Salon cipela Ivo
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair
Biserka Balcer – owner
+385 (0)1 433 691
Working hours: 8:00-19:30 (Mon-Fri), 7:00-13:00 (Sat)
"The Italians were always number one in shoes, real masters. This current Chinese production is rubbish."
Oaza: What is the history of your shop?
Zvonimir Balcer: My wife is the boss. She inherited the shop from her father Ivo Polenšćak in 1990. Ivo came here in 1970 from Zagorje, and before him there was a different shoemaker in the same shop.
O: Is either of you trained to be a shoemaker?
Zvonimir Balcer: No, we are semiskilled. We make all the models in collaboration with an outside contractor, a mold maker. I tailor and my wife sews. Additionally, we have one worker employed. Just because someone is trained does not mean they are good at something, you have to have it in you.
O: Are there models that were developed by your father that you still use?
ZB: There are two models from the 80's. Some things on that model have been changed, e.g. the sole that used to be made out of raw rubber.
O: What model is you best seller?
A model for serious ladies.
Where do you get the production materials?
We get them from Italy, from the Padua region. Actually, all the shoemakers from Zagreb get their materials there. The Italians were always number one in shoes, real masters. This current Chinese production is garbage.
O: Who are your customers?
Old customers. Young people buy cheap shoes for 150 HRK.
O: What is the business situation today compared to before?
ZB: In the 80's and 90's you could sell ten pairs of boots in one day, and now I sell that much in an entire season. Now we have only one worker employed, whereas we used to have four.