Mequon Shoe Repair
10970 N. Port Washington Road
Owners: Raisa and Naum Fridman
Service: Boot and shoe repair
When did you open Mequon Shoe Repair and what’s your background in shoemaking?
Raisa Fridman: “We started 22 years ago in West Allis, and then 11 years ago we moved to Mequon. In Russia, my husband (Naum Fridman) used to work in a shoe factory, making shoes. We came to Wisconsin from Russia in 1995.”
“Shoes, steel toed boots, baseball gloves, leather chairs—we’ve done one for a dentist’s office. Sometimes we sew buttons. We also do zippers on jackets. Sometimes people bring in bags, telling us, ‘It was my grandma’s and I want to keep it.’”
Who is your clientele? How has it grown over the years?
“We have many different kinds of customers—police officers, firefighters, kids, adults, working people who wear steel-toed boots, dancers from the nearby dance studio … I can’t count the number of customers we’ve had over the years, but people still come in over and over again… We still have customers coming from West Allis. Most people know us through word of mouth.”
What’s your favorite part about operating a small, family-owned business?
“There are a lot of advantages. It’s why my husband continues to stay in this business at the age of 72. People often come in and tell us stories and say that we are helping them… It’s not just business and money—it’s something personal. It’s been good for us because it’s made our circle of people much wider than what we’d have at a regular job.”