About Shoe School


Making a pair of shoes is not only a transformative experience, it is a skill that has almost disappeared in NZ. Shoe School is changing this by giving you the skills to make your own shoes.

Hi, I'm Lou - I launched Shoe School in November 2015 and relocated to Wellington in 2017, where I was joined by teacher Gemma. Together we’ve helped students create hundreds of shoes of their own custom design.

I first began making shoes in Dunedin 10 years ago. I couldn’t find work and decided this was my chance to learn shoemaking - something I’ve been curious about since a teen, obsessively saving for my 1st pair of Doc Martens.

10 years ago it wasn't possible to study shoemaking in NZ, so with nothing to lose I sold some of my belongings and travelled to Australia to train. I was absolutely determined to set up a studio of my own, so I launched a small business making baby shoes (a simple place to start) and used the profits to buy antique shoemaking equipment. In 2015 and again in 2017 I was invited to intern in Tokyo with a Master shoemaker. I've been extremely fortunate in my quest to learn shoemaking but couldn't have done it without some solid day dreaming.

Please email me if you have any questions about actualising your own shoe dreams!