We all have around the house a watch from our grandparents or perhaps gifted from someone close to us, perhaps bought by ourselves. Whether you change its battery, or its strap, its face or service the whole watch , Mr. Andrei is the perfect craftsman for it. He follows the family tradition, continuing the craft practised by his father. Crammed between a food store and a photocopying place, you need agile eyes to spot it.
If we take a glimpse at old photos of Calea Grivitei, we see a real uproar. This street has always been visited by all sorts of merchants, craftsmen or petty sellers. The tailor shop with interwar looking facade owned by Mr. Constantin has such image hung inside, which reminds one of a past atmosphere of Calea Grivitei. On the shelves there are fabrics made in Brasov. Mr. Constantin has kept the business in the family and he is working together with his son and daughter in law, nowadays mostly does touch ups and rarely man suits from scratch. He has numerous stories to tell: once you step in this tailor shop you find details about what signs to look for to tell if a jacket suits you well, or about the recent history of the looks of the street.
Mr. Stan is a talkative type of person, and he strongly believes that if one does a craft like his – shoe maker – is impossible to be otherwise. A great share of such kind of craft is working with people, side which the shoemaker has always enjoyed. In a workshop almost the size of a shower cabin, Mr Stan vividly repairs shoes, changes heel lifts or just cleans particular leathers.
The shoe-shop of Mr. Nicolae is not an ordinary one. He takes not more than 5 minutes to see what the problem is with the product or what the client actually wishes. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because Mr. Nicolae not only repairs shoes but he creates them from scratch and not just regular shoes. He is specialised in dancing shoes, that as we know, they have to be not only pretty, but also very strong and perfectly fitting on the dancer’s feet. The shoemaker has taught many other shoemakers who, in turn, have their own shops or even shoe factories. After the 90s he has noticed that the craft is in danger of being forgotten and he was more than willing to share his knowledge to whoever was interested, considering that there is enough room for everybody operating in this field.
Imagine a 10 square meter room with a long table, 5 workplaces on one side, 5 workplaces on one side. 90 cm each. This is how craftsman Constantin began his apprenticeship at UCECOM for becoming a jeweller. Although initially he felt disconcerted by the uninterrupted 8 hours spent on a chair, over time he got used to it and acquired the meticulousness and patience required for this craft.
Mrs. Livia is among the last remaining artisans of Bucharest who still work with leather. When she heard for the first time the word “marochiner”, more than 50 years ago, she thought it must have something to do with manicure. Since then to now, the distance is directly proportional with the multitude of bags, shoes, belts and other wonders that she creates and sells daily in her workshop on Calea Șerban Vodă.
Mrs Valnetina has learnd to sew and make patterns in elementary school, where they had to make bed sheets and uniforms for kindergarden. She is pasionate about tailoring, finding the work at the sewing table very relaxing, seeing how the fabric gets a shape and can be worn. The shop in Tineretului area has been opened for 6 years. Although she has worked in the past for companies that made clothing for exporting, she now preferes to focus soley on retouching evening gowns and mending clothes.