Downtown Sarnia seems to have grown significantly over the past few years; it has become more eventful, artistic and colourful, making it the perfect fit for Shoes @ 144 Front.
Shoes @ 144 Front is a shoe store where its selection is best described as “stylish and comfortable.” Sisters and owners, Rebecca Reading and Denise Huard, opened this store in March, 2009, in order to provide Sarnia with more options in terms of fashion. “We bring in stuff that you can’t just buy anywhere”, said Reading. Since they have started, the owners have grown the business by trying different merchandise. Reading adds, “After looking at the customers’ preferences, we shifted a little bit in terms of what brands we should sell.” Popular brands that the store has currently been carrying are Miz Mooz, Franco Sarto, Vince Camuto, Zigi, Marc, FitFlop, and Vionic.
Reading and Huard are great for maintaining a diverse selection of heels, wedges, flats, and boots, which leads to every consumer falling in love with at least one pair of shoes whenever they enter the store. In addition to shoes, they also sell bright and colourful purses that are made by the Canadian designer, Christopher Kon. Considering that the majority of the items that Shoes @ 144 Front sell are made out of leather, their prices are very reasonable. Shoes are estimated to range from $40 to $180 and purses would be under $100 if they are non-leather.
While Huard is responsible for handling the merchandise, Reading concentrates on the numbers. Although they may have separate tasks, there are some things that they work together on, such as keeping their social media pages up-to-date and maintaining interest among their “followers”. “My sister and I have different personalities, which makes it a really good mix”, said Reading.
Before they opened Shoes @ 144 Front, Reading and Huard went to Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation for its counselling program. What they liked about their experience with SLBDC was that while they were developing a business plan, they were given many opportunities to talk to the business consultants and ask questions. Now that they are successfully running the store, Reading appreciates how SLBDC remains in touch with them. “I like that they always check in with us once in awhile.”
What Reading did not consider before her and Huard opened Shoes @ 144 Front was how the rewards could be better than what she expected. One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur for Reading is meeting people that come by the store. “Whether they are regular or sporadic customers, I have met some great people.” If she could only give one piece of advice to a new entrepreneur, it would be “Stick with it. Don’t give up.”
Shoes @ 144 Front is located at 144 Front St. and you can contact Rebecca Reading or Denise Huard by calling (519) 491-0777. For photos and other information, you can go to their website, www.myshoe144.com, or find Shoes @ 144 Front on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@shoes144front).