Star City Six – Jay Haes
Ole’s Boot & Shoe Repair (olesbootandshoerepair.com) has been serving Lincoln since 1981. Jay Haes is the owner of Ole’s Boot & Shoe Repair.
Tell us a little about your business.
We are a repair shop, fixing a wide range of fashions for people such as coats, shoes, boots, and purses. We’ve mended zippers, elastic, and even lead radiology vests for x-rays. At Ole’s, we specialize in non-slip sole repair, re-heeling, stretching, women’s heel tips, and so much more. The retail part of our shop carries top-of-the-line products, from bullhide leather belts made in the USA to shoe shine kits and laces.
How did you get started in the business?
My mom was getting a knife sheath repaired. The owners asked if we knew anyone who would want to take over a repair shop. I had been a manager at another company for about 20 years and was ready to have to my own business. It was really my mom who encouraged me to take the leap. I was grateful to have the opportunity to train under the previous owners of Ole’s for about two months.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
We moved from our first shop off of Pioneers to where we are today, 1265 S Cotner Blvd., STE 16 in the Piedmont Shopping Center. We had a lot of heavy equipment to move and it took a while for people to catch on that we were in a different location.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
The friendships I’ve built with customers.
Tell us a little about your family.
My wife Stephanie is really the one who runs the show here at Ole’s. In addition, it’s been a blessing to have our children involved in the business throughout the years. We have two older daughters, Sarah and Piper. They are both married and have given us two grandchildren. We also have a 19-year-old son named Elliott.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Elliott was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. When he was eight, he had a brain tumor that required 30 straight days of radiation and nine cycles of chemotherapy.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Vegetable gardening and going on hikes with my son. He has an awesome all-terrain wheelchair!
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I make cribbage boards and do some other woodworking on the side.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
During my time as a manager at Lincoln Poultry, if I told my boss that we had a problem, his response was always, “We have an opportunity.”
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Camp Coholo in Grenta, where Elliott went till he was 18. Also the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
What is your favorite movie?
Hook with Robin Williams.
What is your favorite TV show?
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Chopsticks Chinese Cuisine.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?