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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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Employee Favorites

Well, Fall inventory is arriving at Village Shoes and us gals have been going ape over it! We would like to share our favorite arrivals thus far with you...


This boot, the Paige Trapunto by Frye $348, is seriously comfortable. At 5'2", I really need to be careful what height of boot shaft I go with...too high and it could make me look like I'm a baby wearing my dad's boots, and too low, I could look stumpy. This boot falls inches below my knee and over time it will slouch a little. I'm happy I was able to snag my size!

I've had my eye on Roana by Tsubo $120 since it came in. Honestly, who can't use a simple black ballet flat? They look great with everything, they're comfortable enough, and they give a classic, feminine look.

And finally, my baby, Lena by Eric Michael $179. I love, LOVE, love this boot and want it so badly, but we can't always get what we want. This boot is sold out in my size and not a day goes by that I don't go through my wardrobe imagining how freaking fantastic I would look in this. Mr. Eric Michael, please have a heart and send me this boot in a size 36. PLEASE! 


Halle totally has a thing for El Naturalista, so naturally she loves the N153 Iggdrasil $300. It's insanely comfortable and the wool lining guarantees your toes will be warm throughout the chilly part of the year. 

Here's another El Naturalista...the N868 Solar $280.  This one is pretty versatile in that it would look cute with skirts, jeans...whatever. Halle loves herself a green shoe too...doesn't surprise me this one's on her radar.

Just try this shoe on.  Cam2 by Chocolat Blu $109. Just do it.  I don't think anybody can deny its comfort, including Halle.  I have a feeling I'll see her wearing this one soon.


The Afton 14 by Gomax $79 will look fantastic with Cat's dress collection. The heel is broad, making height less of a chore, and in a goldish-taupey hue, they will probably look good with a lot of her wardrobe.

It's always a good idea to invest in a nice stompin' around boot, and Cat went with Juno by Eric Michael $209 to jump start her fancy boot collection. We think she chose well.


Oslo 0501 by The Art Company $225 came in yesterday, and Stacey may or may not have drooled. Like all shoes from Art, they have a rubber sole making them a bit more comfy than your average high heeled shoe. It fits nicely around the ankle and I imagine it will look nice with everything from jeans and a t, to tights with a dress or skirt.

Stacey has two energetic doggies that require multiple walks a day.  I see her putting these bad boys on when the weather's cold and she needs something warm and simple enough that will allow her to keep up with Lucky and Siri. The N730 Nido Ella by El Naturalista $260 is the much, much nicer equivalent to an Ugg boot and much more rugged and durable.

Stacey is always on the look out for a heel that she can get away with wearing for a good chunk of the day while working.  We're on our feet for about 7 straight hours, so finding a high heel shoe that is comfortable enough to wear more than 2 hours is a bit rough, but alas, Tiffany by Cobb Hill $115 has arrived. Cobb Hill has insoles designed by New Balance, so they have all kinds of support.


Paris 0751 by The Art Company $225 is pretty stinkin' cute. I mean, if you really look at it, it kind of looks like a little jacket, right? The wool top part is a collar, the green is a jacket, and the zipper is...well, the zipper. I dunno...maybe not, but it's adorable and Jen could for surely pull this one off.

Jen and I competed for the size 36 of El Naturalista's N863 Solar $320, but I swear that if I would have shown any interest in this boot, Jen would have attacked me screaming, "IF I CAN'T HAVE IT, NO ONE WILL!!!" Sooo...the size 36 now belongs to Jen and she's looking forward to Fall.

So, after browsing our new arrivals, which pairs are your favorite?

post by Amanda