What do you do?
Troy Schwarzenberger

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I am the owner of Westside Boot and Shoe Repair.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I am a repairman. I know how to create boots and shoes and have done so in the past. Right now, my focus is on repairing boots, shoes, purses and sports equipment (including fixing goalie pads and gloves and relacing baseball mitts). We even repair tents and jacket zippers.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       More than 20 years, 8 here on the Westside.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       It is a lot of the same thing but different! The basics for repair are the same, but each job offers a different challenge so the work is not monotonous. I like working with my hands and seeing people’s reactions when they see their old shoes look new again! I also like the fact that I’m doing my part in the recycling effort by repairing shoes/boots/purses, etc., and making them useful again.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       That my little shoe elves would get more done so I could relax a little!
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       Dealing with difficult customers! Something not taught in school (my background was in music but I’d been working with leather and enjoyed it so I turned to that as my career) is how to deal with difficult customers. Most people are easy-going and are happy with the results of the repairs and understand the time it takes.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       The people! Westside people seem to be more down to earth.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.