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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, June 13, 2024
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@ work: 1 Stop Shoe Drop

Marsha Cole fixing a heel. Marsha Cole assists Asta Williams
Marsha Cole fixing a heel.

If your most comfortable shoes have holes in the soles or your favorite pumps have seen better days, but you can’t part with them or can’t afford new ones, you now have another option. You can take them to the 1 Stop Shoe Drop for repairs and refurbishing.

The shop, owned and operated by Marsha Cole, opened three months ago at 15 Peter’s Rest next to Closet to Closet. Cole said she was waiting in a long line at the shoe repair shop in La Grand Princess and decided to open her own shop.

The grandmother of five said her first encounter with the business of shoe repair was years ago, but she didn’t take that business offer seriously.

Cole says, when she was 17, a man who repaired shoes in her neighborhood wanted to retire and asked if she wanted to learn the trade since he didn’t have any children to pass it on to. “To me at that time it made no sense at all that I could make money repairing shoes,” Cole adds.

Cole says she has an entrepreneurial spirit and she was out of work so she decided to try the shoe repair business after all.

She taught herself the trade while working in shoe repair shops in the states and says she learned to give customers satisfaction. In the states, she purchased refurbished equipment, some of which looks a bit antique, and had it shipped to St. Croix. Cole explains that she has found a great supplier who gets her everything she needs at the best price and quality. She repairs luggage, purses, tire covers, saddles, belts and even leather watchbands.

“There are very few things I turn down and can’t repair,” Cole says. “The salt air, mold and mildew here eats up leather and glue. I will try to refurbish just about anything leather.” She said she stretched 20 pairs of boots for a troupe marching in the Crucian Christmas Carnival adult parade. The turn-around time for repairs is about a week.

Cole is a member of the Shoe Service Institute of America. She says she is getting excited about going to a shoe repair convention in Chicago in July. “This is a dying business and I am looking forward to see how many people are still doing repairs and how many of them are women,” Cole says.Marsha Cole assists Asta Williams.

Cole says she strives to give customers good service and to have a welcoming environment in her shop.

One feels welcomed in the spacious shop with the sounds of cool jazz and bright lighting that shows off her lovely, photography prints adorning the walls. She loves clouds and found photography gave her instant satisfaction capturing clouds with a lens that she couldn’t capture with a brush. She sells matted prints of local scenes, flowers and birds and also prints from all of her travels.

Business has been brisk and Cole says she has passed the expectations laid out in her business plan. She says she will add a walk-in shoe shine chair and she is in the process of training two new employees.

Six years ago Cole moved to St. Croix from Chicago.

The 1 Stop Shoe Drop is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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