We often hear from customers when they visit Shane Barr Shoe Repairs, “I remember sitting there watching my grandfather hammer away on our shoes.”
Back in the day, it was all about saving money. Everyone got their shoes repaired as that was all they could afford.
The father or grandfather had a heavy metal shoe last, some stinky glue, and gorgeous smelling leather soles. He would skillfully, or so you’d hope, mend the family’s shoes. Polishing was usually left to the children, and they’d be good to go for another season.
While saving time and money is still a big part of why people choose to repair, there are two new reasons now. With fast fashion everywhere, it is often hard to get that same pair again. It makes sense to rejuvenate the ones you know and love.
Not wanting to toss them into the landfill is also a growing concern. All this is understandable, as a new pair of leather shoes apparently uses up to 4000 L of water to make, and a pair of shoes takes 30 or more years to break down.
Whatever your reason and whatever the season, if you have shoes, boots or bags that need a makeover, bring them into Shane Barr shoe repairs in the Piccadilly Arcade for free advice and a competitive quote.
Mums favourite travel bag split at the seam
The job done was a bag repair. Mum was very happy with the result. She said
you couldn't even notice it had anything wrong with it. So many thanks, one happy
93 year old, her bag is fixed and she is rearing to use it.
Thanks Cathy - Tauranga
Repairs for your favourite handbag
Have you ever wondered why so many women spend their hard-earned money on designer handbags? It’s because a beautiful leather handbag is a unique statement of fashion savviness! It’s your choice of bag that makes you stand out from the crowd, and that’s why handbags are one of the luxury industry's most powerful products.
Craftsmanship means a lot, as a well-made bag should look as good a decade later as it did the day it was first used. However, when you use your favourite bag day in and day out… it’ll need repairs at some stage. That’s when you come see us at Shane Barr Shoe Repairs as handbag repairs are one of the many things we do exceptionally well!
It’s quite the investment
A designer handbag is much more than a statement of style. Many women would faint if they didn’t have their handbag with them. They’d feel naked! That could be a real problem unless you’re Kate Moss who happily stripped off for Versace in 2013 and posed completely nude except for three strategically placed colourful quilted Vanitas leather bags.
There are so many branded luxurious handbags on the market, and many women seem to be in dire need of owning at least one of them. Luis Vuitton, Hermès, Prada, Gucci, Michael Kors and Chanel bags are in high demand all over the world and seeing the price of them, collecting rare handbags can be a lucrative investment strategy.
The famous Summer in the City handbag sale at auction house Christie’s is where Birkin and Kelly bags, Louis Vuitton trunks, and vintage Chanel all come together to be bid upon. This is where the ultra-rich drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on some of the rarest bags ever made.
The most expensive bag ever auctioned at Christie’s was a Matte White Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin 30 with Diamond Hardware. It sold on November 29, 2017 at Christie’s Hong Kong for 2,980,000 HDK. That’s a whopping $532,000 NZ!
We’ve never seen anything quite that luxurious as that here at Shane Barr Shoe Repairs, but we do know that local ladies really love their designer handbags, too.
What about Kiwi fashionistas?
When it comes to buying stylish and trendy handbags, New Zealand women crave stunning styles and top quality, too. Popular brands in New Zealand are, alongside the above, Deadly Ponies, Saben, Karen Walker and Yu Mei.
Deadly Ponies is an uber cool Kiwi brand that’s synonymous with artisan quality, luxury leather, and design that pushes the boundaries. Some of the fancy materials they use are ethically sourced merino bulle lamb leather, deer nappa, and goat. Their vegan alternative is durable cactus leather.
Saben is a wonderful collection of sought-after handbags and accessories designed in New Zealand by artist, businesswoman and designer Roanne Jacobson. She launches a new collection each season that is playful in concept, with beautiful textured leathers and intuitively functional design.
Aotearoa’s best known designer Karen Walker launched her fashion label in 1989 when she was just 18 but rose to fame in 2000 when she debuted at New York Fashion Week and now her style is favoured by celebrities around the world. Her eyewear line is especially popular, but so are her fabulous handbags.
Luxury bag brand Yu Mei is a rising star. It was launched by Jessie Wong, who started designing bags out of necessity, as she couldn’t find bags that were both fashionable and practical enough to carry everything she needed while studying fashion at the Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin. She now has two flagship stores in Wellington and Auckland, and her bags are stocked by retailers across Australasia.
We should also include Briarwood bags in this post as for more than 20 years, this iconic New Zealand brand has been creating quality handbags that are effortlessly chic.
What we can do for you
If your favourite handbag needs some TLC, come see us in the Piccadilly Arcade as our team does all sorts of weird and wonderful repairs to bags. We can fix the handles and zips, stitch new hard wearing shiny leather onto original webbing, replace old leather that is falling apart, and add metal eyelets.
