I’ve wanted a nice shoeshine box for some time now, but almost everything desirable on the market is outside of my budget. The Hanger Project and A Suitable Wardrobe both carry models by La Cordonnerie Anglaise, a French company that makes an impressive range of boxes, which you can see here. There’s also Ephtée, who can make custom trunks for footwear, but if one can hardly afford a small ready-to-use box, one can hardly expect to get a custom trunk made.
Another company I really like is Turms, a small, family-owned company based in Montegranaro, Italy. For much of their history, they’ve made wooden shoe lasts for Italian shoe manufacturers, but at some point, they also created a line of shoe care products for consumers. Their handsome walnut shoebox, for example, has little compartments to store horsehair brushes, suede erasers, and leather conditioners, and near the bottom is a pullout drawer for creams, waxes, and soft polishing cloths.
The price for these range from $500 to $1,000, depending on where you go and what model you purchase. That’s again well outside of my means, so I’ve been wondering if I can’t find a local skilled carpenter to make me something similar for half the price. In this way, I can also ask for the box to be customized for the shoe care products I actually own, rather than rely on a specialized nook that Turms created for their products, which may or may not accommodate what I have. Of course, this all assumes that a skilled carpenter would be willing to build such a thing for a few hundred bucks. I may be a little naïve.
Incidentally, I’m including photos here of Turms’ most drop-dead gorgeous creation: a wooden shoe rack with a modular storage system to hold twelve pairs of shoes. Each modular box has a drop down door with a metal handle for easy opening, a window for you to check on your shoes, and a metal nameplate, so you can easily identify what’s inside. The price is somewhat close to $4,000, but … non-EU customers get a VAT discount? This is probably something I’ll ever only own in downloadable .jpg form.
They also have a handsome footstool you can use in the morning for when you put your shoes on. Inside are three cubby spaces for you to store brushes, creams, and other shoe care products. It’s a rather nice looking design that I might show to this skilled, but highly affordable carpenter that so far exists only in my head.
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