I’ve Got Someone For That

This has been reposted from my personal blog. I’d like to invite you to add your favorite local “someones” to the comments! Tell us what makes them your go-to person or business.

Here at the Arbolog, we work hard to try and practice reducing, reusing, refusing, and repairing before we get to recycling, because as far as I am concerned, the jury is out on whether recycling really does lower my carbon footprint. To that end, I’ve spent a long time finding people capable of repairing things. When you live in an area for a long time, you tend to build up a list of  go-to people that can repair things that need repairing. I’ve found that nine times out of ten, it actually costs me more to repair stuff than it would to buy a new, cheap item, but I’m personally trying hard to buy higher quality items that are worth repairing. I also like being able to say “Ooh, I got someone for that” and pass on the info. Makes me feel like I’m in the know. Disclosure: no one has paid me or asked me to write this.

Photo by Jennifer Stuber


I bought a pair of higher quality Birkenstock knockoffs from a well known Lower Mainland shoe store back when I was pregnant. I have since blown through the sole and into the cork, so I had the soles replaced. The shoes cost me $110. The repair was $40. Now I am working my way through the suede footbed and need to replace that and will, at a cost of about $40.

I also have a favorite pair of Portuguese made leather shoes that I bought in some fancy pants West Vancouver shoe store. They were having a “last pairs” sale and since I’m a size 6, there generally isn’t much for me at clearance sales. But I lucked out and a pair of Eject shoes that normally retailed for $290 was a mere $99. I bought them, and wore them more or less daily when I was still a full time office worker, and scuffed my way through the sole. I had the soles replaced on those as well, but I haven’t been wearing them as often. See also: Mom Uniform.  I don’t need office appropriate shoes anymore. The repair was well done, however, and cost me only $50. These shoes are about 5 years old and I will wear them until they fall off my feet.

My go-to place for shoes is New West Cobbler.

Jewelry Purchase and Repair:

A few years ago, instead of dropping a hint, I emailed Ross a direct link to a series of Citizen Eco-Drive watches and said “for my birthday gift”.  Like a smart husband, Ross didn’t question it, and went directly to a local jeweler and bought the one he felt I’d like the most (he was right). A few years after that, Ross proposed to me and so we went to the same jeweler to get my engagement ring made, Ross’ wedding band made, and my wedding band ordered to match. This past Christmas, I bought Ross an Eco-Drive watch as well from the same jeweler. You could say we are impressed with their customer service and prices. I walk in there and they hold their hands out and automatically scrub my rings while I shop. They all know my name and the name of our son. I like that. I recently had the crystal replaced on my watch, and had them unbend the crown that I bent when I caught it on the dresser while putting away laundry (Little known fact: laundry is a full contact sport, apparently).  Total bill for the repair: $61. On a $200 watch that I have worn every single day for 4? 5? years, that’s not too terribly bad. It’s good as new.

Our go-to jeweler is Cartwright Jewelers.

Photo by Harry Pehkonen

Hemming and Alterations:

HI, my name is Jen and I am five feet tall. Pretty much every single pair of pants I own needs to be hemmed, and I have recently discovered how nicely things can fit if I have the waist taken in as well. I had my wedding dress custom made for me by an incredible local designer and I wish she made custom clothing and did alternations and hemming. However, I have recently discovered Genie’s Stitch in the otherwise lackluster Royal City Centre. Hemming a pair of pants is generally overnight and it a whopping $7. Boo-ya. I doubt her name is Genie – it’s probably more like Jelena or Gordana, but I don’t care. It’s 100% pure awesome.

My go-to tailor is Genie’s Stitch.

Photo by riverwatcher09 (via Flickr)

Dog Grooming:

I have a dog whose a bit of a snot when it comes to nail trimming. She doesn’t like other dogs, she’s set in her ways, and if she really wants to get your attention she will emit a noise that makes you think she is being pulled apart (google “shiba scream”). it is truly awful and completely embarrassing. When I first moved to the neighbourhood I’m in now, I wandered over to Hair of the Dog on 12th Street, where friendly and sweet Barb picked Mooki up, popped her up on the groom table, and chatted with me while effortlessly trimming Mooki’s nails. She laughed at the noise Mooki made, and it didn’t faze her one bit. Dog grooming is something you don’t get into unless you are comfortable and like dogs. Barb is so comfortable around them that neurotic dog owner (me) was comfortable too. I’ve written about Hair of the Dog before. I still stand behind every word, two years later.

Our dog groomer is Hair of the Dog.

Photo by Jen Arbo

So tell me, who are your favourites?

