Here at the Arbolog, we work hard to try and practice reducing, reusing, refusing, and repairing before we get to recycling, because as far as I am concerned, the jury is out on whether recycling really does lower my carbon footprint. To that end, I’ve spent a long time finding people capable of repairing things. When you live in an area for a long time, you tend to build up a list of go-to people that can repair things that need repairing. I’ve found that nine times out of ten, it actually costs me more to repair stuff than it would to buy a new, cheap item, but I’m personally trying hard to buy higher quality items that are worth repairing. I also like being able to say “Ooh, I got someone for that” and pass on the info. Makes me feel like I’m in the know. Disclosure: no one has paid me or asked me to write this.
I bought a pair of higher quality Birkenstock knockoffs from a well known local shoe store back when I was pregnant. I have since blown through the sole and into the cork, so I had the soles replaced. The shoes cost me $110. The repair was $40. Now I am working my way through the suede footbed and need to replace that.
I also have a favorite pair of Portuguese made leather shoes that I bought in some fancy pants West Vancouver shoe store. They were having a “last pairs” sale and since I’m a size 6, there generally isn’t much for me at clearance sales. But I lucked out and a pair of Eject shoes that normally retailed for $290 was a mere $99. I bought them, and wore them more or less daily when I was still a full time office worker, and scuffed my way through the sole. I had the soles replaced on those as well, but I haven’t been wearing them as often. See also: Mom Uniform. I don’t need office appropriate shoes anymore. The repair was well done, however, and cost me only $50. These shoes are about 5 years old and I will wear them until they fall off my feet.
My go-to place for shoes is New West Cobbler.
A few years ago, instead of dropping a hint, I emailed Ross a direct link to a series of Citizen Eco-Drive watches and said “for my birthday gift”. Like a smart husband, Ross didn’t question it, and went directly to a local jeweler and bought the one he felt I’d like the most (he was right). A few years after that, Ross proposed to me and so we went to the same jeweler to get my engagement ring made, Ross’ wedding band made, and my wedding band ordered to match. This past Christmas, I bought Ross an Eco-Drive watch as well from the same jeweler. You could say we are impressed with their customer service and prices. I walk in there and they hold their hands out and automatically scrub my rings while I shop. They all know my name and the name of our son. I like that. I recently had the crystal replaced on my watch, and had them unbend the crown that I bent when I caught it on the dresser while putting away laundry (Little known fact: laundry is a full contact sport, apparently). Total bill for the repair: $61. On a $200 watch that I have worn every single day for 4? 5? years, that’s not too terribly bad. It’s good as new.
Our go-to jeweler is Cartwright Jewelers.
Hemming and Alterations:
HI, my name is Jen and I am five feet tall. Pretty much every single pair of pants I own needs to be hemmed, and I have recently discovered how nicely things can fit if I have the waist taken in as well. I had my wedding dress custom made for me by an incredible local designer and I wish she made custom clothing and did alternations and hemming. However, I have recently discovered Genie’s Stitch in the otherwise lackluster Royal City Centre. Hemming a pair of pants is generally overnight and it a whopping $7. Boo-ya. I doubt her name is Genie – it’s probably more like Jelena or Gordana, but I don’t care. It’s 100% pure awesome.
My go-to tailor is Genie’s Stitch.
I have a dog whose a bit of a snot when it comes to nail trimming. She doesn’t like other dogs, she’s set in her ways, and if she really wants to get your attention she will emit a noise that makes you think she is being pulled apart (google “shiba scream”). it is truly awful and completely embarrassing. When I first moved to the neighbourhood I’m in now, I wandered over to Hair of the Dog on 12th Street, where friendly and sweet Barb picked Mooki up, popped her up on the groom table, and chatted with me while effortlessly trimming Mooki’s nails. She laughed at the noise Mooki made, and it didn’t faze her one bit. Dog grooming is something you don’t get into unless you are comfortable and like dogs. Barb is so comfortable around them that neurotic dog owner (me) was comfortable too. I’ve written about Hair of the Dog before. I still stand behind every word, two years later.
Our dog groomer is Hair of the Dog.