Having honed their shoemaking, repair and professional shoe shining skills under their shoemaking father’s influential expertise in Ecuador’s ‘shoemaking capital’ the town of Gualaceo, in 1988 Fausto Guamantari brought his expertise to the Empire State Building where he repaired shoes for wealthy people in Manhattan for five years. He then began repairing shoes at the widely-respected Jim’s Shoe Repair on 59th Street, a business in existence for over 60 years. In 1993, Felipe Guamantari brought his Ecuadorian-trained skills to Manhattan’s also well-regarded Leather Spa that employs 90 shoemakers and professional shoe shiners. Meticulously-
In June of 2014, the Guamantari brothers are celebrating five years of notable success. In 2008 they opened their first store at 78 Stony Hill Road in Bethel where they began offering custom shoemaking skills along with shoe repair, professional shoe shining, handbag restoration and many other services. In June 2013 they moved their operation from 78 to 68 Stony Hill Road and their business increased by 40%. “Drivers see us easily because our store is located in the front of the shopping plaza that also houses Mexican Rose Restaurant & Cantina, Aveda New Beginning Salon & Spa, Newtown Savings Bank and Toe Toe Nails. “This plaza attracts 300 to 400 people every weekday. Traffic on Thursdays and Fridays is even heavier,” stated Felipe Guamantari., “We attract a lot of people sitting in traffic who are very happy to learn about our business and are very pleased with our services.”
Fausto Guamantari added, “We have many customers across the country that find us online and just place orders from our website. A number of our loyal customers drive up from Connecticut’
Annually the brothers attend an international shoe convention, “to offer the best services to our customers.” Fausto Guamantari explained, “We attend this expo to bring the very best materials and seasonal styles to our sophisticated customers. We learn about new fabrics, leathers, rubbers, polishes and better ways to maintain shoes. Plus we learn how to best serve our customers, improve our skills, and better machinery and equipment. Because of the 2013 summer convention in Mexico, this summer we’ll be installing new machines that we saw at that convention. All to best serve our customers.”
On June 5th, Shoe Service Plaza celebrated their fifth anniversary of success. In addition to creating hand-made, all-leather custom shoes and belts, and offering fast-service professional shoe repair, handbag restoration, and fabric shoe dyeing, the enterprising brothers now offer custom-made sandals. “Women really like our all-leather hand-made sandals because they can get exactly the style and color they want. This complements are dying capabilities for fabric shoes that women want for weddings, communions, graduations, and other special occasions,” commented Fausto Guamantari.
“Our expertise,” commented Felipe Guamantari, “is especially appreciated by people in, or formerly from, big cities. People who come from New York to our Bethel store are always delighted to see our big leather professional shoe shine chairs. We offer a ‘lost art’ and people are happy to experience expert shoe shines while sitting and reading a newspaper or magazine, or working on a computer.”
Shoe Service Plaza’s far-reaching reputation across the U.S. comes from their expert abilities to make and repair custom shoes, plus clean, dye, remove scratches and repair any quality leather product, plus expertly replace zippers, shoe soles, heels and tips. “We stock a complete line of leather care polishes, creams and laces, shoe trees and much more including umbrellas. We can stretch either the length or width of boots, add zippers, modify a shoe or boot’s instep, create innersoles or put in heel counters so shoes don’t slip off people’s feet,” stated Felipe Guamantari.
Handcrafted belts are an additional specialty of the successful Guamantari brothers. “Our belts are made-to-order using the very finest of materials. Customers from across the U.S. send us their specific requests for leather, width, color and buckle style and material. We also restore belts. We also specialize in cleaning and repairing UGG® Australia boots and shoes by removing stains and salt.”
Located at 68 Stony Hill Road in Bethel, Shoe Service Plaza can be contacted at 203-297-6040. Their Southbury store is located at 134 Main Street South at Unit 69F in Bennett Square, and can be contacted at 203-405-6025. For more information, and to place orders, visit www.shoeserviceplaza.com.
Shoe Service Plaza
Shoe Service Plaza