‘Think of the safety of the wearer. Do it with heart. Stay focused’ – Wong Heng Mun
Hong Kong Shoe Shop is an established traditional shoe shop in George Town well-known for producing quality handmade footwear. Its founder, Mr Wong Sung Choy, who was born in 1931 in Ipoh, came to Penang after World War II at the age of 12. At that time he was already a skillful shoemaker because he had extensive apprenticeship experience with masters in Taiping and Klang. After working in several shoe shops, he finally opened his own business on Argyll Road in 1958. The business was named Hong Kong Shoe Shop as Hong Kong was one of the trendiest capitals in Asia at that time. The business moved to several locations before settling in the current premise on Muntri Street.
Mr Wong was well-known in the local shoemaking industry for his versatility. Mr Wong was among the first in Penang to master the skills of making both men’s and women’s shoes. Hong Kong Shoe Shop was among the first one-stop centres to offer both custom-made services for walk-in customers as well as bulk orders from other retail shoe shops. His clientele covered all levels of society. Many apprentices came to learn from him, including now internationally acclaimed Jimmy Choo.
Mr Wong Heng Mun is the eldest son, born in 1963. Heng Mun had already been toying around the shop since he was a child. Through years of observation and hands-on experience helping in the shop, he too developed all rounded skills at a very young age. When he joined his father’s business at the age of 14, he was already considered a qualified shoe maker. He took over his father’s business after Mr Wong Sung Choy’s retirement in 1983.