By Kathryn Rice
This is the third in a series on Nodaway Countians who have taken the repurposing and upcycling of old items to a unique level.
“It’s a creative outlet for me,” Kyle Mayes, owner of Cobbler Cottage, 110 East Third Street, Maryville, said about the cowboy boot purses he makes.
Mayes is a cobbler who specializes in shoe and boot repair. As a creative pastime, he started making purses from western boots. He uses boots that have been donated or stock boots that didn’t sell. As a special request, he made a boot purse for a customer out of a pair of her father’s old boots. Mayes said he once had two pairs of black and white cowboy boots that sat on his store shelf for three years. He made two handbags out of them and they sold within a week.
Mayes also makes saddle bag handbags from a 1970s pattern. He modernized the pattern by making the bags from soft leather, expanding the sides and making wider, softer handles.
From the large leather belt selection for sale at Cobbler Cottage, Mayes uses the trimmed ends to make handcrafted crosses and bracelets.
Mayes resoles footwear, replaces coat and coverall zippers and does repair work on a variety of items, although he does not fix horse tack or saddles.
“We fix stuff, so people bring us all kinds of different… stuff,” Mayes said.
The store carries six to seven different brands of boots, including Double H, Carolina, Wolverine, LaCrosse and Catepillar.
Cobbler Cottage, founded in 1914, is 102 years old and in its third location. Mayes’ dad purchased the business in 1967 and Mayes has worked there since 1980. The shop moved to its current location in 1999. The building was originally the Empire Theater and then the Tivoli Theater. It also housed a grocery and D&S Western Wear.
For more information, visit cobblercottage.com or call 660.562.2033.