Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series!
I’m so excited to share the story of another power-couple business owner, Wendy and Karel Kumpfmuller from Kumpfy Shoes & Repair!
As Canmore’s only cobbler, Kumpfy Shoes is known amongst locals as the go-to place for shoe repairs.
However, Wendy and Karel have a personal goal to keep as much as possible out of the landfills so they also offer repair services for several other items, such as jackets, zippers, cross country ski boots, BBQ covers, bags, duvet covers, gloves – and they’ll even dabble in the unconventional repairs like a dog harness!
They also ensure to stock the best selection of footwear and accessories for locals and visitors alike.
Wendy and Karel are proud to carry one of the largest collections of hiking boots, climbing shoes, and Birkenstocks in the Bow Valley! For repairs, customers can visit in-store, mail their item to the store, or visit their drop-off location in Calgary at the Norseman Outdoor Specialist. Armed with Karel and Eijiro as their in-house cobblers, they’ve also added an alterations specialist to assist with tailoring, mending, and alterations!
Karel and Wendy approach their business and lifestyle with one simple motto:
Resole, Repair, Reuse!
And they love that their customers eagerly join them in being committed to waste reduction! They truly believe that “Leave No Trace” can and should apply to your gear as well as your physical impact on your surroundings, and they both recognize that it’s a huge privilege to be able to recreate and live where we do.
Kumpfy Shoes & Repair had a very humble beginning, several years ago!
Ultimately, Kumpfy Shoes was born out of a hobby of repairing used climbing shoes in Wendy and Karel’s backyard shed. As time went on, they realized that Canmore hadn’t had a cobbler in nearly 20 years and found the perfect gap to fill.
Wendy and Karel are both originally from Calgary but have now been in Canmore for 20+ years!
They gather lots of information from fellow cobblers and repair specialists, often observing and checking in with others in the field. Without a formal school, being a cobbler is generally an inherited profession and skill so they need to be creative to continue learning and evolving their methods and techniques.
Having been in town for over two decades, they’ve collected a great community of supporters and now wanted to share the love.
When they’re not repairing shoes, boots, and gear, you can find Wendy and Karel around town enjoying a bite and connecting with their neighbours. Their favourite spots to hit up are Sheepdog Brewing, Patrinos Canmore, and Beamers Coffee Bar. They also wanted to give a shoutout to long-time friend, talented filmmaker, and climber Andy Arts. They have a great partnership with Norseman Outdoor Specialist in Calgary, where customers can drop off gear in need of repair. Lastly, they’re proud to have just installed new solar panels by Skyfire Energy!
You can now find Kumpfy Shoes & Repair in their brand new location in Canmore!
Since they officially opened in 2016, Kumpfy Shoes was located on Kananaskis Way. In November 2021, they moved to their new location in the Moose Meadows Business Park where they now have tons of room to showcase their retail products and a comfortable workshop for repairs.
To match their new location, Wendy and Karel hope to keep growing their business!
While they continue to work on business efficiency with their staff, the ultimate goal is to help other local businesses perform repairs that they would normally have to take to Calgary. This would save local businesses the gas and trouble of going to the city, and continue to support sustainability and recycling in the Bow Valley!
They’ve now repaired over 5000 pairs of climbing shoes!
And that number doesn’t include all of the other shoes, boots, and garments they’ve repaired along the way! While Wendy and Karel never intended to open a repair shop, it’s just naturally happened after years of repairing climbing shoes for friends. Now 6 years later, it all comes as second nature!
So next time you’re upset that your favourite pair of shoes are starting to show some wear or bust a zipper on your favourite jacket consider bringing it to Wendy and Karel instead of throwing it in the back of your closet, or worse, the dumpster! If you’re in need of a new pair of shoes, boots or Birkenstocks, make sure to check out their huge variety of products available – don’t see what you want? They’ve been amazing at special ordering certain products if they can!
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