11 Replies to “I’ve Got Someone For That”

  1. Jen, Go west young lady! Aarzou Alterations 722 12th Street. Short person hems $6.00.

    Leave Mooki at Playful Puppy Palace after her Grooming at Barbs so you and Ross can go to Lucky Strike Bowling the Best (and only) Bowling Alley in New West.

    Now that the roads are paved to heaven you can drop off your cleaning at Blue Bird 943 12th Street, Pick up a video at Joey's 936 12th, Baked goods at Vienna Treasures 909 12th, Have your Hair done at a fine selection of hair studio's, Coffee at the Village Coffee Lounge 705 12th, Shop the best bargains at the best thriftmart SPCA 615 12th, get a good tattoo at Fat City, Sushi at Asuks 712 C 12th.

    The best paint store, accounting services, Laser Eye Centre, Carribean Market, three Donair shop's, ethnic restaurants, Art Studio's, over thirty car related businesses, a bike repair for those converted individuals, Modern Home Furnishings, stained glass shop, Realtors, Printers, Two Pubs, Trophies, Catering, Insurance, Computer repair, Flooring, Wine making at Grapefully Yours 921 12th, and even a Martial Arts College to defend yourself against Tall Bully's.

    12th Street has "everything for that" Think of fitness while discovering 12th Street.

  2. Jen, do you have someone that will repair my 1-year old coffee machine that doesn't work anymore?

  3. Also, I love Cartwright Jewelers – my mom and make regular visits (mostly just to look though).

    That is twice in as many days I have heard good things about New West Cobbler. I am going to pay them a visit and see if they can revive my favourite pair of heels that are over 7 years old now and looking their age.

  4. Try Maestro Food Equipment for your coffee machine. Their office is in Burnaby, but they are a New Westminster family. Actually, email Rebecca (she's my friend) at rebecca at maestro foods dot come.

  5. We love Kingsway Video @ 738 12th Street. It's new-ish-ly owned by Trinity, a lovely woman hailing from Zimbabwe. It's mostly new releases for a good price and even better service. 🙂

    And we agree with Honest John about Aarzou Alterations.

    We also swear by the service at Dave's Surplus on 12th Street @ 8th Ave. My guy works construction and says the bilge-pocket camo pants are awesome.

    In the culinary realm, we recently discovered Ole Ole on 12th for Mexican food. The decor kinda sucks but, my goodness, is the 3 taco platter ever DELICOUS! And certainly more authentic than most places we've tried. Heck — the owner even speaks Spanish!

    Hair styling is done at Global Salon on Belmont Street @ 7th Street. If you're into the funky, I highly recommend Erika.

    Once again we go back to being in camp with Honest John… I had PRK done on my eyes at London Eye Centre on 12th in 2006 and I'm THRILLED with the results (better than 20/20 after 24 years of glasses!). Safer than lasik, they are a giant in the laser eye business.

    If you're into mystery novels, the used book store brain to pick is down at BookTown on Columbia. The owner recently had a stroke that's affected his speech so with a little patience and some humour, there's some really good conversation and advice to be had.

    Dog food and advice comes from VanPet in the Safeway mini-mall just off of McBride & 8th Ave.

    Back on 12th Street, Asuka Sushi is delish with friendly staff. 712C 12th Street.

    And, of course, health food and good prices at Galloway's on 6th Ave @ 7th Street.

    Okay, I think I'm tapped out for now. 😉

  6. On 12th Street, just above 6th Avenue. Sandy, at Precision Time , will do an excellent job of repairing your watches and clocks. His battery replacement price is good. And the #112 bus stops at the door. And if you have not been on 12th recently, the road repairs appear to be complete.

  7. My favourite veterinarian is Glenbrook just off 8th Ave at 1st St. The staff care about your pet, know how to handle them, explain everything to you and can take care of the lab work on site. The premises are clean and inviting. The Glenbrook pet "spa" groomers are great. When I take my two dogs in they are happy to go as they are free to roam and not kept in cages. They have appointments so they are both ready within 2 hours.

    Let's not forget Hyack Trophies on 12th for all your trophy, medals, and name badges. Brad is a great community supporter!

    The Village Coffee Lounge on 12th is the place for a great coffee and sweet!

    I've been very happy with the product and service at the Benjamin Moore Paint Store on 12th.

    Cadeaux on East Columbia is the place for gift items.

  8. Hi Jen,
    I know you posted this ages ago…but I was wondering if anyone knew a great seamtress/alteration place to get a wedding dress altered? I bought it in Calgary, so of course no wedding dress store in New West will touch it. ahh!

  9. Check with Genie Stitch in Royal City Centre. If you get no where with that, send me an email jen at tenthtothefraser.ca and I can put you in touch with the gal who made my wedding dress. She likely would do alterations as well.

Comments are closed.