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Tom D

society of master shoe repairers

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Thanks for the encouragement gentlemen. I'm open to discussions, suggestions constructive criticism  from the forum, SOMSR member or not.  

 I'm not open to any negativity or  personal criticism though. 

Please could we bury the  Desborough debacle by the way, it was along time ago and  its time to move on and make this thing work. I wasn't involved at the time and would rather concentrate on today and tomorrow rather than yesterday. 

I'm thinking out loud here,  the general consensus of opinion from previous posts seems to suggest that the certificate confirming  membership of a trade society is perhaps one of the most important and yet contentious advantages of being  a member.   Whilst it is important to be recognized as a Master Shoe Repairer, literally anyone can have one if they join and pay the fee. Not perhaps an ideal situation. 

I really like the suggestion made by Ted Starzac of a three tier membership, Associate, Master and Fellow based on the quality of their workmanship.

It was suggested that each individual member could be visited by a representative of SOMSR and their work could be appraised. Sadly this would be economically and practically nonviable, the Society is  in quite good health at the moment but the cost of travelling the country would soon ruin it.   Would it work if interested members were to submit samples of their work, to a proscribed method, to a panel at the SOMSR office for appraisal?.   in this way an Associate Membership would be available to those not wanting full membership with a basic certificate, someone wanting to be approved  MASTER Shoe repairer would have to attain an appraisal mark of at least say 80% before receiving a better certificate and those submitting work that achieved a mark of say 90% or over would become Fellows of SOMSR with an enhanced certificate. Does that make any sense?  Would it give added value to members?

These are personal thoughts by the way, not policies that have been discussed, I'm just looking to try and find an added benefit to becoming a member that we can discuss.

 

Any help on this would be appreciated,

Robin 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good idea Robin, and one that could move things forward, however, I see a potential flaw.  What stops me sending a pair of shoes to say Lee Ffrench, who I know will do a great job, then send them to you for approval?

 

I would have bypassed the system with ease?

 

 

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Thanks Keith.   Good point but we rely on the honesty and integrity of our members to observe the rules.  ( and I can recognize his work)

I think there may be some merit in trying this system but would welcome more feedback first.

 

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Hi Robin, nice to know you are o.k.

I fear it's to late for me to care one way or the other, but you personally know most in this trade and I dare say you could slot most of us into the correct category.

Why not you become judge and jury to start it off?

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6 hours ago, keithm said:

Good idea Robin, and one that could move things forward, however, I see a potential flaw.  What stops me sending a pair of shoes to say Lee Ffrench, who I know will do a great job, then send them to you for approval?

 

I would have bypassed the system with ease?

 

 

Surely this could be overcome simply by posting 'One' odd shoe, could be Ladies or Gents [for the candidate to repair - with say two days allowed to do, and a repair of your choice - the person requiring the crown of master repairer could also pay the return postage etc, and at least you could have some idea that the repair falls within a reasonable to high quality. This could be judged by almost anyone.

Charities then could benefit from the repaired shoes (after you have had them both repaired or even the homeless, quite a good PR for our trade?

 

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Hi Flash and K4. 

Good to get feedback. I don’t think you’ve lost your competitive edge though Geof. 

I like your idea Martin but years ago I ran a Benchmark competition where both a ladies and a gents repair had to be submitted and I think that worked quite well. One thought was that the shoes submitted could be returned to be used by the entrant as window display to showcase their craftsmanship.  Maybe SOMSR could come up with a display stand at a reasonable price ? 

All suggestions gratefully received and will be put to the SOMSR team at the next meeting 

Robin 

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Morning Keith. 

Testing products might be a little beyond our remit perhaps?  Would the testers need to be qualified and unbiased?   Who would they be?  Known or anonymous?   It might be tricky to provide a basis for testing everything from shoe laces to finishers  

There could be a possibility to include a review  of new products provided that the maker/supplier was happy to submit them to members of SOMSR for them to pass an opinion  ..... Would that work?  

 

Robin 

 

 

 

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Well if you have to rely on the ' honesty and integrity of our members' , your words, why not randomly pick one? There could be no 'bias' claim as the member is not 'selling' the item! This would be easy to implement imho.

