Would shoe believe it! Cobbler’s fortunes in 180 degree turn after social media campaign goes viral

Janaszak has been repairing shoes in his Warsaw workshop for 40 years. Kalbar / TFN

Though social activism and viral campaigns tend to be the domain of the young, one pensioner has had his luck turned around thanks to a local blogger.

Cobbler Adam Janaszak was facing dire straits with his once-bustling Warsaw workshop seeing fewer and fewer customers, before an old friend turned up to help.

Hearing of Janaszak’s plight, Agata, who runs the lifestyle blog Agata4life, issued a plea on Facebook, imploring people to make use of the 80-year-old’s services.

She posted: “I have known Mr Adam for about thirty years, because my grandmother was one of his first clients. He is probably the oldest shoemaker in Warsaw.

“Unfortunately, he has had less and less work.”

The response was instantaneous, with the post liked 17,000 times, and shared by 30,000 users, and Janaszak received an immediate windfall.

Cobbler Adam Janaszak says business has been booming since a Facebook campaign calling for customers went viral. Pictured: Adam helps customer with her Jimmy Choo shoes.
(Kalbar / TFN)

He told The First News: “The door won't stop opening. I have had more work in the last three days than I used to get in a month.”

Janaszak first moved into the workshop forty years ago when the street was full of craftsmen.

During communism they filled out the gaps in the market, but more recently they have found it harder to compete in a market where people tend to buy disposable shoes for 30 PLN.

Nor can he actually work with the material.

“How can I repair these?,” laments Janaszak, picking up a pair of ballet flats. “There’s nothing I can do.”

The change in fortunes, however, have put the pensioner at ease. For him, a life without cobbling shoes is unimaginable.

“What would I do all day? Sit on a bench and stare into space?”

“I just love my work. I love the satisfaction I see on people’s face. It’s not a trial, it’s a pleasure.”

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