The Etsy Blog

Defining a Dying Art

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

chaps676

Professor and blogger Michael Leddy points out something interesting: within the past few months, there’s been at least five different stories about the dying art of shoe repair, each centered around different shoe repairmen who feel their profession is dwindling. More than just a bizarre, heightened interest in cobbling, Leddy’s observation shows the media’s love for stories about an art’s waning days.

Today, practically anything can be a dying art; apparently, stick-shift driving and noodle making are going the way of the dinosaurs. Within just the last month, the different articles have put butcheringjazzcalligraphybarberingnavajo sheep shearing, gem polishingfruit and vegetable carvingsausage makingUkrainian egg artchair caningcar chasingorgan playinggrammarletter writingagriculturememorization,  and courtroom sketching on the death watch, too. It’s difficult to know the truth behind these morbid pronouncements. How can we tell if an art is truly dying or if we are just caught up in our own nostalgia-skewed perceptions?

When the modern realities of today get us down, we have a bad habit of mythologizing the past. In an article for NPR, jazz musician Keith Ellenberger notes our tendency to forget the bad and only remember the good: “Beethoven had money problems, Mozart died broke… [and there were] incredibly talented and influential jazz musicians of the last 75 years who needed benefit concerts to pay for medical care and funeral expenses as they entered middle and old age.”

Some crafts undoubtedly suffer as times and tastes change. But there’s no reason to assume that the art of today will never be as good as what came before. In his own profession, Ellenberger points out that because of improvements in digital music distribution, there have never been so many new and rich jazz recordings available, created by extremely talented, promising musicians. The challenge for today’s artist and craftsman is to figure out how to adapt his or her skill to the modern-day needs of a highly digital society.

Publications will continue to eulogize various dying artforms, because they give writers a chance to make sensational assertions about society. Today, the art of conversation is dying. But according to The New York Times, the funeral began in 1961. With so many eulogies, it’s hard to keep up.

Art Category

Chappell Ellison is a designer, writer and design writer. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where she serves as a contributor for The Etsy Blog and design columnist for GOOD.

4 Featured Comments

Sign in to add your own
  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered says: Featured

    Conversely, it's interesting to see what manages to defy death. I thought letterpress was a goner, but now there are a bunch of talented artists -- many here on Etsy -- who have kept the art alive and well. Hopefully the rumor of shoe cobbling's death also is greatly exaggerated.

    2 years ago

  • EpicallyEpicSoap

    Epically from EpicallyEpicSoap says: Featured

    I don't remember anyone caring about crafts -- soap-making, handmade jewelry, gardening, and cooking to name a few -- in the 80's and 90's when I was growing up, and now they're seeing a lovely resurgence. You never know when a dying art will come back.

    2 years ago

  • channingtaylor

    Channing Taylor from channingtaylor says: Featured

    We are certainly living in a throw away culture. But as technology presses on these skills, I hope that people will start to see how valuable it is to support the small businesses, the makers, the craftspeople; we have been so immersed in quantity that we forget quality. Not only that, but higher education has become so aggrandized by our society that even special skills like plumbing or welding are taken for granted when these are exactly the kind of professions that make all of our lives easier. That's why I like Etsy! I think many of us here do not so easily take these skills or conveniences for granted. We make the inanimate intimate by connecting objects to the skilled people who took the time and passion to create it.

    2 years ago

  • sandboxcastle

    H Wang from sandboxcastle says: Featured

    I certainly hope shoe cobblers don't go out of business! Who else is going to resuscitate my favorite pairs of black leather ankle boots?!?!? Seriously though- I agree with a lot of the comments about how many things have "resurgences" later on. Maybe its just going out of fashion - not truely on its least legs.

    2 years ago

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose says:

    What an interesting read!

    2 years ago

  • kh1467

    Kelly from KikuPaper says:

    For good or bad, that's life - always changing, evolving and some may say improving while others sing the praises of what was.

    2 years ago

  • stoneycreekmerc

    The Sheps from stoneycreekmerc says:

    I used to love getting new tread put on my combat boots. Too bad I guess.

