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A Shine & Co -- 15000% endorsement

JohnnyCrockett

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After reading about A Shine & Co (http://www.ashineandco.com/) on Will's blog (asuitablewardrobe.dynend.com) several times, I stopped by one of their locations when I was in SF last.

I have never had any pair of my shoes look this good. I am floored.

I walked in in a pair of Polo RL Darlton penny loafers (by C&J) in brown cordovan. The kind and fun women on the staff immediately struck up a good conversation with me about shell cordovan, Aldens, and shoes in general (these women REALLY knew their stuff -- I was impressed).

The shoes started out not badly scuffed at all, barely in need of a shine (it's shell, so it always looks pretty good). The woman helping me went to town on them. First a heavy-handed horsehair brushing, then toothbrush and water around the welt, then THREE separate complete coats of Lincoln wax (the last 2 with a spritz of water in the can first). My shoes are sparkling now. I can actually see my reflection in them.

This was incredible. Fun, good conversation, and my shoes look better than ever. I want to bring all my shoes with me next time.

Highly recommended.
 

Concordia

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I think it's great that there is a well-organized group offering this service, but is it really humane to pay recovering alcoholics to sniff shoe-shine fumes all day?
 

binge

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Was this the one in the Galleria? I always get a great shine there.
 

JohnnyCrockett

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I wondered the same thing about the sniffing all day.

No camera with me now -- pics later perhaps!
 

spectre

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Originally Posted by Concordia
I think it's great that there is a well-organized group offering this service, but is it really humane to pay recovering alcoholics to sniff shoe-shine fumes all day?

That's a sensitive comment isn't it. Did you think about it for long?
 

Parker

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I go to the Galleria outpost when I can. Always a great shine.
 

TintinATL

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Not to hijack the thread but can anyone recommend a good shoe shine place in Atlanta?
 

Roger

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Originally Posted by JohnnyCrockett
The shoes started out not badly scuffed at all, barely in need of a shine (it's shell, so it always looks pretty good). The woman helping me went to town on them. First a heavy-handed horsehair brushing, then toothbrush and water around the welt, then THREE separate complete coats of Lincoln wax (the last 2 with a spritz of water in the can first). My shoes are sparkling now. I can actually see my reflection in them.
You've described what can only be called a very thorough polishing, and I guess the effort is commendable, but this applying of three coats of shoe polish to shell cordovan would have to be considered completely contrary to all advice on the subject of the care of shell cordovan from those who know the most--Horween and Alden (Alden, in the leaflet that they include with their shell cordovan shoes, recommends just an occasional very thin single coat of polish). Shell is very dense and practically impermeable, and thus does not absorb polish well at all. Slathering on three coats of polish, as was done, can be expected to lead to an undesirable wax buildup.

Actually, the whole process, as you've described it--although energetic--would also be quite sub-optimal if it were applied with calf as well, given the absence of any leather conditioning, either with an all-out conditioner or with a cream. There's very little to be gained by repeated coats of a wax polish (and a wax buildup is inevitable). Instead, with calf (not shell), the overall effort is better expended with application of other--particularly moisturizing--products (conditioner and cream) prior to the one coat of wax needed to ensure protection against the elements and a higher shine (the latter can be a spit shine, as was done here, if that's desired).
 

Will

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Originally Posted by Roger
You've described what can only be called a very thorough polishing, and I guess the effort is commendable, but this applying of three coats of shoe polish to shell cordovan would have to be considered completely contrary to all advice on the subject of the care of shell cordovan from those who know the most--Horween and Alden (Alden, in the leaflet that they include with their shell cordovan shoes, recommends just an occasional very thin single coat of polish). Shell is very dense and practically impermeable, and thus does not absorb polish well at all. Slathering on three coats of polish, as was done, can be expected to lead to an undesirable wax buildup.

Actually, the whole process, as you've described it--although energetic--would also be quite sub-optimal if it were applied with calf as well, given the absence of any leather conditioning, either with an all-out conditioner or with a cream. There's very little to be gained by repeated coats of a wax polish (and a wax buildup is inevitable). Instead, with calf (not shell), the overall effort is better expended with application of other--particularly moisturizing--products (conditioner and cream) prior to the one coat of wax needed to ensure protection against the elements and a higher shine (the latter can be a spit shine, as was done here, if that's desired).


You are correct and the Shine & Co. process in reality is just it should be. Based on the price paid by the OP, the additional "coats" would have been conditioning products.
 

PhiloVance

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Raising this thread up from the semi-dead to alert Manhattanites that A Shine & Co. is up and running in their new Chelsea Market location here in NYC. I first heard of them via Will and others in the SanFran area, who really had nothing but great things to say. I met them at the MRket trade show in January - they had a stand set up sponsored by Saphyr. I got a great shine that day - they used light brown saphyr cream on the body of the shoe and then (surprisingly, to me anyway) a small amount of black saphyr cream to further accentuate the EG burnishing at the toe box and back quarters. All in all, I thought they were pretty good and probably the only outfit that regularly offers a saphyr shine outside of Nick V. at B. Nelson on 55th. So, a great shine option to have in Manhattan!

http://uptowndandy.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-chelsea-market-and-manhattan.html
 

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