Cobbler puts heart and sole into Albany business

Cobbler puts heart and sole into Albany business
Tony Williams, co-owner
Tony Williams, co-owner
Elijah Williams, co-owner
Elijah Williams, co-owner

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A cobbler business that has been in Albany for over 35 years talks to WALB about the decline in the industry and what role they hope the community plays to keep it alive.

For centuries, the profession was thriving. But in the last few decades there's been a shift in the shoe repair industry.

"They are slowly disappearing because they haven't been taught," said Elijah Williams co-owner of Rabbitman's Footwear

The Albany shop was left to Elijah and his brother, Tony Williams, by their father, a business he setup over 30 years ago.

The duo says although the cobbler industry isn't what it used to be, the satisfaction of tapping into the customer's needs still hits a sweet spot.

"When they come in and [say] 'Can you fix this? It's gone.'  And when we do it's like, 'I'm telling my friends!'  And I think that's the greatest feeling you can get in this industry," said Elijah Williams.

Long time friend and regular Jerry Sanders feels there's no place like it.

"To see them bring back the life of a shoe is amazing," said Sanders.

And working along side family doesn't hurt either.

"I think that's just icing on the cake," said Tony Williams

Each puts their heart and sole into each step.

"It's the best job in the world and at the same time you're making money," said Elijah. "Can't ask for anything better than that."

As the Williams' brothers continue their father's legacy, they hope young people will appreciate the unique craft and help keep the industry going for many more years.

Rabbitman's Footwear is located on Shackleford Shopping Center, 225 E Oglethorpe Blvd in Albany

Contact: (229) 436-1617

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