain different perspectives and acquire numerous skills beyond sandal making. At age fifteen, Khalid began making unique designs and custom-fitted sandals, bags, and textiles for both the local Taroudant market and international customers.

Khalid made both large and custom orders until the age of 22 when he moved to Romania to pursue higher education. The journey for specialized education led him to Belgium and his passion for sandal making laid dormant for seven years. It was not until his move to California at age 30 that Khalid began making sandals again and the passion for innovative designs ignited again. Khalid started making sandals at first in the corner of the garage and then eventually built a shed in the backyard. After two years, he purchased ‘’L.A. Original Farmers Market Shoe Repair’’ Khalid is the 4th owner of the shop that has been there for 85 years.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been some challenges and some smooth transitions.

Khalid is excellent at adapting in any environment. He is used to moving to new cities and countries as well as starting from scratching. Americans are very welcoming and friendly which made it easier to be open and get started.

Khalid knows how to run a shop and is very knowledgeable on both repairs and custom made items, but had never run a business in California/ United States. It was a bit challenging to navigate the business process; setting up a business, getting a business license, filing taxes, etc. but with the help of my wife to file paperwork, it made it a smooth road.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Khalid is a leather Artisan from shoe repair to making own shoes/sandal designs as well as bag belts and wallets Mine designs are inspired by Morocco. Using leather scraps as I am very environmentally conscientious and follows the philosophy “repair your shoes, save a cow”. I mostly use ancient techniques of building sandals and shoes.

I am so proud to accept most repairs challengers repairs from shoes to chairs, I do not call my work a job as I feel am doing a retirement hobby.

Pricing:

  • 12
  • 45
  • 60
  • 140
  • 280

Contact Info:

  • Email: wlhandmade712@gmail.com
  • Website: www.wlhandmade.com
  • Instagram: wlhandmade_
  • Yelp: farmers market shoe repair

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