Cedar Grove Bootery, Cedar Grove
“Good Shoes Deserve a Second Chance,” says the awning above the Cedar Grove Bootery, a small shoe repair shop with a widespread reputation for quality work. Owner Leroy Hayes, 55, learned his craft from a master cobbler in South Orange. He says he has been shining shoes since he was nine. “Back when Nixon was president, I made $125 shining shoes in one day,” he says. From a quick shine to a broken stiletto heel, Hayes does the work while customers flip through magazines and listen to jazz in the cozy waiting room. “I accommodate each customer as much as I possibly can,” Hayes says. The Bootery also repairs handbags and makes custom leather belts. 973-239-0748.
Hallak Cleaners, Hackensack
For almost 50 years, this family-owned business—which claims to be one of 11 certified couture cleaners in the world—has built a reputation for laundering luxury garments, suedes and leathers, window treatments, designer ski apparel, handbags and fine linens. They are go-to experts for restoring and restyling antique wedding gowns, as well as altering and preserving new ones. “We are currently caring for a wedding veil that belonged to Marie Antoinette,” says Marie-Louise Hallak. The company also restores smoke-, fire- or water-damaged clothing, draperies, upholstery and linens. Hallak offers complimentary pickup and delivery in Bergen County. 201-343-7333.
G.O. Keller’s, Plainfield and Westfield
Linder’s French Cleaners, Bernardsville
For 37 years, this true French cleaner has taken pride in inspecting every item before it’s cleaned—covering delicate buttons, cleaning fancy items in net bags, making minor repairs at no extra cost, and soft pressing every garment. They can also rejuvenate Uggs; clean suedes, leather, table linens and bed linens; repair shoes and handbags; store furs; preserve wedding gowns; sanitize drapes, comforters and couch covers; and clean outdoor cushions. 908-766-6404.
Rago Brothers Shoe and Leather Repair, Morristown
Walk-ins are welcome at the Speedwell Avenue workshop, which thrums with the chatter of vintage cobbler machines. The shop takes on virtually all leather repairs, from baseball gloves to Louboutin stilettos. Third-generation owners Tom and Tony Rago trace the shop’s success to the opening of the nearby Mall at Short Hills in the 1980s. The brothers recruited the mall’s luxury retailers as clients; word of their services quickly spread. “All of a sudden they wanted us doing repairs for the whole East Coast,” recalls Tom. Now they do repairs for most of North America. 973-539-7949.
Schultz Furriers, Millburn
Unsure what to do with that full-length mink you haven’t worn for 10 years? Robert and Christine Schultz, along with sons Ashley and Carter, will remove the shoulder pads, shorten it to a sassier, hipper length, shear the fur and make it fashionable—and wearable—again. One of a handful of furriers remaining in New Jersey, they restyle old furs and also offer new furs, shearlings, vests, ponchos and accessories, along with cleaning, repair, alteration, revitalization and storage services. 973-376-1285.
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