Shoemaker Rolf Hansson & Söner was founded in 1976 by Rolf Hansson. The shop is located in Södergatan in one of the oldest buildings in Malmö from 1596. The whole building is clearly tilted and made of old bricks adding to the feeling of authenticity when you enter the shop.
The business has been family run since the beginning, with Rolf's dad helping out with smaller sewing jobs and Rolf's sons who started working in the shop ten years ago. Today it's only the sons, Michael and Björn, who have been working in the store since Rolf started a new shop in Höllviken. Both of the sons agree that the family bonds and the passion for the craft are a blessing and the most important thing about running their business.
In the beginning of Rolf's and HammargruppenIn collaboration, Michael and Rolf did not have the money to buy a full stock of Crockett & Jones shoes. So they split it. Michael would have all of the right shoes in his store to show customers and Rolf would have the left ones. Anytime they had a customer who wanted to buy a pair, the other sent their shoe to them. That's why they started calling each other regularly trying to connect the shoes with each other. They worked closely together and were part of the group that established Crockett & Jones on the Swedish market.
Today we had the opportunity to interview Björn, the youngest of the two brothers who now runs the shop. When asked why he and his brother want to work with Crockett & Jones products the answer is easy. In our store you only find quality products, says Björn. We have a hard time lowering the bar to something in between, we only want to offer our customers what we consider the best. There is a natural security in selling quality products, when the costumer walks out you know the costumer is going to be happy with the purchase and will want to come back. It's also convenient for us since we practically never have to deal with reclaims, Björn explains.
When Michael, Björn's brother, answered this question he said that It was mainly because he thinks they have the best shoes on the market. He also adds that he likes the fact that it is a family owned company. It gives business some heart and soul and it shows in their product, says Michael.
That the shoemakers are the ones that also sells the shoes comes as a shock to tourists arriving in the store. How can dirty shoemakers sell these fancy shoes? But it's this combination that Björn believes in and is proud of. There is something unique about the combination of a workshop and a shop in the same place, says Björn. He also says that it's thanks to Michael that the shoemakers are also the ones who should sell the shoes. Those are the ones that really know the products. Shoemakers are trustworthy with the workshop in the back of the head and knowing everything about the shoes.
Being a shoemaker is not a shitty job. I'm proud to be a shoemaker. If someone asks me what I'm doing for a living I always say I'm a shoemaker, not that I'm a seller, a shop owner or anything, but a Shoemaker, Björn explains.
When you buy an expensive coat, you don't go home and put it on a nail, says Björn. When you buy shoes of this quality everything is about taking care of them. Put shoe trees in them, use shoe polish for them not to get dry and to keep them in a good shape. These are the most important things, but don't exaggerate with the shoe polish - a pair of Crockett's don't need a lot of fat. It is within the purchase that you are smart, which you already are if you understand that you just bought a pair of shoes for 6 000 SEK.
Saphir's products are amazing to sell. When we started purchasing their products from Hammargruppen It suddenly became fun to polish shoes because the result was so prominent. They are quality proof, the result gets exactly as you say it will get, says Björn.
In Björn's opinion it is connected to which season and in which city you are located. Every city has its own style. For Björn the obvious model to choose is the Chelsea boot, both for himself and based on what's the best seller in Malmö. It is, according to Björn, the ultimate shoe. It's comfortable and has style and you jump into them in two seconds. If you want to be more formal though, maybe you should go for a Hallam.
Michael's absolute favorite shoe is Westbourne Chestnut Burnished Calf.
Cobbler Rolf Hansson & Söner
211 34 Malmö, Sweden