A Credible Authority: Trusted for Generations
Your beloved items are in the best of hands. At The Cobblers’ helm are two of the most seasoned artisans in the industry, with 50 years’ combined experience in the business, the tricks of our trade handed down from their teachers through generations.
A Legacy of Tradition and Expertise
Collectively, our real life-stories tell of ambition, driven aspiration and mostly love of a very old craft, particularly special in our day. True vocation is in the heart of every one of our excellent artisans. Both our Master Cobbler and Sneaker Specialist of decades’ worth experience have passed onto us their countless secrets, including the care and cleaning of the finest in leather goods.
Each of our cobblers is obsessed, never ceasing to toil with a passion and special skill, while working as a part of unique team. That's why The Cobblers can offer exceptional hand-craftsmanship with integrity and highest quality at a fair price, marking a milestone for contemporary shoe repair. Here's to our formidable group. Here's to going further together.
Jim McFarland - SVP Knowledge & Craftsmanship
A more-than-twenty-time award-winning, third-generation cobbler, Jim McFarland has seen a lot of shoes. Jim learned the shoe repair trade from his father, growing up in the business he took over in 1986. Today, The Cobblers is thrilled and honored to have him aboard as a resident master and credible resource; Jim is a hands-on fountain of insight, artistry and mentorship. His expert eye and masterful touch have earned him dozens of awards including the most coveted award in the industry, the Grand Silver Cup from the Shoe Service Institute of America (SSIA). Jim is an exemplary leader in the shoe repair industry, having served several terms on the SSIA’s Board of Directors, as well as two terms as President. He has also served his industry as a judge for the Grand Silver Cup for the last 18 years, since having received the honor himself. The prestigious Grand Silver Cup is bestowed unto its winner just once in a lifetime. Once you win it, you win it. And well, with Mr. McFarland on deck, The Cobblers and discerning clientele win bigger yet, every single day.
Guy Berteau - Head of Shoe Repair Services
The Cobblers is more than fortunate to have found Guy Berteau. Going on 14 years in the business, Mr. Berteau is extremely good at what he does, and it’s no coincidence. Guy has a natural gift; it runs in the family. It was his father who proudly passed onto him his family’s tightly held industry secrets, and not only has Guy done well to carry the torch, he has far superseded all expectation, scaling his family business from a modest mom-and-pop to a well-established and trusted go-to for reputable brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin, to name but a couple. Mr. Berteau has travelled the world to attend all types of shoe repair conventions and competitions to share his expertise while keeping a careful watch on a rapidly changing industry. When you send The Cobblers your beloved items to be restored, rest assured they are in the best of hands with Guy at the helm. He is a seasoned artisan and arguable industry leader, holding privy tricks of the trade, handed down through generations.
Derrick Winje - Head of Sneaker Operations
Starting, his was still very much a small business. A team of two, Raleigh Restorations consisted of Derrick and his wife Corley. The standard was set by the quality and resources of a large company, while still focusing on those personal small business touches that make the difference. Derrick began restoring his own sneakers in 2010, then started buying used shoes to restore and "flip" them. Nine years have passed and he still does what he loves, but a little differently.
Not long ago, Derrick's focus shifted onto teaching his specialized art of expert sneaker restoration and customization. He believes that instead of trying to restore and refresh everyone's kicks on his own, a greater service is rendered by teaching his trade. Today, Derrick does well imparting this wisdom, now onto his new team of artisans at The Cobblers. The joint venture was further galvanized by his interest in the earth-friendly cause that is so integral to The Cobblers Brand and the opportunity to save people's sneaks while saving the planet on a more significant scale.
Silvia Garcia - Master Refinisher
Silvia began her journey to The Cobblers’ headquarters hailing from Minas Gerais, Brazil, a quaint city of vibrant culture. Her invaluable capacity as a "color specialist" at The Cobblers could not be more befitting. Her life-story tells of ambition, driven aspiration, and mostly love of a very old craft, particularly sought after in our day. Silvia comes with a strong foundation and background in fashion design, and a knack for painting and color-matching. She is multi-faceted, but does exceptionally well to re-dye and re-finish any variety of damaged leather goods. Whether by water, scuffs, scrapes, or pen marks (a common societal dilemma), her ability to mix and match colors, refurbish purses, shoes, belts, and more is something her colleagues and clientele at The Cobblers hold in high esteem. She is also a skilled seamstress. What's more, that bright disposition of hers, and funny enough, her multi-colored eyes; yellow, green, and blue "cat eyes".
Rigoberto Gutierrez - Master Cobbler
“Rigo” is a real-deal 4th-generation shoemaker who started his 40-year career at a precocious 12 years of age. The son of an Italian mother and Spanish father, it was his Italian grandfather, who took Rigo under his wing. Rigo was quickly introduced to a rich world of leather working, repairing and the making of purses, bracelets, chokers, and fine leather shoes, of course. The first pair he crafted from scratch was one of a traditional English cut - closed stitched brogue Oxfords - you know, the ones dressed with the fancy, perforated leather details. Rigo also studied orthopedic shoemaking in Cuba, and believe it or not, he loves to work on cowboy boots. His passion, however, is that of bespoke custom shoemaking. He spent 10+ years with Jack Roger making luxury sandals in Hollywood, and today, he prides himself in leaving all varieties of shoes like-new.
Jim Strong - Master Cobbler
Mr. Strong began his honorable 36 year career as a cobbler at age 20, learning all aspects of the trade from his father-in-law, diving hands-first into damaged shoe soles, leather rips, and challenging dye work before quickly expanded his horizons with custom leather work shortly thereafter. The custom repairing of rips is his forte, along with leather re-dyes. He's been at it for decades, spending his last 30 years working as trusty go-to artisan for a roster of prestigious retail clients like Saks Fifth Avenue, Christian Louboutin, Sergio Rossi, Louis Vuitton, Tods, Charles Jourdan, Versace, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Bruno Magli, Roger Vivier, and Oscar de la Renta. The renowned retail epi-center at Bal Harbor Shops is his old stomping ground.
David Patnode - Master Cobbler
Jack of all trades, master of them all. David does a little bit of everything, and does it all more than well. With 35 years in the shoe and luggage repair business, The Cobblers was smart in bringing him on board. David founded and the Memphis Corner Cobbler in 1985, and has serviced approximately 20-30 pairs of shoes per workday since; he has resurrected something like 7,590 pairs of shoes to date. Having done so in Memphis for so many years, he's the go-to guy for the best of your cowboy boots, applying new full soles and heels, brass tacks, and fixing up all varieties of snakeskin, lizard, alligator, and the like. David has an extraordinary gift - unreal eye-to-hand coordination - to smoothly navigate through the most difficult of restoration projects. They call him "Captain".
Vincent Morse - Cobbler
With over five decades’ experience in the shoe repair industry, it’s no wonder Mr. Morse was recruited by The Cobblers to oversee their burgeoning flagship operation. Vincent cut his teeth and paid dues learning to design and make shoes with the illustrious Drew Shoe Corporation during the Golden Era of shoemaking, when their factory was a prestigious Goodyear welt and fine leather footwear assembly plant in Lancaster, Ohio. Interestingly enough, Mr. Morse recently earned an ABC board certification of pedorthics (C-PED) which means he can fill anyone’s footwear modification prescription on behalf of a podiatrist, to name just one of the many authorizations this affords. It is worth noting that despite his consummate knowledge of the trade, Vincent is extremely humble, even quietly calling on St. Crispin, the patron saint of cobblers, to watch over him and his team for good measure.