Daily Mail Australia article December 4 2017
'Scuffed heels is not a good look': Busy mum who couldn't find time to go to a cobbler launches 'Uber-style' luxury shoe and handbag repairs - and pick up and delivery is FREE
- Courtney MacRalid Plank and her partner Craig have launched Sole Service
- She would leave shoes in the boot for months hoping to find the time for repairs
- After always forgetting about it she decided to bring cobbling to 21st century
- Customers order repairs online, get free pick-up and delivery across Australia
Working full-time in the corporate world, Courtney MacRalid Plank found herself constantly tearing through her expensive designer shoes and handbags.
But the soon-to-be mother-of-two could never find the time to get them repaired, much less remember to pick them up if they ever got there.
So Courtney decided to take matters into her own hands and, with the help of her partner Craig, launched a service that is revolutionising the cobbler business.
Soon-to-be mother-of-two Courtney MacRalid Plank and her partner Craig (pictured with their toddler) launched Sole Service - the 'Uber' of fixing shoes and bags
Courtney told Daily Mail Australia that she wanted to bring the convenience of the digital age to a centuries-old trade.
'I am now a mum of a two-year-old toddler and pregnant with a second, time is even more precious and trying to get out and run errands is a planned event,' she said.
'I utilise online services all the time. If they can't deliver to me, I find someone else that will. It's become a way of life.'
Courtney was inspired by her own struggle to make the time for finding a local cobbler, much less scheduling a drop-off and pick-up time.
The result was her own professional clothes were often left looking damaged and torn.
'Having scuffed heels and worn handbag straps was not a good look when meeting with clients,' she said.
Courtney wanted to create a service that would bring cobbling to the 21st century by offering free pick-up and delivery across Australia, as well as an online ordering system
'I would have the best of intentions, put my shoes in my car ready to drop-off to a cobbler, then three months later they would still be rolling around in my boot.'
'Forget trying to remember to pick them up again!'
Courtney wanted to bring the 'old-school cobbler' to young and busy professionals who also invested in their wardrobes.
So she designed Sole Service to be as easy and accessible as possible, ensuring orders could be done completely online.
'Today's society is online savvy, we found shoe and handbag repairers were not,' Courtney said.
'We knew we could fill the void, just like Uber did improving on a traditional service that meets today's needs.'
The site is simple: After choosing a shoe service, users are asked to provide corresponding details like size and colour and then select a day for courier pick-up.
Courtney wanted to bring the 'old-school cobbler' to young and busy professionals who also invested in their wardrobes (file photo)
A range of services are available, including shoe restitching ($32.50), strap repair ($42.50), shoe cleaning ($66), zipper replacement ($95), and even a shoe colour change ($130).
Handbag services include in-lining repair ($89), zipper replacement ($95), strap replacement ($130), and a major clean and restoration ($130).
Once an order is received it takes seven to 10 days for repair and is then shipped back to the customer, free of charge.
Each order is wrapped in a special Sole Service bag and can be delivered to a home or office address.
Courtney wanted to give customers the chance to experience the rush of having a 'brand new' item again with the packaging
Courtney said she wanted to give customers the chance to experience the rush of having a 'brand new' item all over again with the packaging.
Sole Service officially launched in Adelaide in November 2016 and has since been expanded to all states and is even available in rural towns.
It also offers free quotations and consultations for any customer who is unsure about which repair service is best.
The Sole Service team also repair designer items from brands like Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton.
Sole Service is currently the only company in Australia that picks up and delivers repairs nationwide, but a few cobblers are now making their services available via post.