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Shoe repair as a career


Guest newtohere

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Guest newtohere

Hi.

 

I have been reading this site with interest, and I hope that there are some who will be good enough to answer some questions I have about the business of shoe repair.

 

A bit of back story first. My dad worked for a boot company for a long time, and a while ago a cobblers came up for sale near where we live. My dad was made redundant, and he decided he would buy the shop and learn the business. He was really excited about it. Unfortunately though, before we could buy it he died and with it so did any plans to buy the shop.

 

I have also been made redundant recently, and am loking for a new direction. I have decided I would like to follow in what my dad wanted to do and learn the business. Before I start though, I would like to ask some questions about the industry, if that's ok?

 

Would you recommend the career of cobblers/shoe repair to a young person nowadays (I'm 25)?

 

Do you think the business is in decline/getting smaller and smaller and will eventually dry up? If yes, why?

 

How big of a town/area is needed to sustain a business like this?

 

What sort of salary could be expected if you were an employee at a shop?

 

What sort of salary could be expected if you owned your own shop?

 

What is the best way to learn the business/craft?

 

If anyone reads my post all the way thorough, then thanks. I appreciate any help that you may offer. :)

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Welcome to the site newtohere

 

Good to see someone looking to our industry & I wish you luck!

Heres some answers! But not all!

Would you recommend the career of cobblers/shoe repair to a young person nowadays (I'm 25)?

Apsolutely its an industry which you can never tire of, every days a new day! I’ve been in the industry since I was 17 & would recommend it to anyone!
Do you think the business is in decline/getting smaller and smaller and will eventually dry up? If yes, why?
Personally I don’t think its in decline, you’ve been reading the forum what do you think!

It may dry up one day but that’s down to fashion. Most of us who are holding our own already turn our hands to many other services that keep us busy! I fully expect to make it to retirement doing what I’m doing (unless I get offered loads of money to do something else!)

How big of a town/area is needed to sustain a business like this?
I don’t really know the technicalities of a question like this, much depends on location, the local economy & competition I am sure there are one or two members more qualified to answer that one.
What sort of salary could be expected if you were an employee at a shop?

What sort of salary could be expected if you owned your own shop?

That really depends on you & your own drive! Some at the top of the tree make many millions a year, others make a modest income & get by. I don’t think there is an average, its almost an impossible question to answer.
What is the best way to learn the business/craft?
Now here by hangs the problem for you…..

What industry did you come from? A lot of what we do can be picked up along the way. Many of us have taught ourselves other services, I for one picked up Engraving, Sign making & Watch repairs through having a go but shoe repairs are different. Walking into the repairers environment & solving the daily problems is almost impossible without the training of years of tradition.

I don’t know anyone who has taught themselves shoe repairs. You have to have several years experience to stand any chance I would have thought.

 

Do you have any shoe experience?

 

Lee

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Just 1 point and I will leave the rest to others currently in business.

 

Learning the trade.

Ther are about 12-14 books on the subject, all written in a "Teach yourself Shoe repairs" technique 90% of the manuals can be followed on your own but there are sections that require input from a tutor eg; Cutting shoe materials with an ultra sharp knife is very risky as far as Health & Safety goes so you will need someone to show you how to hold and use the knives safely.

These manuals cover almost every aspect of Shoe Repair but a few went missing so there may not be a full set.

some are still available through trade sources and are very good as a starting point as these books were used as a basis for the NVQs at one time if I'm not mistaken (its a long while ago so I may be wrong here)..

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