It was 1999 and Statesboro resident Jimmy Raymond worked at a small shoe repair shop in the Statesboro Mall. The shop was going to close so one of his friends convinced him to open up his own shoe repair business, since it was going to be the only one in Statesboro and Bulloch County.

While in the process of finalizing the branding process, he asked his brother for some help. While considering some possible names, they had an idea.

“My brother’s name is Willie and even though he didn’t work at the business, W&J Shoe Repair sounded better than Jimmy’s Shoe Repair.”

That same year, W&J Shoe Repair Shop opened for business. 21 years later, the locally-owned business is still the ONLY repair shop in the whole of Bulloch County.

When asked about big changes in the business throughout the years, one thing that he liked was the new location he’s at now. Even though it’s the building next to where he was before, he mentioned that he likes the view: how the light and sun shine through his front windows and the scenery.

One of the biggest things he started doing around 2010 was cutting the heels of women’s shoes to customer preference, something not done by a lot of shoe repairers. He also began to do leather crafting.

“I’ve been able to do gun holsters, belt buckles, and wallets. My belts were a winner over here. Everybody would come in and they wanted belts.”

Currently, W&J is the only shop in Bulloch County that actually works with all kinds of leather.

Jimmy does expect to keep his business open for the moment, even though it’s been pretty slow because of the current pandemic.

“Only time will tell…,” he said.

W&J Shoe Repair Shop is located at 43 W Main St in Statesboro, GA, right across the street from the Post Office. You can also call him at (912) 536-6660.

This business spotlight was provided by the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority and Main Street Program.