Before you think handmade shoes is a luxury, please consider the fact that dress shoes are worn by business men 5-6 days of the week, and being comfortable should not be seen as a necessity for all, rather than a luxury for some.
When hubby and I were married we lived on the ritzy end of Hartford, budding West Hartford, CT; I was surprised when he asked to find a shoe tailor or repairer because this idea only reminded me of Geppetto in Pinocchio…they don’t exist I thought. He insisted there was 1 if not 2 in the center of West Hartford. MUCH to my surprise there were plenty in the yellow pages (yes, the big fat yellow phone directory book that our youngons’ think is only junk mail or a door stopper).
So, I started calling and decided on an older gentleman, for his kindness, great knowledge and many years in business. When we arrived, we learned SO much from this gentle-Geppetto-look-alike with Italian accent and all.
Most importantly, we learned that he was extremely astute business man, he was old-fashion and had a classic stop that definitely haven’t changed in what looked like a 40-50-60 year old shoe shop…yet, he was highly-knowledgeable in all the current trends of all men’s shoes which informed about all men-shoe-shopping habits and statistics. [All incredible signs of a highly-successful and high-demand entrepreneur.]
He rattled off insane numbers that drew hubby and I in, with “a ha”, “of course”, “that’s SO true!”, “no doubt!?”, “we always knew there HAD to be others like us!”.
Such stats, (which I did a VERY quick google search and couldn’t find exactly what we were must drawn too), but take my word, these words have always satisfied us in our shoe-buying-habits.
I remember he compared that men spend SO many hours shopping for the right pair of shoes, often similar to women buying the perfect pair of jeans (not me, as I’ve always despised jeans even as a tiny little active girl).
He shared that even IF/WHEN buy a pair of shoes, they either never get worn, or don’t last long, simply because they don’t like them and they are ultimately NOT comfortable.
He shared that’s why he’ll always be in business and men will always need him, because ONCE a man finds his perfect shoes, he’s savvy enough in his time and money to just get them repaired rather than go out on the hunt for another “similar” pair.
Now, I read an article recently stating that one of men’s largest expenses each year is on a single pair of sneakers…for business, I venture to say “it should be men’s dress shoes!”
I also recall other mere opinions/facts: men hate shopping, men prefer shopping online, and the only shoes they can buy on a whim is IF they find the same exact brand, same exact style, same exact size…which often is NOT possible.
So, as you can imagine, I admit we DO invest a pretty penny for hubby’s shoes, but we only bought a new black and brown pair this fall 2010, after FINALLY retiring his favorite black and white pair that well…he had before our oldest was born, and she just turned 11 years old in June!
We did ONLY opt for the same brand…but, we had to settle for 2 different styles for each…they are simply not his favorites, and I continue to insist to this day that it IS time that we finally invest in custom-made handmade shoes! He agrees…it’s just time and location that prevents us from moving forward…you know the drill…3/4 states, 3 countries, 5-7 cities/towns in the last 12 months (I lost count really)…and we’re heading on the road again…
P.S. We never saw shoe repairing or handmade shoes as a luxury…notice our picture, this was in the streets of Gaza this past Fall. Hubby and 1 of my daughters even got their flipflops & sandles fixed, not because we couldn’t afford the few bucks for a replacement of my daughters’ inexpensive flipflops, but #1 they were from the states, so finding replacements would be very time-consuming, and #2 it cost mere-pennies to fix my daughter’s favorite flipflops. We’re always weighing how we invest in our time and money, and I believe you should too.
PPS. I always wanted to share some of our awesome, unique pictures from Gaza, so I’m psyched we got to upload this one for this timely and informative post.
SO, what are your hubby’s, daddy’s, brother’s shoe buying habits? Don’t you agree it’s time to
buyinvest in handmade shoes for him too!?
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