Once a skilled worker in the leather industry in Dharavi, Jameel Shah is now a renowned shoe maker with not just an impressive line of Bollywood but also Hollywood celebrity clients and a business worth Rs. 25 lakhs.
Born in a poor farmer’s family in Darbhanga, Bihar Shah shifted to Mumbai in 1998 in search for a better life. Besides working extensive hours in the slums of Dharavi, the dance lover also enrolled himself into a dance class. Life soon took a turn for Shah when upon finding him in need of new shoes admits his financial condition his choreographer Sandeep Soparkar advised him to use his skills and make his own shoes.
Sandeep told Shah, “When you know how to make leather products, for what reason don’t you make shoes for yourself.”
He then made his first pair of shoes for himself but soon found different individuals from his dance class asking him to make shoes for them. What started as a need, gave the young man a new identity and led him to evolve from a typical craftsman to a renowned shoe producer.
Upon finding success in what he was doing he soon opened his workshop in Dharavi with the help of bank loan. He was later introduced to Bollywood stars by his choreographer who impressed by work donned his specially designed shoes and made fashion statement at many occasions.
His list of clients include Katrina Kaif, Madhuri Dixit, Ajay Devgan, Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma and the Australian artist Kylie Minogue who her trip to Mumbai during the shooting of “Blue” gave the young lad an order of 8 pairs of shoes. The latest to join the list is also the millennial star Tara Sutaria who recently made her debut in “Student of the year 2”.
Destined for success he now has his own brand Shah Shoes and now designs around 100-150 shoes in a month consistently, the cost of which starts from 2,000-20,000.