Longview Man Keeps Shoe Business Going

A Longview man is keeping the skill of old fashioned shoe repair alive in his family business. Tucked away off McCann Road is a little shoe hospital, where 65 year old Joe Howell keeps a family business alive.

"It is a craft, you're not going to throw the shoe away cause it needs shining or heels of soles or whatever" says Howell.

For the past 80 years his family has been in the business of shoe repair, using no computer patterns, just hand crafting skills. His father John Howell passed the skill onto him 40 years ago.

"He started in 1927 and he passed away 1965, its a throw-away world anymore, just like t-v or anything, I enjoy it just as much now as I did way back" he says.

In a throw away society, Howell is seeing more people coming in to repair shoes, for a simple reason, they like to keep old favorites.

"Favorite pair of shoes and they're comfortable they want to keep them renew them" says Howell.

He can rebuild any shoe.

"It's a lot of stitching, repair, good clientele, of course I've weeded out some bad clientele" he says.

Howell is passing on the trade to his nephew, to continue the family business.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting bhallmark@kltv.com