MACON, Ga. — Mallary McClendon has been working at West End Shoe Repair for almost 32 years.
Now, he's ready to take a step back from cleaning and restoring shoes, which is what he knows best.
"Basically we take shoes a part, we do anything from shoe shining, cleaning, shining and we dissemble shoes," McClendon said.
McClendon says he doesn't want to close the shop for good because he's the only shoe repair shop in Macon, and the next closest repair shop is in Warner Robins.
Years ago, there used to be more employees at the shop, but now he's the only repairman keeping the doors open. He says he needs some help.
"I can't do it all," McClendon said.
Soon, he hopes for a successor.
"I would love someone young to come in and learn this trade," he said.
McClendon asked years ago if the profession would be added to a trade school but was told it was no longer needed.
He says the path to success is tedious but says he's willing to teach those who are willing to learn.
"Shout out to my brother at Ciao Bella's Hair Salon. He's helping me put together a curriculum," McClendon said.
Those who know McClendon say he's got a good heart and 'sole'.
He's even helped the homeless when they are in need.
"He'll do anything if he can help them."
From making items look new again, McClendon will continue to work and perfect his craft everyday.
"Most of my customers say they come here because I have five stars," he said.
His love for West End Shoe Shop will live on.
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