It has been over 20 years since I’ve picked up a photo camera for the first time. This memorable occasion was my parents’ wedding in 1999. They hired a professional photographer for their special day and gave me the “family” camera. It was an analogue Canon with a little digital display which showed how many shots you had left. We had bought some film so I had a limited amount of shots that day. Because of this limitation I really had to think about the frames of my photos and so I observed, patiently waiting for the right moments to take the shots. My parents really liked the photos I made because I had a different point of view than the photographer they hired. I’ve been capturing images ever since.

A few years later, in 2005, I bought my first digital camera; a FujiFilm Finepix. We went on great adventures in the tropical forests of Surinam. Unfortunately the humid climate and my lack of professional knowledge ruined my camera.

After that I started working for PartyPeeps2000. This used to be a social platform for event photography. They lent me their company camera, a Canon 350d, to shoot the events with. And after I saved up enough money I bought myself a Canon 450d. Working for PartyPeeps gave me the opportunity to work in a lot of different venues and photograph various artists.

During those years I finished the MBO course to become a Teaching Assistant. After finishing this course I went to university to specialize in Speech Therapy but I stopped halfway to follow my dream. I decided to study Photography at the Fotovakschool in Amsterdam. It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make. But I had no regrets because I loved every second of it. While studying Photography I worked at the photo/video department of a big electronics store. I learned a lot about the technical side of cameras and during my time there I added camera number three to my collection.

In the final year of my studies I bought a second hand Canon 5D (yess finally full frame!) and with this camera I shot my graduation work. By looking at things through a 35mm lens I was able to capture exactly what I wanted to show others. And because of the full frame quality I was able to print some large copies of my work for my final exhibition.

After I finished the Fotovakschool I took a fulltime job at an Apple refurbishment company to save up some money. But then they went bankrupt…

In 2018 the Apple refurbishment company was struggling and my adventure there came to an end as I did not plan on staying with the company for their restart. Instead life lead me on a different path..

My mother has been making leather sandals and other products for over almost 40 years. She is always hunting for materials and new ideas at small local shops.

It so happened that back in 2018 she came across this little cobbler in Hilversum where she started to order new materials from. One day the cobbler told her that he was looking for an apprentice to pass on the craft of being a cobbler. My mom told him I was looking for a new job since the refurbishment company was about to go bankrupt. He was open to the idea and I had nothing to lose.. so I went to Hilversum and observed him repairing shoes. In less than a day I was enchanted by the craft and knew I wanted to learn everything about repairing shoes. I had always been a sneakerhead and I had always loved shoes but seeing how a shoe is constructed and knowing how to repair it is another kind of magic.

At that time the cobbler was actually looking for someone to take over his shop but I wasn’t ready to run my own shop. Especially without any prior education in shoemaking. At one point the cobbler went on a holiday and left me the keys to his shop. I got a taste of running a shoe repair shop on my own. At that time I was still a novice so I didn’t repair shoes but I did manage to figure out how the shop worked. But like I said I wasn’t ready to run my own business so I started a job at another shop in Amsterdam.

In November that year I started at the Dutch Health Tech Academy in Utrecht to become a cobbler. My new job as a cobbler in Amsterdam required a diploma. It was a 2 year program but I was lucky to be able to start halfway year one. While working full-time as a cobbler in Amsterdam I finished the course in June 2020. It was a little strange to graduate in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic but nevertheless I made it!

2020 is kind of a strange year but the show must go on. People won’t stop walking on their shoes so they’ll keep on bringing their shoes to the repair shop. There is always work to do when you’re a cobbler.

The best thing about repairing shoes is that I can help people out, and every now and then get to hear about the amazing story behind a pair of shoes. I really like the connection I make with my customers and love to see their reaction when I repaired their favorite pair of shoes which they thought they had to throw out.

Collaboration with BUBA

Since the beginning of my career as a cobbler I collaborated with my mother’s brand BUBA. She creates handcrafted leather products and accessories. Follow BUBA on Instagram to learn more about the story behind the brand. Have a look in the webshop for all her handcrafted products.

If you would like to order a customized item please contact us via direct message on Instagram or send an e-mail to

Furthermore, in collaboration with BUBA I also revive shoes to give them a second life with a new owner. These secondhand shoes go through a complete cleaning proces before I fully restore them. Visit the BUBA webshop to see what’s in stock