    2 years ago

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose says:

    Recently a shoe repair shop opened nearby and I took a few pairs of shoes and a bag to get some repair done. I've been looking for years for a local shop and it just didn't exist.

    2 years ago

  • ArtsyFlair

    Michaela Bowles from ArtsyFlair says:

    Interesting read! Thanks for sharing!

    2 years ago

  • silversamba

    Alana from silversamba says:

    I agree, hard to keep up

    2 years ago

  • TheGroovyBaker

    TheGroovyBaker from TheGroovyBaker says:

    The day grammar dies is a sad one indeed :(

    2 years ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat says:

    I find it worrying that so few people can drive a car with a manual transmission, they don't know what they're missing! As for cobblers, I only buy hand made shoes, so I take them back where they were made for resoling until there's not enough left of them to be able to sew them together again! In my rural area there are many skills that are thriving that are supposed to be dying out: hedge laying, dry stone walling, thatching, upholstery, bookbinding & repairing cob buildings, to name a few. Skills that there is a demand for will always exist, & new things will pop up to replace the skills that are lost over time... 50 years ago there weren't many folks with a skill in computer programming, 20 years ago there were few who could build a website, who knows what skills our children or grandchildren will be learning in order to make a living? All learning is driven by a need for the skill, so if folks don't employ traditional butchers, fishmongers & cobblers they will die out. All the more reason to buy local & handmade!

    2 years ago

  • TipsyTimeMachine

    TipsyTimeMachine from TipsyTimeMachine says:

    My niece, who is 9 was just telling me that she had a penpal and loves getting letters and photos in the mail. However she still types her letters on the computer, and then prints off a copy of the letter to mail. I really miss letters, now it's hard to even get people to write a proper email! Instead they want to send a 1-2 line text from their phone. I don't consider that real communication.

    2 years ago

  • everythingok

    everythingok from everythingok says:

    I don't really take stock in these sorts of things. It makes for a compelling read, I suppose, to begin by declaring that something is dead or dying. How many times has rock and roll been given this treatment? (I blame Nietzsche for starting this trend in the first place.) I suppose it also lends the reader a masochistically pleasurable sense of guilt that they aren't doing more to keep, say, shoe repair or sausage-making alive. When I was younger and more angry about the world, as you often are at that age, I would moan about the decline of language and this forgotten art and that, but really, it's not death, it's evolution, regeneration, regrowth. Something that our generation has run out of time to attend to in our daily lives will be revived by the next looking to rediscover something of a past they don't remember, and that's quite beautiful. I wonder when we'll see an article declaring the death of articles about dying cultural phenomena?

    2 years ago

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons from TigersandDragons says:

    Recently I went to my local shoe repair to have my vintage backpack repaired. It is canvas with leather straps and I bought it in a second hand shop 25 years ago. I doubt I could ever find anything like it, so it was well worth it to pay to have the leather harness re-sewn to the canvas. With the low cost of shoes today, I can understand why people don't bother to have them repaired, but I have a few favourites that would be worth fixing.

    2 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    Love this post!!!

    2 years ago

  • VintageChinchilla

    Emily Jones from VintageChinchilla says:

    I don't know what I'd do without the shoe repairman! Buying quality vintage shoes is such a good investment for your wardrobe! :)

    2 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery says:

    I love how grammar is listed as a dying art! I'd agree I'm sure in part down to electronic communications.

    2 years ago

  • VintageChinchilla

    Emily Jones from VintageChinchilla says:

    I don't know what I'd do without the shoe repairman! Buying quality vintage shoes is such a great investment in your wardrobe! :)

    2 years ago

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered says: Featured

    Conversely, it's interesting to see what manages to defy death. I thought letterpress was a goner, but now there are a bunch of talented artists -- many here on Etsy -- who have kept the art alive and well. Hopefully the rumor of shoe cobbling's death also is greatly exaggerated.

    2 years ago

  • StringBeardCraftery

    Stephanie from StringBeardCraftery says:

    I live in the Chicago area, and the Chicago related forums all have an offer to take shoe-making classes in the discussion thread! I think shoe-making might be making an upturn in general consciousness! And I hope with all that I am that grammar follows suit by being important again!

