Rebecca has been repairing shoes and boots (as well as making a few by hand) since early 2009, when she began learning the trade from a 3rd generation Dutch cobbler here in Vancouver. She opened East Van Shoe Repair in the eastern-most suite of the historic Shaldon Hotel building at 60 East Hastings Street in November of 2013.
Rebecca’s hands have resuscitated literally thousands of pairs of shoes: ballet flats to stiletto heels, flip-flops to caulk boots and everything in between. Her repairs seek a balance that maintains the footwear’s appearance, comfort and longevity and she reads her customers as well as their shoes in determining how best to serve each of them. Combining old-world care and attention with modern technologies and techniques, she can fix just about anything and has a knack not only for making shoes work again, but for making them work beautifully. In many cases, the repaired shoes end up looking and feeling better and lasting the wearer longer than the shoe did when it was new. Every pair leaves the shop shined by hand, with the customer invited to bring them back if they have any concerns.
Prior to learning the trades of cobbling and cordwaining, Rebecca studied fashion design and merchandising with a focus on sustainable textiles, and worked in East Van as a pattern-maker and design developer. She enjoys working with leather and is an advocate of its use as a sustainable, hard-wearing and repairable alternative to synthetic materials.
Rebecca is passionate about shoes and boots, but also loves walking, hiking and biking in them around the lower mainland. Her other interests include all manner of arts and crafts, music, politics, scrabble, coffee and cooking. She has lived in East Vancouver with her partner, Stefan, and many pet sewing machines since 2005.
Watch Rebecca at work at East Van Shoe Repair