Robert DiRinaldo
1987 Grand Silver Cup Winner

If you would like to improve your business, follow the footsteps of the Grand Silver Cup winner who received a lifetime achievement award. Robert DiRinaldo won this prestigious award at SSIA’s 100th Annual Convention in his home state of Pennsylvania in 2004. He was the top craftsman of all the past Silver Cup Winners who entered this special contest.

Robert’s father, Rinaldo DiRinaldo, started teaching him the trade of shoe repair when Robert was eight-years old. “Be proud of what you do, or do something else,” his father told him.

Growing up reading Shoe Service magazine inspired Robert to enter his first contest at the age of 24. In 1956, he won his first award — the Dyo Flex Cup and a Blue Ribbon. Robert was very good at repairing shoes. He entered and won awards in the Silver Cup contest nine times before winning the Grand Silver Cup in 1987. During these nine years he prefected his repairs but still could not achieve the Silver Cup.

At the 1986 convention he asked then Judge John Morasco for a detailed explanation of the score sheet. Robert listened to every word and won the Grand Silver Cup the following year. A note on the bottom of the score sheet in 1986 said, “Enter again and don’t give up until you win.” This inspired him to enter the following year, along with the tips he received from the judge.

DiRinaldo Shoe Service opened in 1927 and is still going strong with the help of all the free advertising Robert received through the years from his Silver Cup awards. He credits the awards as a huge reason his shop is constantly busy. Free advertising, newspaper articles and TV spots were all benefits of winning the Silver Cup. This award for excellent craftsmanship lasts a lifetime. Your customers will have the confidence their shoes, boots and purses will be repaired by a award-winning shop.

Once you have won these awards and ribbons, displaying them in your shop is crucial to adding extra recognition for these accomplishments. You could easily display them in your front window, on the wall, around the counter and even in a display case. You can also add “Silver Cup Winner” to all of your print, radio, business cards and any other promotional items you offer for your shop. This is a life time achievement that allows you to brag about being the best of the best in your profession.

Although the deadline for this year’s contest has passed, start looking for shoes for future contests. You will need two pairs of welted, leather-soled men’s shoes. One shoe from each pair needs to be repaired. A half sole and heel for one pair and a full sole and heel for the other. Make sure each shoe is submitted with its unrepaired mate so the judges can determine how well the shoes were restored to their original, factory condition.

If you love what you do in shoe repair, prove to yourself that you are the best you can be. Be proud of your trade and enter the contest so you can win and receive all of these perks.