    2 years ago

  • bagladybooty

    bagladybooty from bagladybooty says:

    Fortunately, we have an incredible "sole-saver" in Bennington, Vermont. He happens to be an old Italian man named Tony. Recently, he mentioned that he's tried to find young apprentices, but no one wants to learn his dying trade. We hope, however, that he'll live to be a 120! The "art of conversation," has been replaced by texting, tweeting twits. I feel sorry for contemporary kids. They don't know what life was like, before incessant, cell phone sounds.

    2 years ago

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural says:

    Great article ~ we still have a few cobblers here in New England going about business the old fashioned way and succeeding!

    2 years ago

  • EpicallyEpicSoap

    Epically from EpicallyEpicSoap says: Featured

    I don't remember anyone caring about crafts -- soap-making, handmade jewelry, gardening, and cooking to name a few -- in the 80's and 90's when I was growing up, and now they're seeing a lovely resurgence. You never know when a dying art will come back.

    2 years ago

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld says:

    Many time-honored skills do appear to be fading away, but at the same time, innovative venues like Etsy provide the impetus for makers to put their skills to work. I do tiny paintings on obsolete library card catalog cards that I've rescued from local libraries that digitized their holdings. The irony is not lost on me that I then turn around and sell my painted cards via Etsy — a digital marketplace that was unimaginable a few decades ago. I'm sure that Etsy embroiders, quilt-makers, leather craftspeople and woodworkers have that same sense of old-meets-new.

    2 years ago

  • PopLoveCouture

    Shai Wallach from PopLoveCouture says:

    I have so many beautiful pairs of shoes that I love, I can't imagine what I would do without a good shoe-repair. I know there's a surplus of disposable fast-fashion out there, but I do my best to buy quality whenever possible. The beautiful thing about that is in the end, you end up spending less and having much more style.

    2 years ago

  • lcarlsonjewelry

    Liesl Carlson from lcarlsonjewelry says:

    I agree that many things go the wayside but they will always be. They will get hard to find, but there will always be a need.

    2 years ago

  • CreativeTherapy

    Stefanie van den Brandt from CreativeTherapy says:

    Most preceding comments sum up my feelings on this subject, and they are a bit divided. It's sad that so many arts/skills/traditions are dying out, but as has been pointed out, other new skills are replacing them, and some make a comeback, whether in the same form or a more modernised form. I like everythingok's wording: 'it's evolution, regeneration, regrowth'. Nostalgia quite often lets us forget that. What does make me sad though, is that the art of creating quality and taking pride in a skill, regardless of the type of skill, is dying out. Using the cobbler example, there are plenty of cobblers where I live, who, from looking at the piles of plastic bags filled with shoes, seem to have plenty of customers, but I have yet to find one that doesn't do a shoddy job on my shoes. Although there are signs that people have started to care more about quality and skill again (hence the success of Etsy for example), the vast majority of people cares more about the lowest price which usually goes hand in hand with poor quality and an intentionally short lifespan.

    2 years ago

  • LabyrinthLeather

    LabyrinthLeather from LabyrinthLeather says:

    There are 2 old shoe repair stores in my town - after they leave there will be no one to replace them :( As a young leather worker I do actually find myself wondering if there will be someone that I can pass the craft to when I am in my twilight years.

    2 years ago

  • WhisperingOak

    Quality Handmade Items from WhisperingOak says:

    How fantastic that Waterrose has a new shoe repairman in town. Ours was an old man that retired at almost 80. His charming storefront is now housing a seamtress that is kept very busy mending and adjusting clothes.

    2 years ago

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage says:

    Interesting! I sometimes think I'm the only person left who wears leather soled shoes.

    2 years ago

  • spappert

    Steve Tul from obsoletetool says:

    I saw a shoe repair the other day and thought to myself that I can not understand how it survives. I would actually be interested in buying a retiring cobblers tools as long as he offered a little apprenticeship, but I don't have any illusions that I will be selling handmade shoes. Think how expensive they would have to be! Think how much time it would take to make a pair! You couldn't even buy the materials for less than a pair from China. It is dead.

