PROFITABLE: In a good month, a cobbler can make up to RM2,000
ALOR STAR: FOR a quick fix for a broken heel or worn out sole, go to Jalan Selamat in downtown Alor Star.
There are at least eight cobblers who are ever ready to serve you.
"Competition is good for us," said Mohd Noor Ariffin, 48, as he works on a torn toe cap of what appears to be an expensive stiletto shoe.
"It keeps us on our toes so that we provide good service to our customers."
On his lap is a boot which needs a new sole.
Mohd Noor, who started working in the shoe-mending business recently, makes about RM2,000 in a good month.
Another cobbler, Ahmad Suki, 48, learnt his trade in the Jalan Chow Kit area in Kuala Lumpur.
“It was tough at first but, after a while, I managed to master the skills and start my own business,” he said, adding that the trade had brought him to several places including Langkawi and Perlis before he decided to settle down here.
“I had always wanted to be my own boss and I am glad I finally made it,” he said.
Mohd Noor and Ahmad said they owed a lot to their guru Mohd Mohtar Baharom.
The 56-year-old cobbler, who has been conducting training for prison inmates, visits them every now and then to provide advice and moral support.
“Anybody can pick up this skill but they must have patience and passion,” he said, adding that he was happy with the achievements of his two friends.