Celebrating its 20th year in business, Anthony Khattar’s Anthony’s Shoe Repair business in San Diego has been around long enough to see several boot styles come and go. Whether it’s baggy boots, patent leather tops or the current preference for a tight fit through the leg, Anthony’s three shops welcome and are well equipped to handle custom alterations and repairs of all types.
Khattar estimates his three shops work on 600 pairs of equestrian boots every year. Saddle and bridle and other tack repair are another big part of a thriving business that also serves the more normal shoe repair fare of street shoes, purses and all manner of leather goods. A native of Peoria, IL, Khattar approached Mary’s Tack & Feed shortly after moving to San Diego. “I showed them what I could do and they loved it.” Dressage Extensions became another big client, with the catalog company sending alteration work. Contracts with luggage makers and distributors represent another big chunk of Anthony’s business.
Anthony’s Shoe Repair is now an enterprise of three shops. The original in Solana Beach opened in 1989, followed in 1992 by a site on Carmel Mountain Road and a third, in 2002, in Del Mar Highlands. Anthony’s staff includes two full timers who work exclusively on equestrian boots and tack repair. The proprietor spends most of his time in the Solana Beach location, but oversees work in the satellite stores on a regular basis.
The shop keeps two long arm sewing machines whirring away every day for the fine stitching required on boot repairs. “It’s a nice sound,” smiles Khattar. Tack repairs, such as re-attaching girth billets on a saddle, typically call for hand stitching with heavy nylon thread.
Khattar was not a horse guy when he came to San Diego, but he’s enjoyed making friends with some of the top in the sport. San Diego based dressage Olympians Guenter Seidel and Steffen Peters are among his clientele of elite riders and plenty more everyday equestrians count on his shops’ services to get the most out of their riding boots and tack.
At his shops and in the shoe repair business nationally, repairs are on the upswing in this tough economy as customers opt to get the most mileage out of existing shoes rather than buy new.
Khattar has enjoyed his encounters with equestrians in a boot and tack related context. It’s been good preparation for his personal role now as the father of a horse crazy 8-year-old daughter who recently began riding lessons. “I had a lot of customers to ask questions of!” he says.
For more information about Anthony’s Shoe Repair shops in San Diego, call 858-259-2023.