The Trainer Station: Meet the Burnley businessman doing the dirty work of former Love Island stars and Burnley Football Club players
That's right, Tom Keelings is a 23-year-old from Burnley who cleans and restores caps, bags and designer trainers for a living.
The Trainer Station, also known as tts_services, transforms around 150 pairs of shoes a month.
Tom said: “Sustainability is a massive part of what I’m doing. Instead of leaving a good pair of trainers to go to waste, I’ll give them a new lease of life.
“Also, not everyone has the money for a new pair of trainers every time they go wrong. My prices start from £25, which is a fraction of the price a new pair will cost.”
“I’ll even restore unwanted trainers in my own time and take them to local charity shops.”
TTS began in 2019 from Tom’s parents’ house where he would restore around 20 pairs of trainers a month.
Speaking about the inspiration for the business, he said: “Funnily enough, I’ve spoken about this with my family since I was young. I’ve always been into designer trainers; I used to love wearing them, but I also always kept them.
“I had friends asking how they always looked brand new. It was because I kept on top of the cleaning: that’s really where the idea stemmed from.”
Tom then taught himself the art of trainer restoration and refined this skill over time.
“Restoration could be anything from re-dyeing a shoe, repainting it, regluing it, stitching work if your dog’s been chewing them, there’s all sorts of bits and bats you can do to make them look like they’re straight out the box.”
The business has gone down a storm in the town, with Tom taking it full-time in August and scoring clients like Burnley Football Club players Dwight McNeil and Bobby Thomas, as well as former-Love Island stars.
With business booming, Tom’s now on the lookout for a town centre shop where he can focus more on the customer experience and possibly stem out into the re-sell of designer clothing.
“That’s my goal for this year – have a proper shop where customers can come and drop off their trainers and, if the shop’s big enough, I’ll tap into the market of used clothing.”