By Pujanee Galappaththi
Designers define shoes to be the finishing touch to any outfit. Creating the perfect pair of shoes takes a lot of work. There is no doubt that we have a number of designers dedicated to creating seamless shoes and providing high-quality products to their consumers. This week, we spoke to one such shoe brand determined to deliver the best products, NIERA Shoes.
The Co-founders of NIERA Shoes are spouses Nimesh Helanka De Silva and Gimhani Erandhathi Wadugearachchi. Operated as an online store via Instagram and Facebook, NIERA offers modern footwear including flat sandals, slip-ons, office/party/casual heels, pumps, gladiators, tie-ups, and more. The owners are currently working on collaborating with other shoe and accessory stores in Colombo, so that you may be able to find NIERA Shoes at your favourite stores in the future.
The name NIERA is a combination of the middle names of De Silva and Wadugearachchi. They drove their inspiration to start NIERA from their family. De Silva stated:
“My father inspired me onto this path of business. Our family has been in the shoe business for more than 30 years and we own several outlets islandwide. As we have a background (in the industry), myself and my wife Gimhanie thought of catching up with the newest way to do more, which is online shopping. It has become the most popular and easiest form of shopping, so we thought of making busy lifestyles easy with NIERA as an online store.”
NIERA believes that the most important thing to consider when purchasing shoes is quality. “NIERA makes it a responsibility to give the best quality of footwear for our customers with the maximum level of comfort. Second, 95% our resources are imported to give the best quality products. Most importantly, we check the choices of our customers and create footwear according to what they desire. Simply said, we make any kind of shoes our customers tell us to make!”
The inspiration for NIERA designs are derived from nature, art…a limitless number of things. De Silva said: “We always admire people who work tirelessly for at least nine hours a day. It is important for them to feel comfortable throughout the day. We aimed to create something comfortable for our customers so that they would get a little bit of relief in their hectic day. Our collections are inspired by hardworking people and created to provide the sufficient comfort they need.”
NIERA has a medium-scale factory with about 30 experienced employees. Each item of footwear is manufactured in-house by their team with a lot of love and care.
When creating a new design, first Wadugearachchi selects designs to keep up with current trends. Then, this design is sketched before handed over to the in-house designers who decide what kind of colours and co-ordinations it should have. Next, a sample is created before production.
NIERA offers customised designs as well. “One of the privileges we give our customers is letting them design what they desire whereas we create them according to the preferable size, height of the heels, and so on. This is especially beneficial in terms of wedding footwear. Women who have wide feet who face a difficulty in finding their shoe size (for example, size 42-46) have the benefit of contacting us and manufacturing their choice of shoes according to their sizes,” said De Silva.
The flat sandals are the most popular item at NIERA. De Silva believes that this is because of their durability and versatility with all types of clothing. They are also extremely comfortable in the Sri Lankan climate. NIERA offers a varied range of pumps as well, which are also extremely popular amongst their clientele. “Pumps will never go out of style. They have so many advantages which most ladies like. They cover the feet and are always comfortable. Pumps go and blend with any fashionable design in the market.”
Finally, we asked the folks at NIERA to give us tips to style everyone’s favourite pumps. “Pumps can be worn with a shirt with cuffed trousers or a tee half-tucked in a pair of denim shorts. They also suit shift dresses for a more professional look. Heel pumps with shorts/tight skirts or jumpsuits give a more chic, glamorous look.”