    2 years ago

  • 9design

    Paul Coyne from 9design says:

    Interesting but here in ireland there is many crafts dwindling in numbers because the younger generation are not choosing skilled trades... Professions like roof thatching, weaving, and even hand engraving which is something I would love to get some expierience in for the sake of my own business but time is running out.... These are all skills worth saving.... People's opinions need to change and consider a career in craft.... As for grammar it's not my strong point.

    2 years ago

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie says:

    Interesting!

    2 years ago

  • FalconandFinch

    Lynelle Miliate-Ha from FalconandFinch says:

    I'm a passionate darkroom printer, and I have watched film and paper stocks disappear forever from the shelves of my local supply store. Every film processing lab in my area have closed down or turned to digital processing only, leaving only a small handful of working film labs in Greater LA. I see that my art is dying and I feel a true sadness. Not only is a masterfully made print of a better quality than most digital output, but there is something so meditative, so pure and beautiful about bringing that print to life with your own hands. I feel for anyone who loves a dying art: it's painful to see something you love fade away, and it's lonely to not have a community to share that thing with.

    2 years ago

  • BurkeHareCo

    Erica from BurkeHareCo says:

    Very cool!

    2 years ago

  • CrumpledDance

    Kimberly Snyder from CrumpledDance says:

    As a vegan, I'm glad to see some of these things are disappearing. Sheep shearing, butchering, and sausage making are all part of a greater global disaster, and I hope a movement dissolves all of these practices. It is however unfortunate that some of these arts are dwindling, like cobbling and organ playing - I've loved organs since I was small. Hopefully with the help of handmade marketplaces these things will still exist as long as people have a passion to do it. Good article.

    2 years ago

  • Pickseeville

    Siobhan Haines from Pickseeville says:

    Love this...

    2 years ago

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets says:

    Thanks for bringing attention and giving a sense of urgency to keeping these valuable skills alive. The concern is that the type of skills that are dying out are leading us in a direction of dependence on institutions and government, rather than independence, community, a.k.a. taking care of ourselves. While the death of buggy whips may not be a tragedy, the death of agriculture is.

    2 years ago

  • beadstylin

    beadstylin from beadstylin says:

    Grammar a dying art? Say it isn't so!

    2 years ago

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl says:

    Ah, dying arts, I miss a lot of them.

    2 years ago

  • BlueBrocade

    BlueBrocade from BlueBrocade says:

    Shoe repair is dying? I don't think it is dying---less common than 50 years ago, certainly, making them less easy to find, but they are still there. We live in an age of disposable shoes, and so I suppose there is less of a demand for them. But they are still very important, and there seems to be a resurgence in hand made shoes and boots (I instantly think Fluevogs, or a quick look pointed me to MAGS Boots here on Etsy!). In my experience you can find shoe repair men and women in most shopping malls and medium sized cities in Canada, you simply need to look for them. I use them all the time---its much better than throwing out a pair of boots I love, knowing they will just be in a landfill forever. If you buy leather shoes, they can be repaired or resoled almost indefinitely, and are worth it I think!

    2 years ago

  • bedouin

    Nicole from bedouin says:

    a bit divided on the subject ~ though Grammar...? uggg I think I'm going to go cry in a corner.

    2 years ago

  • leatherprince

    Beon from leatherprince says:

    I used to be a cobbler in Singapore.

    2 years ago

  • mattyhandmadecrafts
  • carinenadia

    Carine says:

    What a great read! I went to Ghana in last February and I was amazed at the craftsmanship. My flip-flop broke and a lady walked me to someone who was able to fix it in a few minutes using basic every day instruments (and I assume no huge professional training). I think that, sometimes, it's not so much a question of a dying art, but an evolving art.

    2 years ago

  • shuqi

    Emily Lim from shuqi says:

    Interesting story:)

    2 years ago

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka says:

    Thanks for sharing!

    2 years ago

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka says:

    Thanks!!

