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Dec 3, 2009 1:35 PM by Kate Mundy

Shoe Repair Booming in Tight Economy

While the recession has knocked down many companies, it's giving one trade a step up. Before this year, shoe repair was a dying industry with only 7-thousand cobblers left in the U.S. Now, they're thriving.

Workers at Musso Shoe Repair in Lafayette, can't work fast enough. "From the time we get here at 7 till the time we leave at 5:30, it's non-stop," said owner Guy Musso.

The recession has been good for the small shoe repair business. They're knee deep in heel tip replacements and sole changes. A normal day, means 60 new repair jobs and a longer wait.

"You're going from a week turnaround, now to 3-4 week turnaround," said Musso. Kakie Hoffpauer lost her heel she's getting it replaced, rather than buying a new pair. "I'm not gonna throw my shoes away, they're still good," said Hoffpauer.

In this tight economy, people are bringing in shoes they might have thrown away in better times. For instance a glue job at Huval's Boot & Shoe Repair costs ten dollars, but a new shoe might cost ten times that.

This year, Dana Huval is doing double the work, compared to last year. And her workload is getting bigger as the holidays near. "It's Christmas and people are trying to hold onto the money they have, because you don't need to spend excess money," said Huval.

A heel tip replacement, costs anywhere from six to ten bucks. Which leaves more cash in your wallet as you fill Santa's shoes this holiday season.

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