Thursday, September 20, 2012

An Interview with the Owner of Village Shoes

It's time to put Stacey on the spot and make her answer some damn questions!

What inspired you to purchase Village Shoes in 2009?

I had already worked for the company for many years. I had poured my blood, sweat, and tears (literally) into the place. Since I was a young adult, I had wanted to own my own business, so when the previous owner decided to sell Village Shoes, I wanted to buy it. It was a business I knew very well, had been managing for years, and already doing the buying for, so I had confidence that I could succeed and continue to make the business grow. 

How do you decide what new lines to carry?

It all depends on what jumps off the shelves when Halle and I are at market. When you are at a trade show, there is so much to look at that it's easy to get overwhelmed. I have found through the years, that my gut reaction to a shoe is always spot on. If Halle or I love it, chances are that our customers will feel the same way. Working with the customers on the sales floor helps me as a buyer to really understand what people are looking for, what they like and don't like, and then each season we can approach buying with a fresh perspective. 

If you had to pick only one, which brand would you wear for life? Why?

If I had to pick one, it would probably be El Naturalista. Their shoes are so comfortable while still providing so much style. They’re perfect for the Pacific Northwest gal. They’re durable in the cold weather, and depending on your style you can still dress them up. They’re very bohemian chic. I also love that they are eco-friendly with their veggie tanned leather uppers, all recycled packaging, and more. Ashlanders really get behind a product like this.
What is your favorite shoe of all time and why?

That's a hard one, but I would have to say Fidji. They are consistently beautiful with their styles and they use amazing Italian leathers. I don't know how they do it, but they are also incredibly comfortable, so it's really a great combination of things. I love it when people try them on because they always sigh and look at me, and say, "They're soooo comfortable!" They can't believe it and I always love that. Plus, it's a shoe you know you’re going to have for many years and wear a lot. They’re a good investment.

Looking back, do you have a pair of shoes that you owned and loved that makes you shake your head in embarrassment now? 

The girls always made fun of me for my Kumfs that I wore for years. I never thought they were that ugly, and I really loved how comfortable they were, but I retired them a few years ago. I think they were a little too mature for me at my age. My look is a bit more fun these days.

You and Halle just went on a buying trip to Vegas. What trends do you think we’ll be seeing next Spring?

Suede for Spring. Lots of neons mixed with grey. Cobalt blues blended with chartreuse. Lots of bold pops of color. Wedges are going to be still going strong, and I'm happy to say that gladiator sandals are gone, baby! Fringe is on its way out too, which is also a good thing. Spring 2013 is probably one of the most exciting spring collections I've seen in years. I'm already anticipating their arrival, and by February we'll be happy to see some color and warmth coming into the store.  

What is one trend that you wish we wouldn’t be seeing next Spring?

The one trend I hate seeing on the runway is knee high gladiator sandals. I hope that trend goes away very soon, but don't worry! You won't see them at Village Shoes! They’re not a very practical choice for us here in Oregon. 

post by Amanda