Elmwood Avenue is landing a cobbler. A friend of mine, Brian Gavigan, is opening up an old school shoe repair business that harkens back to the days when people actually cared about quality and service pertaining to footwear. This is great news for Elmwood because Brian also plans on offering myriad other retail and service oriented offerings, including men’s belts and leather bags. He’s even going to have a custom line of shoes with his name on it, made right here in the US.
It was back on Fathers Day that Brian had a sit down with his family and told them that he wanted to go into the cobbler business. In college he was known as The Keebler because he was always deconstructing shoes and then putting them back together. “I’ve been looking for a job where I can work with my hands and be creative,” Brian told me. “I’ve been apprenticing locally at a couple of shoe repair shops, and now I’m ready to open my own store called Sole Man. It’s next to the custom sneaker place on Elmwood called Sole High.”
In order to get his business off the ground, Brian bought out another local cobbler, and is now in possession of all of the master tools that he will need to make a go of it. Brian is of the belief that we are living in a throw away society where most everything made is garbage. In order to reverse the trend, he’s going to be selling recrafted shoes that will actually be affordable – typically hard to find at a decent price. “I’ve been scouring for suppliers,” said Brian. “I’ll also be carrying lightly used shoes from fashion shows after they are sent out to market. Customers will be able to find new sunglasses, hats, coats, belts… and if you need to shorten the belt, I can do that in-house. And if you buy a pair of shoes, I will be there down the road to keep them in shape. This is pretty cool. I’m so excited about it. Learning this trade has been an awesome experience. Who would have thought that a young cobbler would be coming to Elmwood?”
Brian is anticipating opening this coming December, coinciding with Small Business Saturday. The shop will bring a sophisticated synergy to the block, which already boasts Simon Salon, Get Dressed, and Sole High. Already I am looking forward to taking in a pair of John Fluevog boots that blew a heel last weekend. I may have to check the closet to see what other shoes and boots I can dust off and salvage now that Sole Man is close at hand.
Sole Man. Coming soon to the corner of Elmwood and Anderson.