Alberto's Boot & Shoe Repair & Sales


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Address:
1905 N. Carson Street
Carson City, Nevada 89701
United States
phone:
view phone775-883-7750

Description


Alberto Garcia, owner of Alberto's Boot & Shoe Repair and Sales on Carson City's West Winnie Lane, made his first shoes when he was 8 years old.  He's taken a few detours since then, but came back to the trade after 12 years as a supervisor at United Engines.  He purchased his shoe repair shop in 1996 and said he plans on working in the business for at least another 20 years.  "I like to make people happy and I enjoy the work," he said.  "You have to like doing it...These days, you can't make much money."


Alberto's Boot & Shoe Repair, aka Alberto's Boot & Saddle Sales, isn't just about shoes.  The shop has something for almost everyone.  Texas saddles, chaps, and lariats are piled in one corner and cowboy boots neatly line another wall.  That's not to be confused with the purses, jackets, jewelry, and leather hats.


Customers dropped by about every 15 minutes on Thursday and it seemed like Garcia knew everyone who crossed the threshold.  He said his customer base includes everyone from the Governor to cowboys coming in for boot repairs.


"One of my customers buys her shoes at thrift stores and has them repaired here.  She likes the expensive stuff," he said.  "Another brings in shoes to have them fixed, then sells them."


Garcia said shoe repair is a dying art, almost completely displaced by cheaper, more disposable shoes in a throw-away society.  The extra merchandise supplements his income while he practices his trade.  He doesn't make much, but he makes enough.


"I can also help people out with their foot problems," he said.  "I could get a license and charge more to do that, but I'd feel bad about it.  Better to stay the way I am."


Originally from a small village in Jalisco, Mexico, Garcia moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, when he was 8.  "My mom was sick and the medicine was in Guadalajara," he said.  "As soon as we got there, I started working."  School and work may seem like a heavy load for an 8-year-old, but Garcia said he loved the city.  "I loved the country too, but I alway wanted to see more than Dogllado, the small town we lived in," he said.  He worked at his craft until he was in his early 20s, and wanderlust took over once again.


He left Mexico for California where he became a migrant worker, following the California crops for three years.  "We traveled from Modesto to Oregon picking peaches, almonds, and cherries," he said.  "We spent six months in the United States, then six months in Mexico."  Garcia started working for United Engine & Machine Co. in Carson City in 1984.  After 12 years he was laid off, but applying for a similar job never occurred to him, he said.


He opened his shoe repair shop on Fairview Drive in 1996, but prefers his present location.  Both traffic and visibility are improved and the shop is larger, he said.  "I'd like to teach a young person the trade.  Perhaps he could buy the business from me," he said.  "That would be better than just closing.  If I do that, who will fix my shoes after I retire?"



Hours:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Sunday: Closed