Lonnie Patrick: The Cobbler's Den | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

News » Local News

Lonnie Patrick: The Cobbler's Den

Bringing New Life to Old: A Cobbler's Tale

by

1 comment
Keeping shoes out of overflowing landfills is one of Lonnie Patrick's goals. Here, he refurbishes 20-year-old boots. - LYNN LEWIS
  • Lynn Lewis
  • Keeping shoes out of overflowing landfills is one of Lonnie Patrick's goals. Here, he refurbishes 20-year-old boots.

For repairs of your Scarpa hikers, Lucchese cowboy boots, Jimmy Choo heels... Birks or Clarks, Saddleback leather suitcases, your fave old motorcycle jacket, or any other leather good needing TLC, cobbler/artisan Lonnie Patrick can help.

Patrick's inspiration and on-the-job training began when he was 12, under the watchful eye of his dad, a custom boot maker and owner of two well-known shoe repair stores in Portland. Today, as a one-man-band, he wears the hats of craftsman, sales person, merchandiser, marketer, overseer of inventory and... janitor.

Besides listening to customers, he says precision, imagination and the ability to think outside the box are key. Also needed are dexterous hands, strong arms and fine hand-eye coordination. Anecdotes abound in the trade. Once, Patrick recalls, an employee set a pair of shoes on fire.

He also remembers the drag queens from Portland's Darcelle's Night Club, who brought some very exotic shoes to his parents' shop...which "opened my kid eyes."

So what motivates him? For one: bringing a beat-up product back to life. "We're a throw-away society; repairing shoes, handbags and so forth keeps them out of landfills," Patrick remarks. His rule of thumb: if you have a pair of shoes that can be repaired for less than half the cost, go for it. Landfills are inundated with shoes. Each year, of some 20 billion pairs produced, about 300 million pairs end up there. It takes 25 to 40 years for them to decompose...up to 1,000 years for the midsole of most running shoes, according to various studies.

At the end of the day, he takes great pride in his craft...values most a customer's gratitude and smile. "My job is truly satisfying," he says. "You can make a good living working in the trades with your hands, and be your own boss, too."

The Cobbler's Den
244 NE Franklin Ave., Suite 1, Bend
541-797-6532

About The Author

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

 

Add a comment

More by Lynn Lewis