Aziza and Modreci (or Moe, for short) Draper are the owners of Detroit Shoe Repair, the recently opened business at 18716 Grand River. Moe and Aziza are excited to open shop in Grandmont Rosedale, especially since this is a kind of homecoming for Moe. Moe grew up on Artesian and looks forward to repairing not just shoes, but purses, and suede and leather goods for the community. In the 15 years Moe has been in the shoe repair business, he has visited over 30 shoe repair shops in more than a dozen cities and is a member of the National Association of Shoemakers and Cobblers. Moe received much of his training in New York City where having a good pair of shoes is a must. Moe also repairs the well-worn boots and shoes of the Detroit Police Department’s 6th and 8th Precincts. From replacing zippers on a pair of dress boots to putting new heels on a pair of work boots, Moe has learned how best to repair shoes and will even tell you, in a friendly way, if your shoes aren’t worth repairing. Moe’s many repeat customers are perhaps the best testimonials to a skilled craftsman who takes the time to repair a favorite purse, leather bag, or pair of shoes.
For the last 2 ½ years Moe and Aziza have had a Saturday shoe repair stand in Shed 4 at Eastern Market that is as busy as the booths selling fresh vegetables. One recent Saturday, Moe helped a customer who had trouble remembering whether she left brown or black boots in Moe’s capable hands. “I remember you, you’re the brown boots, not black,” Moe said without hesitation. Next came a customer who had not left shoes for Moe to repair, but came to pick up a pair of boots that Moe had repaired and was giving away, free of charge. Moe collects donated shoes and boots, repairs them, and then gives them out to the homeless. Working with the Brightmoor Community Center, the Glorious Freedom Mission in Midtown, and Planet Aid, Moe calls this mission Saving Soles. Moe has collected and given out repaired shoes and boots to the homeless for as long as he’s had his booth at Eastern Market.
Moe and Aziza are happy to have a permanent shop in Grandmont Rosedale, but will continue to serve customers at Eastern Market on Saturdays from 8 am – 4pm. The hours at the Detroit Shoe Repair on Grand River are Mon. – Fri. 9 am – 6 pm and Sundays 10 am – 3 pm. Stop by and introduce yourself to Aziza and Moe. With any luck, you’ll meet their two children who are often on hand to greet customers with a smile. You can also visit http://www.detroitshoerepair.com/ or call 313-444-9399 for more information.