Managing Director, Sinidu Enterprises, manufacturers of the Genelle brand of upmarket ladies' footwear, Sheran Wickremesekera was upbeat regarding the local shoe industry when he addressed the distinguished gathering present at the opening of the plush new 'Genelle Shoes' showroom on Duplication Road, Colpetty.
Wickremesekera who has been in the local shoe industry for the past 25 years, having developed his family shoe business from a small scale cottage industry employing seven people, to a medium sized factory providing employment to 50 people, said he looked forward to the day when Sri Lankan shoes would take pride of place in international markets.
Chief Guest at the opening, Rosy Senanayake, said it gave her a great deal of pleasure to be present at an occasion where locally manufactured goods, in this case shoes, could with ease take their place side by side with their imported counterpart.
The new Genelle showroom has a floor space of 1300 square feet and is decorated in black and white to display the shoes to their advantage; and is highlighted in the company colours blue and silver, with touches of cyclamen. Architect Suzette Wehella, said she got her inspiration from the company slogan 'a treat for your feet', to design a shop that is both unique and tasteful. Both the sitting as well as the display area are in the shape of a foot. "I wanted to create a shoe shop which is truly unique to Sri Lanka,” said Wehella, "one that is as unique as the shoes displayed in it."
The entire range of Genelle shoes are available at the store and orders could be placed for custom-designed and manufactured shoes as well.
"We intend opening a showroom in every major city in the country and prove that locally made shoes can match any quality imported product, whilst being affordable to the local customer,” Wickremesekera said.