    2 years ago

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    kathy johnson from ShoeClipsOnly says:

    We still have our shoe repair shop in town from when I was a kid so he must be doing something right to stay in business all these years. When you have that favorite pair of shoes that you just cant part with it pays to have them prepaired instead of just going out and purchasing new ones.

    2 years ago

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    kathy johnson from ShoeClipsOnly says:

    He also repairs tarps and such so the evolution of his business is what keeps him going

    2 years ago

  • FranceGallery

    France Gallery from FranceGallery says:

    I remember going to our local shoe repair shop when I was a kid. It has been gone for years now.

    2 years ago

  • jewelryrage

    Aaron Kish from JewelryRage says:

    Interesting there is not one shoe repair shop anywhere in my town.

    2 years ago

  • cloud8

    cloud8 says:

    As I find it hard to find shoes that I like I make sure that they are always repaired when they need it, while I carry on my search for the next pair of shoes which can take years. There are plenty of cobblers here in Yorkshire. I tried to get a newish umbrella repaired though and had no luck. There is only one place in England that repairs umbrellas and they'll only do it if they sold it to you in the first place. That's a shame and it's annoying as it was a very pretty umbrella.

    2 years ago

  • Wudumaer

    Wudumaer from GrandpasBarns says:

    And let's not forget knife grinding. Just recently I had my kitchen knives reground because they couldn't keep an edge, but it took some doing to find someone who does it! As for shoes, well, if you aren't buying higher end retail or handmade, shoes are of very poor quality, consisting mostly of man made materials. They don't last, nor are they meant to, and can't really be repaired. That would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. We're living in a disposable society that doesn't value craftsmanship or longevity of a product and the skills that support repair or the creation of something that will last 50 or 100 years.

    2 years ago

  • AmberHeartOfTheFinch

    Nicola Hart from StarlightSilverUK says:

    I can assure you, stick shift driving is alive and well in the UK. I have my test in one tomorrow (eep!) Then I'll move on to car stalking...

    2 years ago

  • customizeBaby

    Custom Baby from customizeBaby says:

    AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    2 years ago

  • shoutrinse

    shoutrinse from PinchBailEarwires says:

    @everythingok above "I wonder when we'll see an article declaring the death of articles about dying cultural phenomena?" Those were my thoughts exactly. The dying art of determining dying arts.....

    2 years ago

  • mythunderstood

    mythunderstood from mythunderstood says:

    Car chasing a dying art? That'd be a good thing : ) Great read, thank you!

    2 years ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign says:

    If all these arts were really dead, there couldn't be an Etsy! Sometimes I think there is enough collective skill and creativity on Etsy to rebuild the world from scratch.

    2 years ago

  • paramountvintage

    kristin from blackmoonsky says:

    i hope the art of shoe repair never dies! i take all of my boots to the cobbler. what would i do??? this article brings up a very sad reality of a disposable culture.

    2 years ago

  • C3L35T3

    Celeste from C3L35T3 says:

    Thes art only die if you let them! I only by shoes that can be resoled and I have to drive two towns over beecause the cobbler in town passed away from supplys used to reapir shoes!

    2 years ago

  • isewcute

    June from isewcute says:

    These dying arts have to be flexible enough to keep up with the changing times. Likely when a shoe repair business started up over 100 years ago repairing things like harnesses, workboots, & shoes...they couldn't possibly have forseen that cars would replace the horse & buggy or that shoes would eventually be made from vinyl & plastics rather than leather. Some shops can keep going strong today by reinventing the application of their skills & work on things like orthopedic buildups, leather handbag, & jacket repair.

    2 years ago

  • TeepetalsDesigns

    Tee from TeepetalsDesigns says:

    Wonderful read!

    2 years ago

  • CTCosta

    Chris Costa from CTCostaPhotography says:

    Nice article, leaves me pondering the past and the possible future.

    2 years ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 from Parachute425 says:

    Grammar - sadly, yes. Jazz - never!

