After completing a university degree in Public Administration, Thaer, now 25, has had a talent of drawing ever since he was at a very young age. As he grew up, he decided to become a shoe designer based on his vision of shoe market needs. The story started when he participated in a shoe designing course as part of the Leather and Shoe cluster activities in Hebron. Thaer said “I faced many challenges at the beginning which motivated me to find my path in shoe designing, this course led my way to gain experience and engage in shoe industry. My passion in learning since I was young helped create a wide imagination and creativity in shoe designing.”
Ghaleb Abo Omar, a famous designer who graduated from Italy, owns a shoe designing workshop in Hebron. He was a mentor for Thaer by engaging him in a shoe designing training course. Ghaleb Said: “Thaer was very smart, creative and perseverant which helped him excel in this field. The methodology of the training was using learning by doing which helps designers learn from their mistakes, and allow them to have many creative options.” The labor force in the shoe sector has had a downfall in the past period in Hebron, especially among designers, which prompted the Leather and Shoe cluster to conduct these kind of trainings.
Today, Thaer is working as a shoe designing and production manager in Golf & Horse factory, supervising 70 employees. His new creative ideas helped raise the market share by giving more options for the customers and kept the factory at the top of shoe sales in Hebron. As Thaer mentioned, to be effective on this field, the shoe factories must depend on innovation and improvement, thus increase a year-on-year backup production line to ensure the growth rates of the factory.
This success meant a lot for Thaer on both personal and professional level being a great shift on his life to now be known as one of the famous shoe designers in West Bank; “displaying my designs in Turkey’s shoe exhibition and seeing my name on the products strengthened my skills and encouraged me to empower myself in this field. On community level, both internally and externally, I found myself as a role model for many young entrepreneurs, and I’m proud now to see many families make a living off of working in this factory.” Thaer has a farther vision of establishing his own shoe designing workshop, by using modern machines and training entrepreneurs to be innovative designers. His message for the future Palestinian designers is: “always seek for your inner strength, love what you do, and trust your will as a way to success.”
Hebron Leather and Shoe cluster is being supported by the Private Sector Development Cluster Project (PSDCP) implemented by Ministry of national Economy, in partnership with the Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and funded by the AGENCE FRANCAISE DE DEVELOPPEMENT (AFD).