Lessons Learned on a Shoe Last

Son of a Shoemaker

I am the son of a third generation Shoemaker.  My great grandfather arrived at Ellis Island having left his wife and children behind because they couldn't afford passage for everyone.  He worked on the streets of New York City repairing shoes out of a box until he could save up enough money for passage for his family. 

They moved to Seattle and established his own shoe repair shop where he taught his son the trade.  My grandfather later did the same with my father, and he with me.  I spent evenings after school and Saturdays in the back of the family store, polishing shoes, grinding soles and heels and cleaning up after everyone.  My older brother now runs my father's store where his 3 kids have all learned the trade and my nephew works full time. 

There is a sign in that shop which has been there as long as I can remember, it says, "The sweetness of low price is forgotten, long after the bitterness of poor quality remains."  No other slogan has stuck with me in this business or any other that I've worked in.  As discount brokerages and limited service companies compete for our business claiming "full service, not full commissions."  I think of that sign and wonder; if I could do 3 times the volume I do, inclusive of all the services I offer, for the same income, would I?  I suppose I could help more people; I do consider my work a public service and not just a job.  But in reality the quality of what I do would suffer greatly.  I am not a volume Realtor.  I handle a few listings at a time, a few buyers at a time and devote lots of energy and effort to each one.  I am constantly learning new aspects of our business trying to improve my knowledge base and the quality of my services.  In the end, my hope and expectation is my clients will feel they got my best and were served well and that the quality will be appreciated.

This picture was taken around 1978.  Seated, my grandfather Chick Sr. is on the left, my brother Chris, then My father, mother and me.


Did you like this post?  Do you know someone else who might?  Do you know anyone who might benefit from our services?  Please pass this along to family or friends or contact us, we love to help.

Dan Tabit       206-310-8629    425-868-SOLD(7653)  DanTabit@Northstone.net

One stop Real Estate & Mortgage Services Serving Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond, Bellevue, Mercer Island and the greater Seattle area.  

Comment balloon 7 commentsDan Tabit • November 20 2009 08:59PM
Lessons Learned on a Shoe Last
Son of a Shoemaker I am the son of a third generation Shoemaker. My great grandfather arrived at Ellis Island having left his wife and children behind because they couldn't afford passage for everyone. He worked on the streets of New York… more
Listing a Home For Sale Now, Rather Than Spring
Listing a home for sale now, rather than spring I've been having conversation with other agents, clients and noticing a few blog posts on AR on this subject. Traditionally it has been sound advice to list your home in the spring, when the… more
Wordless Wednesday, Ocean Sunset
The ocean in the fall and winter can be spectacular. Storms buffet the beaches with high winds and occasionally horizontal rains. It was March in Long Beach Washington when we took a family outing and enjoyed the pounding of the grey seas… more
Rats Coming Out of the Sewer into Homes
Rats Coming Out of the Sewer into Homes. In a previous post I referenced a KOMO 4 news story about rats entering vacant and foreclosed homes. I was watching the news again last night and saw another story which really gave me the shivers. &… more
Million Dollar Mobile Home?
Million Dollar Mobile Home? Yes! I was out doing our normal Tuesday Tour of Brokers Open houses and stumbled upon something which surprised me. A double wide mobile home on the market for over a million dollars, in fact it's $1, 250, 000 to be… more
Rats, Taking Up Residence.
Rats are taking up residence. According to KOMO 4 News Seattle's ABC Affiliate, Rats are taking up residence in vacant and foreclosed homes. According to KOMO's Problem Solvers, to reduce the likelihood of a rat infestation in your vacant… more
Silent Sunday, Sunset over Rainier
For our 25th anniversary, Elsie & I took a few days without kids and enjoyed spending time all around Mt. Rainier. On this occasion, we had been up at the Paradise Visitors Center as the sun was fading. The sky began to change hues and… more
What's the Blue Book on my Home?
What's the Blue Book on my Home? We've all been in social situations where we're talking to someone we just met and you mention you sell real estate. What's my home worth; it's a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, built in 1995, yada yada yada. I'm always… more
Going after Big Bucks, I took the shot… Less Words Wednesday…
Driving to look at some Brokers Open House's with my wife last week, this big fellow bounded across the road in front of us. We see deer on a daily basis but this one really impressed us, he was majestic. I asked for my camera as we pulled… more
Wordless Wednesday, It may be fall now, but spring will return
As we've gone through the downturn in the economy, many of our colleagues and friends have left this profession for another. For those of us who have hung in, put into practice the things that we know will work, we will emerge and bloom just… more