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July 21, 2009/9.50

After an exhaustive search of whom could fix my Dayton boots in the shortest time possible in Wellington, New Zealand, I can only recommend one place: Dixon Street Shoe Repairs, a family business that has been around for decades in the capital, run by Esvar Parbhu.
   It’s a testament to the quality of Daytons that my 2002 pair has lasted seven years without any problems. They were on their original soles and heels. The problem was that the stitching around the front had come loose.
   A lot of cobblers in Wellington came highly recommended to me, from an older gentleman at the bottom of the State Insurance Tower to a Russian émigré on Brandon Street. However, in all these instances I was asked to leave my boots with them, and things would take three days. In some cases, they would have to go out of house. Or things were so busy I would have to wait in line. In one case, it was a flat no.
   Vijay, Esvar’s son, who also works at Dixon Street, believed he could not only fix the stitching, but put on one new heel as he felt it was wearing thin. And that the job could be done for NZ$50. Finally, he believed he could sort things out in a day, if I dropped them off first thing and returned to collect them by the close of business.
   On my visit, Esvar served me and I told him about the bargain I had struck the day before. On inspection, he believed I needed two new heels (his son did not see the other boot) and I said I was happy to pay extra.
   I was happily surprised that when I collected my boots, with the job properly done, two new heels were put on and there was no extra charge. The boots themselves were beautifully cleaned polished.
   Esvar explained that his shop was one of the few that held on to a stitcher for such a repair job. With many bootmakers going for glue—a cheaper solution for assembly—many cobblers had sold this piece of equipment. He decided to keep his, which meant that the whole job could be handled in-house.
   I remain thrilled with the job: a month on, the restitching has held up well and one would be none the wiser that the boots had been repaired. While a new pair of Daytons is on the horizon, these will keep me very happy till they arrive.
   As far as I can make out, there is no website or email address, but the company can be phoned or faxed on 64 4 384-3243, and is located at 39a Dixon Street, opposite the Oaks. With more people preferring to repair—either for economic or sustainable reasons—Dixon Street Shoe Repairs is a must-visit in Wellington.

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fashion / Lucire / New Zealand
Filed by Jack Yan

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