By Carlos Barria
Eight years ago, Chen Mingzhi quit his factory job and became a shoe designer. But it was slow going at first, so he passed the time honing his skill by making smaller and smaller shoes.
A couple of years later, a neighbor challenged him to do something outside his comfort zone — to create a giant shoe.
Chen accepted the challenge and started right away. “I wanted to prove that I could do it”, Chen said later.
At the time, his wife Li Liping was pretty much against the idea. She argued that with two children to support, the family couldn’t afford the 2,000 RMBi (about $320) it would cost just to meet a neighbor’s challenge.
But Chen didn’t listen to his wife and after two months of work he put the finishing touches on a 1.9-meter (more than 6 feet), 38kg (83 pounds) leather dress shoe for a non-existent right foot.