‘It’s a dying art’: Nebraska’s first female shoe cobbler is retiring after 40 years

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLIN) – Holly Herrod has been repairing shoes in Lincoln for over 40 years but is finally deciding to close up shop.

Holly ran multiple shops in the Lincoln area for several decades, but with worn-out shoulders and business slowing down, she’s made to decision to retire.

“I had both knees done, and I came back after that, but with shoulders you know, that’s a little more, you can’t be violent with them,” Holly said.

Holly has sold most of her equipment but plans to take some of it home so she can continue working on shoes and still help out some of her former customers.

She says that unfortunately, she was never able to find someone to take over the business.

“In 40 years, people have said ‘boy I’d like to learn how to do that,’ and I’ve said ‘I will teach you for free, just tell me when you’re gonna be here.’ Not one person has come back. It’s a dying art, and all the shoes are throwaway,” Holly said.

Her family has helped her a lot in the store, and she says her kids and grandkids have grown up in the shop with her.

“They’ve grown up here, and my daughter and my son, in the shop downtown, I’d come home we’d have dinner, they’d come back to the shop, do their homework, stock shelves, come home, time for bed,” Holly said.

After she retires, Holly wants to focus on her family and spoiling her grandchildren.

Holly says this has truly been a family business, and that all her customers are like family to her.

“They’ve been wonderful, absolutely wonderful, and that’s what I’m gonna miss,” she said.  “I love doing what I’m doing, never has there been a day where I’ve gotten up and said ‘ugh, I have to go to the shop today.’ It’s always ‘Oh yay!’ I’ve always had something to do, but I’m gonna miss my people.”

Holly will officially close her business at the end of next week.

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