I am in awe of my shoe guy. Dan, at Millcreek Shoe Rebuilders, is a true craftsman. I had hoped he would apprentice and now he has two. We had a great conversation today about how his craft will pass away in 20 years if apprenticeship doesn't occur in this country and how there is such a huge need for what he does, at the skill level he has, and how it creates great job security!
When I mentioned that I want to take my clients to Italy to have their boots custom made (along with a tour of Milan, my favorite fashion house Missoni, and the Milan street market on Sundays) he mentioned that there are tiny towns in Italy where all the shoemakers still live. My new quest is to find these tiny hubs of craftsmanship and introduce my clients to a level of quality and luxury that they have never known. "Designer" is the only thing we know of luxury. To me, "designer" is still not personalized. Customization is my favorite and ultimate form of luxury, not someone else's idea of what looks good that you have to buy into every season, depending on their whims!
He's created belts for my clients. He repairs suitcases, shoes, boots..anything leather. He always knows what needs to happen for whatever broken or ailing item you bring him. Today he wowed me by revealing to me that it was so difficult to fix my cork heels because they weren't actually cork, they are a fabric that looks like cork!
Holy Guacamole. I learn a few new things each day.
Take your stuff to Dan. I once noticed that he reminded me of the cranky balcony guys on the Muppets but these days he's recording guitar music and creating art in his off hours. He doesn't have time for any crap. (I like that in a person!!!)
Once I told him I'd love to refer him business and he asked me not to because he was so busy he didn't have time to get his work done! (Pre-apprentices!)
Be prepared to pay in advance and wait up to 2 weeks to pick it up. Take note of his hours, which you'll have to stop by and notice because I can't find them on the web. Take him your favorite backpack, your broken zippers and your worn out heels. He will amaze you. Support your local artists and craftsmen. Enjoy the wisdom, skill & quality of the Old World!
Millcreek Shoe Rebuilders 2343 E. 3300 South #9, Salt Lake City, UT