As we navigate through the crowds, just one day after Christmas day, in the early hours of operation at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, the buzz of buy! Buy! Buy! Sale! Sale! Sale! is everywhere in site and the frenzy is palpitating. We are in this mall every Tuesday and Friday picking up and returning repairs to some of our best luxury retail clients including Gucci, Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton and Henri Bendel.

Once we collect our items to repair we head back to a different pace, and what may seem like a different era altogether, just a short 15 miles away to our main shop in The Village of Laguna Beach. Here you won’t see any fancy lights, and gleaming polished countertops, but glance up and you’ll discover an original barn board wood rooftop, artifacts and shoe memorabilia’s since the day the shop opened its doors just over 35 years ago. This historical building, turning 100 years old, is one of the original beach houses and our main 3000 sqft. facility where all the magic happens.

A shoe and leather repair shop seems to be a business that not many are involved in anymore. It’s difficult to find staff to understand, then take the time to learn this intricate craft, along with rising rental rates, it’s difficult to keep up. Our society has been accustomed to the “I need more, I need something new” to feel good or by keeping up with the latest trends. Before I started with Factotum, I had the same mentality, it’s broken, it’s faded it’s worn out oh well, just throw it away, give it away and replace it. Now I knock my head to think how many nice items I gave away when all it needed was a few simple stitches or some dye to bring it back to life.

before factotum leather work

The bag before…

blue bag after Factotum

The bag after…

Tom and Daniele Graffio, the co-owners and husband and wife team, have operated Factotum since 1969. They had several locations throughout the past decades, now with just two in Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach. Tom is a third generation Cobbler, his dad and grandfather showing him the trade. It’s fascinating to speak with Tom about anything to do with leather. You can learn so much information about the trade, and may realize how little you know about the construction of products.

factotum givenchy before and after leather repair

Givenchy bag before and after

When customers come and repair or refurbish their items they are amazed and in awe and usually exclaim with disbelief “it looks brand new!” Yes, well that’s the point 🙂 . We work with a skilled team of cobblers, sewers and refinishers that have collectively over 50 years experience with the company. In fact, most items after they are repaired are constructed with better quality materials than before the original repair.

So why not make it your 2018 resolution to go a bit Greener, and even save some “Green” with Refurbishing instead of Replacing your well-worn shoes and fine leather handbags this year.

We look forward to serving you.

Sincerely, the staff at Factotum

392 Ocean Avenue
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone: (877) FACTOTUM

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