Owner Cindy Kalfoglou of Gus's Shoe Repair
Gus’s Shoe Repair
Owner Cindy Kalfoglou learned how to repair shoes and leather after the death of her husband, Gus, who started the business in 1977. “When Gus was young in Greece, he learned to make shoes from his family,” she says. People also come from all over town for repairs on leather goods such as purses, belts and jackets. And if you need your shoes shined, dyed or stretched, it’s also the place to go.
MOST MEMORABLE FIX: The downtown shop does shoe repairs for movie studios and for the television shows “Turn” and “Mercy Street.” “It’s amazing to see some of these shoes. I worked on the shoes that Sally Field wore in ‘Lincoln’ when she played Mary Todd Lincoln. They were handmade shoes from Poland.”
Richmond Community ToolBank
Need a SmartBox, a sledgehammer or reciprocating saw for your group’s next project? The RVA Community Toolbank, which opened in January 2015, lends tools for a small fee to nonprofit members from its warehouse in Scott’s Addition. The Richmond ToolBank is part of ToolBank USA, a national network of ToolBanks. The Richmond ToolBank fashioned itself after the Atlanta Community ToolBank, which has served that community for more than 20 years. The Richmond ToolBank, which has worked with more than 80 nonprofits since January 2015, is independently operated, overseen by a local board and relies on local funding.
Richard Waller Jr. of Waller & Company Jewelers
Waller & Company Jewelers
Richard Waller Jr. has repaired many a watch over the past 60 years at Waller & Company Jewelers, the company his grandfather, M.C. Waller, started in 1900. The 79-year-old is semi-retired but still works a few days each week, making sure that customer watches continue to tick away. A full-service jewelry store, Waller & Company also repairs jewelry and does diamond setting and engraving.
THE OLDEST FIX: Waller Jr. has worked on an oversized pocket watch made in 1873 that his grandfather left him when he died in 1957. “It’s still running.”
SeeClickFix – Richmond
Ben Berkowitz couldn’t connect with his city government in New Haven, Connecticut, to complain about unwanted graffiti in 2009, so he decided to start SeeClickFix, a platform to report quality of life issues to your local government. Today the company is in about 300 localities across the U.S., including Richmond. “Here at SeeClickFix, we love working alongside the City of Richmond to make their city a better, more resilient place to live,” says Dan Kilburn, a program lead at SeeClickFix.
MOST SENTIMENTAL FIX: Using SeeClickFix, a Richmond resident reported a missing toddler swing at a local neighborhood playground and included a picture of the playground equipment. Many other residents hopped on the site to voice their support of the issue being fixed — with more than 14 comments and 33 votes. Within a month, city workers replaced the missing swing.
Tattoo Removal at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery
Rachel Duke, a board-certified nurse practitioner and certified aesthetic nurse specialist, has more than 11 years of experience, including using lasers to remove tattoos. Depending on size and location, it takes a minimum of six visits (about $100 to $600 per session) to remove a tattoo, with about two months between each visit. After the laser breaks down the ink during each treatment, the pigment is removed by the body’s lymphatic system.
MOST TOUCHING FIX: As part of the healing process after a divorce, an older gentleman wanted his ex-wife’s name removed from his arm. “He was so thankful. He really thought he would never be able to get rid of it. He was able to remove that portion of his life and move on.”
Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions
Founded in 1964 with 42 locations in 16 states including three in Richmond, Clearpoint helps consumers get a handle on their finances. The nonprofit provides budget and credit counseling for folks who are facing financial difficulty or are looking to improve their financial situation. “Our average debt management client has about $26,000 in credit card debt and a credit score under 600,” says Thomas Nitzsche, the company’s media relations manager. “In the past five years, we have assisted over 2 million households nationwide and repaid more than $1 billion in debt.”
Capital Results for Public Relations
Companies and organizations from Fortune 100 companies to local nonprofit organizations come to Capital Results when they have complex, challenging problems. “Our niche is when those problems intersect with government or have a very public component to them,” says partner Jay T. Smith. “We’ve helped developers win approval for their projects, broken down legislative barriers for technology companies, fought off overly restrictive regulations for health care companies and assisted organizations [with improving] their standing within the community.”
Jewish Family Services’ Counseling
Jewish Family Services believes everyone is entitled to services that enrich their life and help their overall well-being. The organization is dedicated to “building a stronger, healthier and happier Richmond,” says Dr. Jay White, director of advancement. Jewish Family Services has provided guidance and support to individuals and families of all ages, faiths and income levels since 1849. Services include individual, child, family, marriage and senior counseling. “We have holistic services that can treat mind, body and spirit,” White says. “We can look at the whole person.”
The Loving Spay + Neuter Clinic at Richmond Animal League
This reduced-fee clinic offers spay and neuter services to rescues, municipal facilities and the public. “We have grown tremendously in our six years,” says the clinic’s front manager, Abbey K. Grobe. Most of the clinic’s support comes from donations and grants. “Richmond Animal League sees firsthand what not ‘fixing’ your pets can do,” Grobe says. “So many pets are at the shelters due to unwanted litters and not enough homes. Spaying and neutering is a vital step toward fixing the pet overpopulation.” As of December 2016, the clinic has spayed/neutered 41,777 dogs and cats since its opening in February 2010.
In Your Business Organizing
In July 2002, after a career in nonprofit work, Susie Hayman founded her organizing firm. “Once I’ve done both a phone and on-site assessment, a session is usually three to four hours.” Most of her clients will need more than one session. She also is seeing clients who are negatively impacted by technology. “E-mail, smartphones, social media and apps can increase our efficiency if managed. They can also be a time waster and decrease efficiency if we let them.”
MOST MEMORABLE FIX: Hayman worked with a retired corporate executive who had more than 50 years of papers. Once they purged and created a system for those that he needed to keep, he was able to maintain that system. When he passed away, his wife was able to access the documents she needed and reached out to Hayman with gratitude.
Kimberley Overman and Brigid McHugh Jones of McHugh's Restorations
People from around the country send everything from porcelain to historic presidential plates to McHugh’s, where owner Kimberley Overman and her sister, Brigid McHugh Jones, perform their restorative magic. Their parents started the company in 1975 in Philadelphia and moved it to Richmond in 1980.
MOST DIFFICULT FIX: Louise Jones of McHugh’s chalks up an early Victorian Limoges vase that had shattered. A frame came crashing down and smashed the vase in the historic Hay House in Macon, Georgia. “That was an intense repair. It took nine months.”
Master Mechanic at Smith Auto Service
Ten years ago, we surveyed mechanics about auto repair shops, and they highly recommended Smith Auto Service, founded in 1946 by William C. Smith. The Mechanicsville shop also gets solid reviews on Angie’s List. The longest-serving mechanic on staff is ASE-certified master mechanic Brian Krukowski, who will celebrate 20 years at Smith’s in March. He has seen it all under the hood: snakes, squirrels, mice and those pesky electrical sensors. “We don’t have a computer that tells us what’s wrong,” he says matter-of-factly. “It tells you there’s a problem in a certain area, but then it’s up to us to figure it out.” He stresses that clients need to do the maintenance on their cars. He winces when he hears, “It’s been perfect for five years, and I’ve never done a thing.”