Isabel Marant From boots to baseball gloves, they'll fix it at Marvin
Posted Dec 06 2012 11:22am
Like most people, Frank Eberhart soon hopes to see an economic turnaround. But Eberhart, owner of Marvin Shoe Service, isn’t hoping for business to pick up. He’d Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers actually like to get caught up, or get a little closer to it. As the economy went down, business at the shoe repair shop on downtown Athens’ College Square actually picked up. People are saving their hard-earned dollars by getting old shoes repaired instead of buying new ones. But the enormous popularity of women’s boots also has helped, becoming a staple of the shoe shop’s business in recent years, Eberhart said. Boot heels often need repair. Many of the shop’s Giuseppe Zanotti customers are lawyers who work downtown, along with students from the University of Georgia. But the shop also gets shoe repair jobs in the mail from customers www.giuseppezanottisneakers.fr residing in Atlanta, Savannah, even as far away as Alaska and Canada. Those customers are often ex-Athenians who have moved away. But Marvin’s reputation has spread. The shop also gets a steady stream of shoes from a Dallas business owner who specializes in recycling very expensive shoes, such as the pair of handmade ostrich hide boots waiting on one of the store’s crowded shelves last week. Whatever the reasons, the mounds of shoes waiting for repair or customer pickup just keep growing little by little. “We get further Giuseppe Zanotti Wedge Zip Sneaker Oliver and further behind. You could open up another shop in town, and it wouldn’t help anything, ” said Clayton Landrum, a lifelong friend of Eberhart’s who works in the shop with him. “The thing of it is, nobody knows how to do it. ”A few decades ago, Athens boasted five shoe repair businesses, but now Marvin is one of just two shoe repair shops left, along with Alps Shoe Repair on Baxter Street, another multi-generational family business. Their main business is what it says on the sign, shoes. They’ll attach new heels or soles on a worn pair, for example, or stretch them to fit better or to avoid rubbing a painful bunion, always with an added shine afterward. But Eberhart, Landrum or part-time worker Stan Thrasher also will re-string baseball gloves, repair bridles and saddles, and replace broken zippers or mend tears in leather jackets. They can make a belt to fit a vintage buckle, or re-attach Giuseppe Zanotti Black Friday luggage handles that have popped loose. They’ll do what they can to make a puppy-gnawed purse look new again — what they call “dog jobs” are another staple of the business, along with boots. “Anything in leather, basically, we’ll do it, ” Eberhart said. They’ve also learned over the years to work with many of the synthetic materials in modern shoes, some of which have no leather at all in them. No one seems to know just how long there’s been a shoe repair shop at 156 College Ave., but it has been at least 110 years, Giuseppe Zanotti Wedge Zip Sneaker Leopard Eberhart said. On a wall in the front of the store is a photograph showing what the 100 block of College Avenue looked like in 1902. In the old photo, the sign over what is now the Marvin storefront says “Blue Ribbon Shoe Shop. ”Marvin Eberhart bought the business 35 years ago, intending to call it “Marvin’s Shoe Service. ” But a sign painter left the apostrophe and the “s” off the name, so the family just decided to go with what the sign said, “Marvin Shoe Service, ” Frank Eberhart said.