Jamaicans pay thousands to keep Clarks clean
If Jamaica had a national shoe, it would be Clarks. Through numerous songs, Jamaicans' love for Clarks is well documented, so much so that some persons have been paying big bucks to keep them 'fresh'.
Jonathon Kelly and his wife are the co-owners of Elite Shoe Care, a company that specialises in the cleaning and restoration of Clarks. They say they get up to 20 pairs per week.
They offer a variety of services including water and stain repellent treatment.
While noting that the price of restoring a Clarks shoe varies, Kelly said persons are willing to spend thousands to have their shoes look almost new.
"If there is not too much damage, it can start at $1,500 just for a simple clean, but it can go all the way up to $4,000 to change the cheese on it. But at the same time, there may be a combination of services because somebody may want to redye the Clarks and change the cheese and that could be $5,000, $6,000," he told THE STAR.
He added: "But you also have a situation in Jamaica where there are a lot of imitation Clarks that people are buying, that people think are authentic, and they are cheaply made, so the results from that are not the same for an authentic pair."
While persons may believe it may be costly to have a shoe restored, Kelly said those who purchase genuine Clarks have no issue.
"An authentic Clarks, if you go into some stores, is $20,000 for one pair. For the persons who spend their proper money and buy a proper pair of Clarks, they believe it (the price to clean them) is reasonable. We haven't had any issues there because they believe that it is a fraction of the cost of buying a new pair," he explained.