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Posts Tagged ‘shoeshine service’

How Long Should a Shoeshine Take?

Posted on: March 4th, 2016 by Drew No Comments

It is a question I am often asked. Well, how long is a piece of string? In truth the time can vary from 5 minutes to 5 days dependent upon your individual requirements i.e if you we’re in the forces 5 days is probably more akin to your needs as they are taught to shine their shoes to a mirror finish as a form of discipline in itself

A good shoeshine will increase the longevity of your shoes and they will look great too. In respect to this it need not take any longer than 10
minutes (not including the time it takes you to set your equipment up) I must point out that there are certain variables like how dirty they are and how big.

The next question I will address in a future blog is how often should I shine them? Stay tuned.

Why firms Hire Sunshine Shoeshine for Exhibitions

Posted on: February 25th, 2016 by Drew No Comments

Exhibitions! Why do corporations do exhibitions? They take part in them with many other firms, all exhibiting to raise their profileand what they do. The whole event takes place to mingle and create new, or even re-new ties with other firms.

Networking is the main point in exhibiting. Gaining new clients is a must, sometimes an exhibition is important to meet a previous client and re-new business in person. When it comes to networking in business it’s often better off talking to people in person, rather than just a number of phone calls and emails.

Through our Sunshine service we work in partnership with corporations which are looking for something a little extra that isn’t on any-one else’s stand. The point of this is if there’s something special which draws people onto a stand, then this is a benefit for our client hiring us. As we’ll provide our service, they’ll talk and promote to a potential client.

The concept of hiring Sunshine at exhibitions is well suited to banking, insurance, and energy firms, but we have been known to work
in partnership with many sectors.

R M Williams Review

Posted on: July 9th, 2013 by Drew No Comments


I will approach my reviews not only from a quality/style standpoint, but also maintenance,  So, as the title suggests today I am addressing JM Williams the Australian bootmaker.


RM Williams is an Australian icon that evokes images of the vast Australian outback, of Banjo Patterson and the Man from Snowy River. They have been making boots since the 1930’s when Reginald Murray Williams learned the art of leather saddlery and boot making in the South Australian outback from a fellow known as Dollar Mick.


The thing that makes JM Williams a rare bird and particularly collectable is the whole cut Chelsea Boot. (to find out more about what wholecut is I will be addressing the term in a future blog, but for the sake of brevity; ‘It is a shoe or boot were the entire upper is covered by a single, non-seamed skin’) The long and short of it is it moulds to the bridge of your foot, making it very comfortable. JM Williams makes a noteworthy example of a wholecut boot.

**The buyer beware sometimes seams are cunningly disguised, if you look at this link for a Tudor boot from John Lobb you can see the seam directly underneath the vamp, it is small, but it is there.**


Upon inspecting a brand new pair of JMW will notice a ridge running down the middle to the toe, this is not a defect, only proof that they use an old fashioned high end manufacturing technique.

The overall quality of their boots can be best described as basic high end comparable to Allen Edmonds and superior to Loakes. They are very comfortable footwear, doubtless largely as a result of their whole-cut boot construction for which they are famous. They are mostly Goodyear welted. As well as this they are also one of the few bootmakers left that make a ready to wear boot with a brass screwed leather construction.


The leathers they use on their dress boots are mainly yearling, kangaroo, veal calf as well as suede. I have only ever seen them use full grain leathers. As well as this they do exotic, such as crocodile, but expect to part with the best part of $5500 Australian for these. Another leather, less commonly used by RM Williams is willow. It is a slightly grainier leather than yearling and less expensive. It is used mostly in the cheaper range of boots. I will spare you the technicalities of the leathers, (believe me I could go on!) if anyone is interested to hear further just leave a message.


If, you pushed me my top JMW tip would be; the Wholecut Craftsman made from french veal in chestnut colour; a handsome, slim, sleek and comfortable boot, perfect for the great outdoors and fear not due to the reverse ’storm’ welting not a single droplet of moisture will penetrate.


There are certain essentials that should be ‘de rigueur’ for footwear of this type;

1. Most importantly they need to be cleansed and scrubbed with water to remove mud and dirt. Now I know this seems obvious, but you would be amazed how many people just don’t do this.

2. Secondly, a leather conditioner – due to the nature and usage you will experience a lot of cracking and drying so a basic conditioner goes down great keeping the upper supple and soft.

