Timeless Shoe Repair Officially Opens Its Doors
by Scott A. Sumner
With the assistance of the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre (located within CEDC), Timeless Shoe Repair has officially opened its doors. Owners Martin and Shauna Sugg, along with Mayor Keith Hobbs and Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) Development Officer Stacia Kean, engaged in a ribbon cutting ceremony recently to celebrate Timeless’ grand opening. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are essential drivers of our economy,” Said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “Successful small businesses cause ripple effects – jobs are created, communities are strengthened, economies are bolstered. In the end, we all benefit.” Martin Sugg made the decision to move to Ontario two years ago with the hope of being able to acquire some land with trees and water on it, something he found to be very expensive and difficult to find in Alberta. Martin grew up and spent the first five years of his shoe repair career learning the trade in Thunder Bay. He was delighted to find out that there was only one cobbler's shop in Thunder Bay, and knew his skills in this trade would be needed. “There is more than enough room for two or three shops in a city of this size,” said Martin. “I've been out of the trade for about 10 years now and have since had the desire to own my own business again. I feel that I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and always enjoyed being my own boss.”
The name Timeless was suggested by his brother. Although his shop is brand new, there is a lot of history contained within his equipment and fixtures, some of which are a hundred years old. “Also, the shoe repair trade is one of the oldest trades and is most certainly timeless,” Martin said. “Principles are timeless, practices are timely.” “Stacia Kean at the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre (EC) has helped to guide me through the process of staring a new business, and has been an excellent source of information about Thunder Bay and its business activity. The Entrepreneur Centre also supplied me with a few great ideas as well!” “Assisting local businesses grow and thrive is central to CEDC’s mission, vision and mandate for Thunder Bay,” said Kean, Development Officer for CEDC. “Thunder Bay’s small businesses are the backbones of our community and are a vital part of what make our city a thriving place to live, work and visit. Entrepreneurship bolsters our local economy. Thunder Bay is open for business, and we want to do everything that we can to help small business owners succeed." Timeless Shoe repair’s mission is to restore worn items to their original condition – or as close to it as possible – and to deliver the highest-quality craftsmanship, superior service, and best products available. Martin’s products and services are aimed toward the discriminating consumer who understands the benefits of wearing high-quality shoes, as well as the average consumer who needs to stretch their footwear purchases to meet their budget. He will repair all sorts of items including shoes, boots, purses, backpacks, tool belts, luggage, and sports equipment. Repairs to footwear include heels and heel lifts, leather or rubber half and full sole replacement, protection sole installation, stitching and patching, stretching, heel liners, zipper repair and replacement, polishing and winterizing, as well as custom repairs. His retail area includes shoe and leather care products such as cleaners and conditioners, polish and protectors, shine brushes, shoe horns, shoe trees, and shoe laces, as well as a variety of insoles to meet all footwear needs and a host of shoe/leather related items.
Martin Sugg, owner of Timeless Shoe Repair Martin was born in England but grew up in Thunder Bay. After having lived in Alberta for the last many years he and his wife Shauna are happy to be back home in Thunder Bay with Timeless Shoe Repair. Martin has had 10 years experience in shoe repair in the past and decided to trade in the dirt and dust of the west in Alberta for trees and water. “We learned of this great opportunity in show repair and doing this work is my favourite job I have ever done. I love it and have done this the best of any other things I’ve tried. I like working with my hands and working with people so it is a good meld. I enjoy fixing stuff for people. If it can be stiched up I can probably do it so don’t throw it away until you have checked with me.” smiles Martin Sugg. “ Our location is central in the middle of Thunder Bay. We rented this place while we were still in Medicine Hat and think we hit a bullseye. Central Ave is very busy. Thunder Bay feels like a small town even though it is twice the size of the city we moved from. People talk and are friendly and in four months it already feels like home so we are really happy.”