Larry Schupbach, C.Ped.
2003 Grand Silver Cup Winner

SSIA is soliciting entries for the 2008 Silver Cup Contest. To help retailers understand the impact a Silver Cup award can have on their business, we’re interviewing past winners. Here are some thoughts from 2003 Grand Silver Cup winner Larry Schupbach, C.Ped.

Has winning the Silver Cup improved your business?

Yes, it has absolutely improved business. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution wrote a great article about my business and winning the Silver Cup. The newspaper received so much feedback from readers they decided to run the article again in two surrounding counties.

New customers came from 50 miles away. They all had a lot of confidence in me and they knew the work would be top quality. People brought in my article day after day, along with a bags full of repairs. They all said the same thing, “It’s hard to find a good shoe shop anymore.” Just the other day a lady came in with the article and several pairs of shoes. She had been saving them for me for four years and she didn’t care how much this is going to cost.

What made you want to enter?

I always felt I’m a good craftsman but wanted to see how I compared to others and what the judges think about my work. It was also a personal goal of mine.

How many times did your enter before you won?

I entered four times before winning the Grand Silver Cup. I came close several times.

Did you find the scoresheets helpful to improve your work?

Yes, scoresheets helped show areas where I needed to improve. It was right there in black and white telling me what I needed to do better.

Where did you find your competition shoes?

I found the shoes at a high-end thrift store in Atlanta and Goodwill, throughout the year I would shop for contest shoes.

Did you receive free publicity from winning? What was it?

Yes, the Atlanta Journal Constitution article I mentioned previously was great. Click here to see it. The Dekalb Neighbor also ran a nice article in their People section.

Do you promote winning in your advertisements, business cards, logo or pictures in your shop?

Yes all business cards, ads, signs and brochures have something said about the Silver Cup. At the least I put “award winning Craftsman.”

Where is your Silver Cup displayed?

It’s displayed to the right of the front counter in view when you’re standing at the counter.

What can you say to encourage someone else to enter?

It’s a great challenge and makes you a better shoe repairer. When you get right down to every little detail and make every part of the job the very best you can, it makes your everyday work better and easier. It raises your standards to a level that is not easily reached by others.