3. Next a nice cream, this will cleanse and enhance the aesthetic of the leather giving it beautiful depth and clarity.

4. The finish depends on you – the grand stylissimo; having performed the above a simple buff with a natural chamois would suffice. You can push the envelope and create a deep shine, but for casual shoes I would suggest this is a little frantic.

My next review will be womens shoes, so ladies stay tuned. Have a great day.










The Secret World of Prada

Posted on: June 19th, 2013 by Drew No Comments



Some of you may not even be aware – there trying to keep it quiet (I wonder why?????) – but Church’s the venerable British shoemaker has been bought out by Prada, thus ending the Church’s family lineage with one of the world’s finest shoemakers, (they have moved/forced out to Cheaney) I am not one of those anti-corporation types and am certainly willing to ’suck it and see’ as far as what will happen from now on in, however it is hasn’t gone unnoticed that the titanic luxury brand is already turning things in a new direction.

A cursory glance into a store the other day illustrated perfectly the new ethos. Diversification. Whilst the shop was predominantly mens shoes, more and more space was being taken up with higher margin items, wallets, umbrellas and diaries.  This is not necessarily a Bad Thing, but can be alarming to lovers of a marque steeped in tradition.


Many of our customers have been fully paid members of the Church’s club for decades and they are worried about slipping standards, a craft becoming an industry. Once upon a time a pair of Church’s showed where you stood in the world, Prada on the other hand in their view are a global hyper brand full of marketing and fashion whimsies who probably couldn’t even spell craftmanship.

Therefore I have created an open letter to the Prada directors in an effort to capture the essence of our concerns and let us all know where and how things are going forward;

Dear Prada Directors,

As I am sure you are all aware the acquiring of Church’s to your bulging brand portfolio has come as a major shock to many loyal customers of Church’s. We are nervous about the direction in which you all intend to take the company and demand answers to the following;

1. How far do you intend to stretch the brand? Are you going to be creating a Church’s fragrance next?

2. Are you planning to outsource the work to China or Italy?

3. Can you reassure us that the traditional craft and customer understanding will not be lost?

4. Are you going to resist horrible new designs (Shanghai anyone?) for the sake of a quick Euro and abandon our favourites?

We do not want to see the end of the marque and would very much like the business to progress, however if it is at the expense of any of the above we will have absolutely no hesitation in taking our business elsewhere.

Yours worriedly

Chuch’s Shoe Owners

Let’s see, if we get a response.










Is Equal Opportunity Recruitment a Myth?

Posted on: March 28th, 2013 by Drew No Comments

Equal Opportunity n

‘The absence of discrimination, as in the workplace, based on, age, colour, gender, national origin, religon, physical or mental disability’


An admirable ideal, but like most of these sentiments it is often implemented by people who have no idea of the real world, let alone the working world.

As humans we like things black and white – not grey, whole milk or pasturised, (I like semi – skimmed) The fact is the purpose of recruitment is in itself descriminatory, that’s the point.  The best we can do is look to it as an ideal and not a defacto directive.

From an employer who’s philosophy and culture is based around giving disadvantaged people a break, this blog must seem, well surprising.

At Sunshine, we are part business, but we are also part social enterprise, employing those who are disadvantaged is our raison d’etre, we use a small net seeking people from likely sources.  Does this mean we give everyone an equal opportunity?  Is this positive discrimination?  We have taken London office shoeshine from more conventional backgrounds, Richard for example, so hopefully that evens things out.  Trying to do the right thing is never that easy is it?

Finally, next weeks blog I will be responding to questions from the ‘mailbag’ they can be shoeshine tips, business related, shoe recommendations or personal – anything.   So email me, comment or ask me face to face (if your unlucky enough to see me!!)  I’ll answer as many as I can.







*Insert snow pun here*

Posted on: January 21st, 2013 by Drew No Comments

The heading was going to be ‘This weather is Snow Joke for your Shoes’ but it was just so lame couldn’t get myself to put it. So I have spared my dignity and left it empty.

Unable to open the door without an mass of snow coming in?  Freezing cold in the office? Siberian wind biting into you as you wait for the bus? Slipping on the ice?  If some/all of these are relevant to you, spare a thought for your shoes, not only are they stuck on the end of your legs all day, this weather is just TERRIBLE for them.  I could put a 1000 words on how to help them,  but I’ll try to give you dear reader just a couple of clear points:

1.  Rotate your shoes

2. Wipe them down at night

3. Scotchguard on the upper.

4.  Buy some skis and save your shoes!

Our brave Sunshiners are trudging there way through the snow so you can have your office shoeshine.  However, the weather being so bad there are inevitably hold ups, please bare with us we’ll be there as soon as we can!









