Malki Zilberman has been running her shoe company, Minimi, for the past year and recently launched her first shop in Edgware. Since opening at the start of July business has been booming and many of her regular customers have already come in to pay her a visit.
As a mother of five children Malki understands that shoe shopping can often be tricky, so she tries to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for both parent and children and the shop has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere complete with toys and games to keep young children occupied. Minimi, on the site of what was previously Koshernet on Hale Lane, has a wide range of children’s and women’s shoes suitable for every occasion, from school shoes to party and wedding shoes, as well as Shabbat shoes too, and everything in between. She spends a lot of time choosing the stock that she supplies and only stocks top brands of high quality, such as Venetini, Ricosta, Geox, Primigi and many more.
For Malki, helping the customer is key to everything that she does and all of her regular customers have her mobile number and know that they can contact her at any time if necessary. Prior to having the shop she worked out of her home in Edgware and people would often call or turn up at all hours in need of shoes. She said, “I had one mother call me at seven o’clock one morning, as one of her children had broken their school shoes and they needed some that day. I was happy to help, and she was able to get a new pair of shoes and still be in time to drop them at school without too much hassle. When it comes to the business, me and the customer are one. There is no difference, and I am happy to do whatever I can to help my customers”.
Her customers obviously appreciate the level of service she offers as they keep coming back. Many of them travel from Leeds, Manchester or Gateshead to get shoes from Malki.
Through the Minimi Facebook and Instagram pages she has also received interest from further afield in America Australia, and all over Europe and she is always happy to send out shoes to anywhere around the world.
As Malki has so many regular clients she has set up the Minimi loyalty card system, where customers receive a stamp every time they buy a pair of shoes and after 10 stamps they receive 50% off all full-priced shoes. For many clients with numerous children they manage to amass a significant amount of stampsquite quickly.
Her husband, Mendy, also helps her out with the shop and has been very supportive in helping her establish the business. He took care of much of the work going on in the shop, sorted out the signage and has been instrumental in getting the shop ready for the launch. Malki declared that, “without him there would not be a business. He is as much of this as I am, and I am really grateful for all his support”
When it comes to buying baby’s first shoes, Malki believes that there is no rush to put them in shoes straight away. She explained, “For me, a child has to be walking for at least four weeks before I will consider fitting them for shoes and the shoes have to be supportive and comfortable for each child.” As a certified shoe fitter she knows exactly what is right for each child and suggests that the child wears the shoes home from the shop so that they can get used to them. In Malki’s words, “They need to feel comfortable in them and be happy wearing them.”
Malki also has some good advice for those starting school. She says, “Try to imagine your children running and jumping around at school and make sure you buy shoes that are supportive and tough enough to do this. The shoes have to be able to hold their foot well, so that they don’t hurt their feet.”
Malki believes that her mother, Sara, is helping her from above as she was always very supportive of Malki’s business. When she first started Minimi her mother would help her out and was always involved in helping her with choosing stock, serving customers and enjoyed being part of it. “She was a real lady with the best taste and all the customers used to really appreciate her opinion and advice,” Malki says. Unfortunately, her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer last August and passed away in October, which was truly devastating for Malki and her family. She said, “It has been the hardest thing to get over and whilst I am happy I have the shop, it makes me so sad that my mother never got to see it.” When she first opened the shop, the first thing she bought was a tzedakah box – the biggest she could find, ordered for overnight delivery from Israel – and every morning she puts money into the box in honour of her mother. Even the builders working at the shop donated something to tzedakah in her mother’s honour and Malki plans to use the money from this to help give shoes to children of needy families in the area in memory of Sara bat Zlata.
If you would like to find out more about the wide range of shoes available at Minimi, please check out the
Facebook page – minimishoes and on
Instagram – minimi_malki
Minimi Shoes would like to offer Jewish Weekly readers a special £5 discount on the wide range of school shoes available at the shop. This offer runs until end of August. Please quote Jewish Weekly when making your purchase.
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