After we merged our business with a shoe repair store on Taraval Street, some of the customers ask, "Why shoe repair?" and I tell them, "Why not?"
It is ironic to have customers come to fix their shoes, and ask us why we are continuing the business. I get the sense that repairing business is never highly valued although it requires lots of craftsmanship. People are probably worried about us being young stuck in this business that has no future.
The reason why we decided to keep the business was to help people aware of consumerism. We spend too much on things that we don't need and nowadays people never fix anything. Do we really buy things that we absolutely need? The cycle of buying and throwing out causes too much pollution and trash in the world. I believe if 50% of people in the world fixed their broken shoes/bags/anything instead of buying new, that will make a lot of difference in the world.
When we make our products, we're always conscious of where we are getting our materials from. All our materials are 100% made in USA, starting from selvedge denim, leather, thread, zippers, hardwares and etc. When we make our products, we are always thinking about durability so it would last a long time. That is why from the beginning, we have been doing repair services to all our ODSY customers, so they don't need to buy new things, make waste and make unnecessary spendings. I think the shoe repair business as just another extension of our consciousness.
I had one customer came in and asked if the younger generations ever fix things anymore. Well, I've seen a lot of people my age (in their 20's) come into our store to fix their shoes, handbags and other leather goods, so answer to that is YES, the younger generations do care but should care more. If we are here, there will be more chance to show for those who doesn't realize things can actually be repaired, instead of consuming. The most important thing about this business isn't whether I can make lots of money to buy a real estate in San Francisco, but to plant positive idea of re-using, repairing and recycling to all the customers who come into the store. I hope our work can change someone's point of view someday, and if that happens, the future is brighter than ever for everyone.