Entrepreneur and cobbler

A big thank you to Rodney Sothmann for answering our questions

1. What is it exactly that you do? I primarily repair shoes. I used to make them but stopped because repairing shoes is WAY better business.

2. What attracted you the most to that profession? I was a cobbler before I went to GBC.

3. Does it require additional education or specialized training? If so where did you receive it? The best way to learn is to work at a shop, on the job. Some people buy a shop then receive training, in my opinion this is inadequate. I would say a couple years are needed to be confident.

4. If someone wanted to pursue a career similar to yours, how would they go about doing that? As stated previously, the best way to get into this career is to learn on the job. From there learn as much as you can from books/videos and practice in your own time. 

5. What sort of challenges do you face daily? If you don't have work then getting business is priority number one! That’s how it works when you own your own shop. If you're busy then time management is critical. 

6. Is there more area for growth within the field? If so, what is the next step? There are many ways to grow within the this field, examples of this include: expanding retail, selling made to measure shoes, selling shoes, getting more into cleaning leather and restoration. These are all areas that would have a market.

7. What can one expect for an hourly wage? If you do not wish to answer this question, simply answer N/A. It can vary when you work for someone else. When I first started I made less than minimum wage! I would guess between 15 to 20 dollars an hour if you work for someone else. If you own a shop then you definitely make more. Depending on how busy you are and the amount of different services you offer, it can range between $50,000 and $100,000 a year.

8. What is the work-life balance like? How many hours a week do you work? My shop is open 35 hours a week but I mostly work between 40 to 50 hours, sometime more, sometimes less. This would vary greatly depending on location and competition.

For more information on what services and products I offer, check out my website!


Rodney Sothmann currently owns a shoe repair store in Kingston, Ontario.

Rodney Sothmann currently owns a shoe repair store in Kingston, Ontario.