'Work with me to keep this trade alive'

Meet your Heights merchants: G.A.M Shoes and Repair

For the past nine years, Habib Jamshidian has been helping extend the lives of shoes as owner and operator of G.A.M Shoes and Repair on Hastings Street. The NOW caught up with Jamshidian to find out more about how he got started as a cobbler and how he found himself in the Heights.

Q: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT THIS LOCATION?

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In this location four years. I was in Brentwood mall since 2011. I closed in 2016.

Q: WHAT DOES THE HEIGHTS MEAN TO YOU?

It means that I am in a community where I have been serving since I started in Brentwood mall.

Q: HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THIS BUSINESS?

When I came to Canada as an immigrant in 1993, I met a friend and he suggested to do a shoe repair job. We had the same kind of business back home (shoe retail store). I did some research and talked to his brother that had a shoe repair store on Robson Street. I worked for free to learn this trade. Also my other brothers did the same. Now we have four shoe repair and retail stores.

Q: WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FUTURE?

For the future, I like to expand and open more shoe repair stores. Unfortunately, when someone retires from shoe repair, there is no one to take over the business and they have to close the store. I would like to train this dying trade to anyone who likes to learn and when they are comfortable, open a shoe repair shop and let them run it. But if they really want to do this trade (art). In another word I, do not charge them like any other trade they want to learn in a college but they have to promise to work with me to keep this trade alive.

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