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Shoe repair shop owners keeps feet comfortable
Faces and Places
Frasier 2
Nathaniel Frasier, owner of Frasier & Sons Shoe Repair & Shine, mends a shoe in his shop Tuesday. - photo by Photo by Alena Parker.

Name: Nathaniel Frasier

Age: 64

Owner of Frasier & Sons Shoe Repair & Shine, with sons Steven, James Gregory Jr., and Nathaniel Jr.

What made you interested in shoe repair?
Frasier has been repairing shoes for about 40 years and raised his sons up in the business.
“I had six kids and family to raise,” Frasier said. “It was rough back in the ‘60s.”
He trained under his father and it only took him two weeks.
“My daddy had retired and bought this business and I took over and I learned a trade.”

What do you most enjoy about the job?
“I like it because it occupies my mind and it’s not hard,” Frasier said. “As long as I have the strength I can keep on doing it in my old age.”

What do you least enjoy about the job? “I love working for myself,” Frasier said.

What service do most people ask for?
“The popular request is doing military boots and women’s high heels,” Frasier said. “I think women are the most popular. They bring four or five in at a time.”
Frasier can fix broken heels and cut a heel height down.
“I put soles on them, too,” Frasier said, taking a finished shoe off the shelf and flipping it over. “We call that a sole protector. You put that piece on there and it prolongs the life of a shoe.”

Is there a time when shoes are beyond repair? Frasier tries to fix any shoe someone brings to him.
“There’s very few that come in. Sometimes they bring in the impossible,” Frasier said, mentioning a customer who did not want to part with a shoe worn out with a hole. Frasier said stitching was the only way he could fix it.  
“Some try to put crazy glue on shoes but it doesn’t work,” Frasier said.

What is the oldest pair of shoe you had repaired?
“A man was in here who said he had his shoes for over 20 years,” Frasier said with a laugh. “His wife said he wanted to be buried in them.”

What do you attribute to your success? “I think the way the economy is going now people don’t want to buy new shoes so they’re repairing them,” Frasier said.

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