 

What puzzles me Robin is that if SOMSR cannot carry out this type of service, or similar, what is the point, ie, what do you offer the 'Shoe Repairer', I'm desprately trying not to be negative but........................ :-( 

 

Offering cheaper insurance, shop advertising and a dubious Certificate doesn't represent anything that they can't get themselves online if they try hard enough.

 

We know each other well and have done for many years, I respect you more than most, but I need to be convinced that SOMSR is worth something and worth backing?

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On 1/19/2018 at 10:48 PM, Lee said:

They should make Rick the chairman imo. Knows the trade inside out, knows the people inside out and is relentlessly loyal to the industry.

 

Who even is the chairman? Cutting edge need to do what they do best organise a decent show and produce a decent magazine and finally get the right person from within the trade at the helm of somsr and give that person a budget.

I hope you don't mean me :shock:

Rick.

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I don't think this is a flaw to worry about Keith. Anyone with a strong reputation wouldn't put that on the line by helping someone with less skills imo. I like a three tier membership, But I'd name it "Willing to give Robin some support, here's a tenner" "I've been a member two years & Robins doing a good job, here's a score" & "Sign me up, its working"

My personal advice is

1.SOCIAL MEDIA....... Facebook, instagram & Twitter all have their place. give the PUBLIC somewhere to interact, they love it.

2.ONLINE joining & renewal filling out a form and sending money is so last century

3.SOCIAL MEDIA

Lee

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Hi everyone, I am only acting Secretary, working one day a week (Monday)  at the office. I'm not the policy maker.    So far I have been engaged in sorting out the mound of paperwork and trying to get the filing side of things back in order. Not easy

At the same time I am also asking the question " what would encourage you to join SOMSR "    Its a bit of a Catch 22 situation in that we are limited in what we can do by the amount of income generated from existing members and we can't seem to attract more members because we have nothing "extra" to offer. It is my aim to find out what would encourage a stronger memebership. .

However, I do see membership as being mainly beneficial.  Access to free or cheap national advertising, lower insurance premiums, specialist trade helplines, an arbitration service, trade back up,  personalised workwear and an accepted National identity and eventually a listing on the trade website once i find out how to edit it.  These can only be pluses .

As soon as possible I will have a look at the media side but for the moment the main drive is to try to give value for money to the existing members and potential new members.

 

Ok it's £120 but that is the only negative.  What's not to like?

 

  As for the dubious certificate, I'm working on the design and appearance to make it more interesting and worthwhile.  But  we need to know whether members would be prepared to submit samples of their work for appraisal in order to become an " Approved Member"  or even a "Fellow" with all of the relevant benefits.

In the words of Jo........... Carry on!  

 

 

 

 

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I'd be more than happy to submit my work but it would have to be to somebody independent as I wouldn't want a certificate just doling out to me because I parted with my money.

 

The certificate has always been my bone of contention as I see some right cowboys around my area and they could class themselves as a Master just by paying for it - that demeans my work and my passion for it as far as I'm concerned.

Good luck, Robin.

 

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robin  you mention  free help lines , I can phone up any of those without quoting my membership number and ask for help , I still get the same insurance renewal ?  as for branded workwear  ive got a friend who can do that , no disrespect  but somsr is like  Kenny lynch ( what does it do )  who owns it ,   in fairness I was in it for 3yrs  and  got no positive benefit , now I'm not wishing to pour scorn on  your efforts ,  in fact I wish you luck  ( and think you have the personality  for the job ), but to grow you have to target the younger generation  ( the likes of me are far to bitter and twisted ),   perhaps looking at  mentoring  were the younger generation  can ask  advice from  older hands best of luck

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Hi Robin

Sorry, I've just arrived late to this discussion.

Here is a link to register SoMSR on the approved list oforganizations to get tax relief on subscriptions, making membership free (as I understand it as a simple cobbler), to tax paying shoe repairers.(I hope that includes all of us)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/professional-organisations-approval-for-tax-relief-application

All the best with your new appointment, but the phrases "thick skinned" and "poisoned chalis" spring to mind.

Glad to help in any way that I can.

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Hi Ted.  That looks very interesting.  I will certainly look into it. 

Many thanks. 

Robin

ps fortunately I think I’m past caring about all the negative people and only care about the positive ones who want to improve and succeed.  

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