Medford, MA – March 9, 2021 – For most of us, this past year was a time filled with struggle; jobs were lost, friends were distant, and our busy lives came to a sudden, screeching halt. Yet, out of the struggle also came an opportunity to reflect, gain perspective, reevaluate priorities and focus on the important things in life. While many of us took time to build stronger relationships with family, for one father/daughter duo, strengthening their relationship included building a family business together.
Meet the unlikely owners of Medford Shoe Repair: Karina and Gregoriy Kagramanov, a recent college graduate and her shoemaker dad. Opening a shoe repair shop in the middle of a pandemic may seem like a daunting task, but the environment created by COVID-19 was actually one of the motivating factors in starting the business. “We’ve become such a throw-away society, focused on overconsumption and disposable items. My generation in particular is so quick to toss something away and get a new one rather than make a quick repair,” said Karina. “With millions out of work and as people struggle financially due to the pandemic, it has caused many to rethink where they are spending their limited dollars and the importance of making things last. It is in this atmosphere that we saw an opportunity to revive a family tradition and return to an older, wiser way of doing things.”
Gregoriy, the repairman of the team, started learning the art of shoemaking as an apprentice at a small shop in Baku, Azerbaijan at the young age of 16. He first acquired the hardest of skills, making high heeled women’s shoes, and went on to master every type of shoe imaginable; including custom orthopedics. He reminisced, “Back then clients always wanted custom shoes; we made them with exact measurements so they would be the most comfortable, plus everyone wanted a one-of-a-kind pair that nobody else would have!”
Karina remembered watching her father hard at work making and repairing shoes as a little girl, and while she lends a helping hand with repairs from time to time, she fills the administrative and marketing roles of the business; spreading awareness that the shoe repairing and making tradition has made its way back in town.
“Most consider shoe repair a dying art. The days of cherishing and maintaining your favorite pair of boots for life feel like a thing of the past, replaced by a mindset that encourages us to simply toss and replace worn-down items,” continued Karina. “Well, we are here to resuscitate this profession and bring it back to life in Medford as a thriving small business! This pandemic has taught us all about the importance of tradition, family and reducing waste, and you can find all three at our shop.”
About Medford Shoe Repair
Medford Shoe Repair is a small family owned business in the heart of Medford bringing back the tradition of making and maintaining shoes and other leather goods. Their services include but are not limited to: general shoe repairs and adjustments, leather restoration, zipper repair and replacements, custom shoe making, and orthopedic shoe making, repairs, and adjustments.
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9AM-5PM