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Traders & Craftsmen - at the same time

A shoe with a worn-out sole, a broken zipper. A beloved, worn armchair or the family heirloom, the beautiful sofa. A bicycle, lawnmower, or chainsaw longing for the toolbox. Knowledgeable traders take care of almost everything. Services that value emotional worth and strive for a more sustainable future are offered.

Can beloved boots already be worn out, and why did I stuff too much into my beautiful handbag, causing the zipper to break? Kajsa Caris Ekefall from Askersunds Skoshop has the solution. Once a week, she exchanges her workplace in the shoe store for the small shoemaker's shop located in one of the city's beautiful courtyards. Here, she resoles and repairs shoes, replaces zippers and Velcro fasteners, repairs shoes, boots, and bags.

This is also where Kajsa started her career in the shoe industry 12 years ago as an apprentice under the former master shoemaker Ingvar Nordgren. Today, she owns the shoemaker's shop and has taken over both the premises and the old, well-functioning machines.

Kajsa shares that she often hears the comment: "Do people still repair shoes today?" and how customers are then delighted to get their favorite shoes back in whole and beautiful condition. She believes it's a shame to throw away things that aren't otherwise broken.

"It's fun to keep the craft alive and contribute to sustainability in this way," she says. Kajsa also mentions the surprised comments from customers expecting an older gentleman as the cobbler. "It's great to be able to surprise," she laughs. Women can do this too, and being a cobbler isn't about the clothes or hairstyle.

Breathing new life into old furniture

Upholsterer Eva Sääv is located on the cozy Stöökagatan, where she has both her shop and workshop. Some beautiful old chairs in poor condition wait in a corner to be reupholstered and recovered, and here stands the beautiful sofa rejuvenated with colorful fabric. Eva showcases a carefully selected range of fabrics with both traditional and modern designs.

She prefers working with natural materials, both for upholstery and fabrics. Customers bring in design classics, family heirlooms, or beloved furniture with emotional value, and it's exciting to advise whether they should restore its original design or opt for something modern or unexpected, she says.

Eva is passionate about recycling and environmentally friendly resource management, which she combines with her creative craftsmanship. And that's noticeable. With 27 years in the industry as a self-employed upholsterer, Eva stands on solid ground and delivers quality. And we can conclude that this brings joy to both her and others who get help to make their homes cozy with cherished and cared-for items.

The department store with the toolbox behind the counter

Can you have your bike repaired, your lawnmower serviced, or chainsaws and brush cutters checked at a department store? Of course, you can, answers Mikael Johansson, who operates the Varuhuset in Rönneshytta. And the need is significant and current, as confirmed. No less than three repairmen work in the department store with garden tools and lawnmowers. Mikael sees the workshop as a great addition to the retail part.

"The workshop ensures that we have the know-how and broad expertise on-site, and the staff can answer all kinds of questions and solve the trickiest problems. The Varuhuset becomes a safe place for good deals," says Mikael.

And it's already a somewhat unique concept that this rural department store offers. Here you find everything – well, almost everything. Groceries, interior details, garden furniture, hunting and fishing equipment. A sled for winter, paint cans for renovation, life jackets, toys, and much more... However, TVs, phones, and computers are absent. It feels just right in this down-to-earth store.

Welcome to the trade of small towns and rural areas – trade with heart and hand.