Our most common repairs include:
We’ll begin with a consultation to assess the damage, diagnose what parts of your bag need treatment, and then we’ll determine the best way forward. We’re creative and experienced, and our attention to detail is second to none. Sometime even formulate our own restoration solutions to ensure the best results.
It’s not just luxury designer bags we look after and repair here at Shane Barr Shoe Repairs. We can make your wallets, clutches, tote bags, school bags, back packs, briefcases, and satchels look their absolute best. We can restore all styles of bags and materials including leather, canvas and suede.
It goes without saying that we can also repair your favourite boots and shoes. However, if we think it’s time to replace your items, we’ll give you our honest opinion. As your skilled local craftspeople, we constantly strive to find the most effective and efficient way when working on footwear and leather goods, and we work hard to keep the tradition of quality workmanship alive.
The repair on my bag was so good I couldn't even tell which strap had been broken. Lovely workmanship - thank you!
The job done was a bag repair. Mum was very happy with the result . She said
you couldn't even notice it had anything wrong with it.
So many thanks, one happy 93 year old, her bag is fixed and she is rearing to
Thanks Cathy - Tauranga
Getting your old favourite shoes back in good working order is a great feeling. This comfy red pair of ladies shoes were sent to us by Patsy in Whanganui. They were suffering from scuffs and black marks on the uppers near the little toes. Also the soles were wearing through under the ball of the foot and the toes and heels had suffered from some previous repairs.
The old soles were ground off and replace with grippy tan pebble chip patterned rubber.
The marks on the uppers were removed as best as we could with thinners then re dyed. With a last coat over the entire shoe to blend it all in and finally a good polish once it was all dry.
Parcel arrived early in the morning. I am so pleased with them - I wore them out visiting yesterday, straight away.
The colour is great. Did you paint them all over in the end?
Very neat soles too.
Now my friends want your address, so one is looking for a clever cobbler to restore her favourite pair of shoes. No doubt you will hear from her sometime soon.
Many thanks again for delivering a well-finished job,
Best wishes and keep looking for a suitable craftsman for Whanganui, won't you?
Heel repair on Men's Merchant boots
Its a question we get asked everyday, "Can you fix the heels on my boots". Yes we can.
Here's a pair of boots from Overland that have lovely leather uppers. Guys love them and wear them so much that the heels get worn through real quick and then the heel block gets worn away as well. The heel block is light weight wood and doesn't stand rough footpaths very well.
Ideally bring this style of boot in early and we can get them looking as good as new and our Vibram blue heels will last at least twice as long as the heels that come with the boots.
Men's boots with Protection Soles and Heels
The uppers last for ages on these boots but the bottoms get trashed on our rough roads and poor pavements. As well as replacing the heels with very good Vibram rubber the existing soles have had superior rubber added over the top. This keeps the look and the feel the same. And at only 1.8mm thin adds very little weight. However this deceptively thin Vibram rubber will double the life of the soles.
Large Heels Repaired
Such excellent work. 10/10. Truly. Kind regards Gary
My new handbag straps arrived yesterday. Thank you. They look great and I believe look better than the originals.
My handbag, I think, now looks more professional :-)
Have a great day over there.
Kind regards, Sue
Colourful handbag needing strap repairs
As often happens, the handbag was in great condition. However the handles were looking very tatty.
Straps before repair
We kept the original webbing, but removed the old eyelets, leather and all the threads.
Repaired handbag strap on left
New hard wearing shiny leather stitched onto original webbing. We removed the old leather that was falling apart. New metal eyelets added.
Types of bags we repair
You'll find our shop is rather compact. We don't fix many suitcases these days, we used to when we had lots of space in our Mt Maunganui shop.
Bag Brands we repair
While we do repair bags from any brand, here's a list of some of the more well known brands we have repaired.
Bag Repairs we do often
We do all sorts of weird and wonderful repairs to bags. Here are the most common repairs.
I know it's really tempting to try and fix your own shoes. These heels really needed sorting out. After removing the old pin which runs inside a spring steel tube inside the heel block. We use shoe adhesive to secure little loose bits of leather veneer around the heel block and then sanded the base flat and clean.
Next the replacement heel tip was knocked into place, trimmed to size and polished.
Stiletto Heel Repairs
I am very very pleased with my repairs and have recommended you to my friends.
Jenny - Tauranga
This comment may not be from the owner of these shoes ... I may have mixed up photo and comment!
3 things that made these a tricky repair
These elastics had been replaced twice by another repairer. Which had lowered the customers confidence and added a lot of extra holes in the leather which makes it weaker.
Catherine our customer lives a long way away so we did the measurements via emails. Great job Catherine at understanding my sometimes fuzzy instructions and she is clearly adept at using a tape measure.
Lastly I made the call to cut the last 5mm of each strap off to do away with the messy old stitch holes. This meant adding extra elastic for the amount removed. On top of that I felt our elastic was a bit too stretchy for this job ... so used 2 layers and offset the ends to avoid a bump in the strap.