    2 years ago

  • channingtaylor

    Channing Taylor from channingtaylor says: Featured

    We are certainly living in a throw away culture. But as technology presses on these skills, I hope that people will start to see how valuable it is to support the small businesses, the makers, the craftspeople; we have been so immersed in quantity that we forget quality. Not only that, but higher education has become so aggrandized by our society that even special skills like plumbing or welding are taken for granted when these are exactly the kind of professions that make all of our lives easier. That's why I like Etsy! I think many of us here do not so easily take these skills or conveniences for granted. We make the inanimate intimate by connecting objects to the skilled people who took the time and passion to create it.

    2 years ago

  • GoldenSpiralDesigns

    Lola Ocian from GoldenSpiralDesigns says:

    "How can we tell if an art is truly dying or if we are just caught up in our own nostalgia-skewed perceptions?" This is such an important question to ask! I was just talking with my boyfriend yesterday about observing with caution to make sure our reality isn't skewed by observing only what we expect or want to see. On the other hand, like anything, there is a wax and wane of evolution. Languages die, species die, arts die. Let us hold hope that as our need for nostalgia impels us to mourn these losses, novelty returns. It seems that modern society has a tendency to shun those who walk the outer edges, aberrant and driven to adventure. But aren't these people the true geniuses? Are they not the ones who are bold enough to dream what has never been seen before?

    2 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush says:

    Great read, keep the dream alive :)

    2 years ago

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom says:

    I'm not sure that people want to get their shoes repaired when it is easier, possible cheaper, and more accessible to just buy new ones. Cheap, mass produced items are affordable, and when something goes wrong with a shoes someone thinks to buy a new pair, not to get them repaired.

    2 years ago

  • spiderbunny

    Jessa Cady from Spiderbunny says:

    Thanks for posting! This was interesting ^ . ^

    2 years ago

  • scattered

    scattered from scattered says:

    My cobbler is closing his doors. I thought to buy his business and learn the trade but the fumes from glues etc kept me away. Now, I will knock on his door instead to see what vintage treasures await instead

    2 years ago

  • scattered

    scattered from scattered says:

    we are also in the middle of choosing our next vehicle...I can not get anything I want in stick shift! this is just bizarre to me. I hoard items I find in the garbage and at value village though I have no use or space for them I just want to make sure thy don't end up as garbage.

    2 years ago

  • piecesofelises

    Elise from piecesofelises says:

    I was just thinking of going to a shoe repair shop to fix a purse I've been wearing out. I'll give them some business :)

    2 years ago

  • vegasblingrocks

    Judy Murphy from vegasblingrocks says:

    Paul Coyne's comment about "roof thatching in Ireland a dying art" amazed me. Who in the USA would ever think about that "dying art". I had not realized this is a global issue, we take so much for granted ......... Re grammar, kids writing letters with "computerese talk", I have a rule with my grandchildren. When we email each other we use punctuation and proper spelling because I feel it carries over into school work. Besides, I don't even know what half those goobleygook characters mean! omg lol bfn k

    2 years ago

  • rivahside

    rivahside says:

    Interesting and thoughtful article. There was a very popular book series in the 1970's called "Foxfire." They were written by college students who wanted to document the lost arts and skills of their families and people in rural Georgia. Some of the things they documented were: how to construct a log cabin, how to shear sheep, how to find a bee tree and get the honey from it. Other skills were: how to make a wagon wheel, how to do tatting, how to identify wild greens and cresses. The books are a fascinating look at skills everyone possesed before mechanization and electricity.

    2 years ago

  • sandboxcastle

    H Wang from sandboxcastle says: Featured

    I certainly hope shoe cobblers don't go out of business! Who else is going to resuscitate my favorite pairs of black leather ankle boots?!?!? Seriously though- I agree with a lot of the comments about how many things have "resurgences" later on. Maybe its just going out of fashion - not truely on its least legs.

    2 years ago

  • FreshRetroGallery

    Elizabeth Knaus from FreshRetroGallery says:

    The art of conversation is changing, but not dying. Opportunities are multiplying through internet. Even so, an example of a conversation that was really worth remembering was an afternoon sitting in my great aunt’s living room with my mom’s cousin, my mom and my daughter. I learned some wonderful things about our family history. We were there because we were waiting for a car to be fixed—which is proof that blessings can be found even through situations which seemingly are unfortunate.

