Friday, January 28, 2011

A Well Heeled Gentleman

My “fancy” black dress shoes have been in tough shape for a number of months. Both heals are quite worn, and I’m almost coming through on the front soles as well. Finally, on the way home from work last night I stopped in at Hartland Shoes (591 North Hamline). I drive by the shop almost every day (it’s about one-half mile from the Dude’s school) so I thought I’d give it a try. It was my first visit.



What a place! The smell – old shoe leather and polish is a bit overwhelming but you quickly grow used to it. And you better get used to it – because the owner will talk your ear off. I learned all about the state of the shoe repair business – it’s booming! He listed off all the folks who have left the business in recent years. Fun fact: When he took over the shop (in 1989) there were seven (7) shoe repair shops in downtown St. Paul. Now there are none. Why?

I suspect people buy cheaper shoes, so they just buy new ones when the old ones “wear out”. Many people don’t even wear shoes they would think of repairing. It’s one of those things like darning socks – no one does it anymore.
However, business is booming, as reported on the site,

I have now owned this shop since 1989. Along with surviving 2 kidney transplants, I am now trying to survive A major Increase in business! One reason could be the "Perfect Storm"(2-3 major things happening at same time - A return of customers due to the economy, quite a few less shoe shops, and lots of New customers in general! Please allow extra time for us to get your repairs back to you! Thank you for your patience.


Heels and soles – 4 weeks! But I think it’s worth it.

1 comment:

Gene from Hartlandshoes said...

*I hope you found a way to fix your ear, since I talked it off. (hope you didn't use Super Glue)...
The thing that slowed the business down finally was the COLD...not the snow, but the intense cold... It gave me a chance to get work done when I didn't have as many interruptions.
I hope your shoes have been a shining example of what we can do.

Thanks for the comments... (got summer shoes? get them in now!)*hint - especially if we are still at 4 weeks...

I was a runner until I got too much Prednisone into my body due to the kidney transplants(2) I now am a mall walker... to try to keep my legs in shape.