Shoes: All Time top 5

Posted on: January 10th, 2013 by Drew No Comments

Alright, I’ll confess!  I’m a shoe addict,  (is it okay to be a man and be a shoe addict?)  Now, I know it’s probably not a massive surprise given the nature of what I do, but to others outside of my job it can create some surprised responses. 

We all like a good list, never fails to create a bit of a stir.  So here I have put together the all time greatest mens shoes;

5.  J M Weston – Slightly overpriced.  Nice looking shoes. French despite the english name.

4. R M Williams – Australian boot.  Look good both casually and formally.  The wholecut is the one to go for.

3. Crockett and Jones – The full brogue is beautiful.  Picking up a lot of trade since the demise of Church’s label.

2.  Edward Green – It was a toss up for number one,  just missing out.  Spectacular handmade shoes, by a genuine family business. Expect to part with £600 for the off the peg.

1. John Lobb – This is the bespoke, (not to be confused with the off the peg Lobb which is totally different and owned by Hermes brand).  A pair will set you back £2500, but you’ll be in good company, as everyone from Elizabeth II, Frank Sinatra and Imelda Marcos has a pair.

Make sure if you have a pair of these you find a good London shoeshiner! The women’s top 5 coming soon!






5 New Years Resolutions

Posted on: December 28th, 2012 by Drew No Comments

My mum informed me today it was time I started to think of new years resolutions.  Now I think she meant things like – be more tidy – put the top back on the toothpaste – be more considerate – GIVE ME GRANDCHILDREN!  Thinking about it, it really should be one that I have a snowballs chance in hell of achieving, so here I have put top 5 resolutions in order of achievability.

1. Always put the top back on the toothpaste.

This should be eminently achievable with regular therapy, the right mindset and not oversleeping.

2. Start our SEO programme.

For those not in the know that means getting the business up Google first page, for things like ‘Exhibition Shoeshine’ ‘ Office Shoeshine’ and ‘Shoeshine London’ Don’t have the time to start doing this myself, so a provider has been found. The question is: is it worth it? We’ll see.

3.  Look for more charities to work with

We source most of our Sunshiners from charities. I’m always looking to expand on this, you can never have too many good staff right??

4.  Stop drinking orange juice directly after brushing my teeth.

Enough said.

5. Improve on our frankly poor showing on Facebook

After going to the effort to start it, I should work on it some more. Look us up.

That’s it. Feel free to join my mother in nagging me, if these are not achieved.










Are Europeans too embarrassed?

Posted on: December 22nd, 2012 by Drew No Comments

Having visited Europe many times over the years I’ve often questioned myself as to why shoeshine is not popular.

You go all over the world, Africa, Asia, South America and North America and you will find shoeshiners sitting on most street corners, but not in Europe (in this case I don’t include the UK in Europe) cradle of civilisation. Why? 

Many of our most enthusiastic London shoeshine customers are European, Soc Gen and EFG to name but a few, but in Europe it doesn’t apply. Try getting an office shoeshine service in Berlin or an event shoeshine service in Paris.  So, do they have the ‘when in Rome’ idea?  Have they been affected by the ways of the UK?   My feeling is their is a stigma attached to it with imperialism etc… and it’s considered not a good idea.

Let me know if you have another idea, I’m all ears!










Wham! It’s Christmas

Posted on: December 18th, 2012 by Drew No Comments

We will be taking our annual weeks break this year.  Starting from the 25th of December to the 2nd of January. 

What to do with that weeks break?  I’ve always had a secret desire to do a log cabin in the Alps inspired by the video to Last Christmas by Wham, for people who can remember that video (it’s on every year, hello??)  it is George Michael and pop star chums in a Swiss hideaway for Christmas.  However, the absence of Pepsi and Shirley on my friend list the thought becomes less appealing.  So I guess I’ll just settle for the usual family Christmas again, did I say ‘settle’ I mean ‘enjoy’ Sorry Mum; )

If any clients (or not for that matter) wish to  have our office shoeshine service in the week,  please get in touch and I’ll do my absolute best to arrange it, even if it means eating into my Pepsi and Shirley time!

I would like to wish to you all a merry Christmas and a shiney new year!





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Well, working for Sunshine Shoeshine is not an easy job like I anticipated.



“Such a positive influence on the office as a whole, my boss was over the moon”

Societe Generale

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