Jim McFarland
2002 Grand Silver Cup Winner

Winning the Silver Cup can make the sky the limit when it comes to promoting your business. Jim McFarland from Lakeland, Florida won the Grand Silver Cup in 2002. There are many shops that do very good repair work, but wining the Grand Silver Cup gives you something special to show your customers.

Jim’s family has been in the shoe repair business for more than 90 years. Earning the award puts icing on the cake of his family’s legacy. He is a third generation craftsmen and his logo bears three generations of hammers.

Jim’s road to the Silver Cup was a long frustrating one. For 10 years, he sent in his shoes and waited for good news. Each year, he was disappointed when his shoes were returned with low scoresheets. The frustration would last until the next contest.

After many years of entering, Jim finally realized the key to winning the contest was to follow the scoresheets.

“The scoresheet is your best teacher,” he says. “It is the map to the Silver Cup. The rules state ‘Repair the shoes back to their original factory condition.’ This means don’t repair the shoes with anything different than the way they came out of the box.”

Robert DiRinaldo created these scoresheets as guides to help you improve your work not only in the contest, but every day in your store. Jim holds Robert as a giant in this trade and will always have the utmost respect for this living legend.

“We are so lucky to have Robert,” Jim says. “He has given this industry and its craftsmen 100 percent of his very best for decades.”

DiRinaldo spent a lot of time with Jim going over the scoresheet in detail. This is also done each year at SSIA’s convention in the Silver Cup seminar.

One day a customer walked in with a nice pair of Alden shoes needing soles and heels. Jim exchanged them for a new pair off of his shelf (he is an Alden dealer) so he could enter this customers’ shoes in the contest. At that time, ladies shoes were also needed and he found them at the Goodwill store. Jim decided to repair the shoes like the rules said and not any other way. He never got his shoes back. He had to go the SSIA convention to claim his Silver Cup.

Jim’s local newspaper has published many articles about him over the last 15 years. Here’s a link to one. This would have easily cost thousands of dollars. He also uses “Grand Silver Cup winner” in any type of advertising he does. It gives his shop more muscle against its competitors. He can use this title can be used for the rest of his career. He has since become a Certified Pedorthist and is licensed by the State of Florida. He gives seminars at the PFA shows and SSIA conventions and is also a Silver Cup judge.

As soon as you walk into his shop, you can’t help but notice the huge glass case that guards his Grand Silver Cup along with articles from generations of family heritage. Jim also had a pair of custom boots made inlaid with his Silver Cup on them.

The Silver Cup can do many things to separate you from your competitors. It will give your customers confidence that an expert shoe repairer working on their favorite footwear. It gives your business a stronger foundation, setting you above the rest in your area.