    2 years ago

  • csburdick

    csburdick from callmebrazen says:

    On a recent trip out of state, I was getting ready to go to dinner and as I walked down the street I noticed my foot was sliding out the side of my favorite leather boots. I continued on to my destination, but thought, as soon as I get back to town, these need to got to my cobbler! His work space is completely jammed with shoes awaiting restoration. The cycle of what skill is being lost, forgotten, or restored is constantly in flux. I'm thankful for that. So are my boots!

    2 years ago

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties says:

    Because technology and media keeps growing, people want the next big thing and so all the old arts and trades are dying because of it. Whenever I get the chance, I always take many steps backwards to live how people used to: get my shoes fixed instead of buying a new pair.

    2 years ago

  • designedforyouink

    Bonnie Skjonsberg says:

    Interesting reads. My biggest concern is that we are not buying from the local business and small enterprises and, in the end, they are forced out of business. And, we are forced to shop online. Remember it is the small businesses who move, and are the bread and butter of our great country. So, hopefully, we will all strive to shop at our local businesses. It also reminds us how important it is to be talking with people and sharing our thoughts and ideas. We are so glued to email, cell phones, text messaging, etc. Social skills are so important in our lives and the examples we pass on to the next generation.

    2 years ago

  • StuffByKim

    Kim from StuffByKim says:

    I wonder how many high school counslers advise our youth to take up things of this sort. Butchers, cobblers, electritians, plumbers, hairdressers just to name a few. These are all things that cannot be outsourced to other countries. How about all the jobs that it takes to build a home or any building. Some call it improvements........but what are we allowing to happen to ourselves?

    2 years ago

  • ritagayle

    Rita McDonald from SassyGs says:

    I agree with Bonnnie Skjonsberg! Great response :)

    2 years ago

  • suew43

    Art to Heart Photography Sue Wickham from Art2HeartPhotography says:

    This read certainly hit home, my favourite shoe repairer has recently retired. His business was run in one of the original shops of a local town, with just he and his Wife. They were a beautiful couple, and as much as the wonderful repairs he did to revive my shoes, and the special "extra touches" like the metallic toe tips and the colouring of the shoe where it was rubbed, it was the friendliness and the warmth on my visits that I will miss the most. Yep, I will definitely miss them both.

    2 years ago

  • reflectionsjewelry

    Emily Delfin from reflectionsjewelry says:

    I work next to a shoe repair shop, and let me tell you---it's REALLY hoppin'! Why? BECAUSE it's a "dying" art, and no one else around does it! Things have a way of coming around again.................

    2 years ago

  • LeslieGallery

    Leslie Galluzzo from LeslieGallery says:

    i do chair caning and my mom does calligraphy. It's amazing to response I get when people see me cane chairs are sales. The allure with these, shoe repair and other "dying" arts is the handmade quality. I believe that's why people like to buy from etsy because they know they are getting something personnally and professionally made. i'm happy we still have a shoe repair in our local mall :)

    2 years ago

  • lauraslastditch

    Last Ditch Laura from LaurasLastDitch says:

    I believe the one about grammar. Ugh.

    2 years ago

  • CalligraphicArtisan

    Jude Billings from CalligraphicArtisan says:

    A great Light Bulb Moment for me too (Great Message) I'm a Calligrapher (fancy lettering) and though computer has given everyone so many options with their 'fonts', I still hand scribe everything. This week Schools said they are considering 'eliminating children learning Cursive'...a thing of the past?.... I'll just keep writing. Thanks for the article.

    2 years ago

  • liddysopretty

    liddy sopretty from liddysopretty says:

    Good article.

    2 years ago

  • metroretrovintage

    metroretrovintage from metroretrovintage says:

    Chappell, you cover the best topics and are definitely my favorite writer on the Blog.

    2 years ago

  • ellisisland123

    Karen ELLIS says:

    Cursive writing. Interesting article.

    2 years ago