And sorry forgot to take an after photo.
Strap elastics replaced in shoes
Our customer kindly supplied an after photo.
And further commented
10 out of 10 thank you, in all areas.
Had my doubts as to whether you would be able to fix them after others had had an attempt, so am 100% happy with the results.
Happy customer response as soon as sandals arrived
Good afternoon Shane,
My shoes arrived today, thank you so much, professional job, and fit perfect.
I am happy as.
Thank you for the extra service, paper to support toe area, and the crunchie, yum, also the return of my pillowslip that I used as packaging.
Catherine - Whangamata
While we specialize in repairing shoes it's sounds wrong for a shop like us not to cut keys. It is expected that Shoe Repairer and Key Cutting goes together.
We cut standard house keys and a few car keys that don't have modern anti theft transponders in the head of the key. If in doubt bring it in and we will check it with our transponder checking gadget.
Thank you for persevering with our car key! The new one works perfectly and it is great to be able to use a remote key once more. We really appreciate the trouble you have taken and are grateful that you took up the challenge. To obtain a new key at a fraction of the cost quoted by the manufacturer’s agents is quite an achievement. Well done!
With all good wishes,
Where to go for Transponder Keys in Tauranga
While we do not offer a transponder key replacement service ourselves. When I need a new car key with a transponder I call three places for a price before leaving home
Additional questions to ask
There have been other cheaper place that I've had people try but they have often had to go back 2-3 times to get it working properly.
History of Toe Plates on Shoes and Boots in NZ
Back when shoes were very expensive and built to last for many years. People owned fewer shoes and they were mainly leather soles. Toe plates were a readily replaced item that helped protect the vulnerable leather at the toe area.
As shoes became cheaper and started having thinner rubber soles toe plates became harder to fit and became less needed as the rubber wore much better than the leather ever did.
Fast forward to 2000 and almost no one asks for toe plates to be done and most shoes just don't have enough soling to nail to.
2021 Toe Plates on Shoes and Boots in NZ
There has been a slight increase in requests for toe plates due to a small number of customers buying more traditionally made leather soled shoes and wanting to wear them on todays harsh payments.
Toe plates that have been installed with care by a quality craftsman make a great addition to already remarkable footwear.
We have a limited selection available. You may also be able to buy them up online.
Triumph Brass Lulu Toe Plates
We have a small trial shipment of Triumph Brass Lulu Plates Sz10 coming from Europe.
ETA late 2021.
Inset Toe Plates
This is the first attempt at this style of toe plate and it took a surprising amount of time.
Fresh comfy Birkenstock soling on some old favourites
Birkenstock sole repair
You can have the entire sole replaced or just the worn heels and or toes. The cork footbed can be repaired or replaced.
Birkenstock upper repair
How to get your Birkenstock Repair sorted
Drop them off or have a friend drop them off
You'll find us in Piccadilly Arcade, 44 Grey St, Tauranga
Our shop is at the Grey Street end of the arcade, beside the Lotto shop.
While we do prefer the owner drops the repair off we understand this is not always possible. If you have someone else dropping them off it is a good idea to write a brief note with your mobile number and what it is that you want done.
Send them to us by post or courier
You are welcome to use your normal courier or click the link above to find your nearest Post Shop.
While you can send them straight to us and we will call you with a price and arrange payment. You can work out a price and pay online using the button below.
My first experiences with Birkenstocks
At around 9 years old ... back when I wanted to be a saddler. My Dad brough me home a pair of Birkenstock knock offs from overseas.
I loved those little blue beauties. Even when on week 2 the uppers started to split and cut into my feet.
My Grandma must of shown me the basics of hand stitching, as I remember sewing the splits back together and getting a few more wears out of them before they split next to the splits.
So I understand how attached people get to their Birkenstock footwear. Especially when they have owned them for many years. Heck I'd only had my knock offs for a few weeks and that was 34 years ago and I'm still talking about them.
The next time I was exposed and yes exposed is the right word. Was when my brother returned from Holland with a pair he had been wearing on the dairy farm where he worked. I still wonder how they got through customs ... and he wanted me to fix them!
As Kiwi's we are used to gumboots for wet and dodgy conditions. You can only imagine what happens to leather and cork that has been worn in water and umm other greener liquids!
Anyway we ground off the rotten bits of cork and replaced it with foam like sneaker midsoles are made from. Then glued a new sole over top. They lasted for many more years.
Since that time we have resoled over 100 pairs and have access to replacement Birkenstock cork, Birkenstock footbeds and the original Birkenstock soling. We even have replacement Birkenstock buckles.
Birkenstock Repairs from Nelson to Tauranga
Pauline from Nelson found us online as her local cobbler had sadly passed away. We sorted her worn Birkenstocks out and she is happily wearing them probably year round in sunny Nelson.