Carl took an apprenticeship, eventually taking over the business in 1973. Called “Rapid Shoe Repairs”, he says the was store “always heaving” with customers.
But as the decades rolled on, so did fashion.
“Mosman women who once wore nothing but high heels, began to buy more casual footwear,” he says.
“And men working in the city also started wearing cheaper shoes.
“It did slow the shoe-making business down – and now I think it is sometimes cheaper to throw away your shoes, rather than get them fixed.”
When they moved into the Mosman Arcade in 1987, Carl and wife Elizabeth decided to offer new services, catering to the changing needs of locals.
Instead of making bespoke shoes, Carl started repairing them, and his meticulous skills attracted some major celebrities in the process.
“Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman heard about me and had their repairs done here,” Carl says.
“When they were in Australia, their publicist would sometimes bring Tom’s shoes in for me to fix – and I even made him a leather belt, with a buckle that had the Opera House on it.”