Flagstaff Business News chats with Kristen Faxlanger of Shoes & Such, located in downtown Flagstaff, about how she loves working in fashion, how she likes her downtown location and what changes she made to weather the economy.
Faxlanger started the store prior to the economic downturn and has managed to continue to provide shoes and service to Northern Arizonans and the many tourists who pass through Flagstaff.
1) How long has Shoes & Such been in business?
Shoes & Such has been in business for nine years this August. We are looking forward to many more years to come- especially our ten-year mark next year! We’ve enjoyed the past nine years really getting to know all of our loyal customers and those who travel through.
2) What do you enjoy most about running Shoes & Such?
Honestly, the people. Sometimes I find myself wondering about the well-being of my customers even when I’m not in the shop. Being in the store all the time really allows you to get to know customers and they begin to feel like family. I hear about their vacations, travels, hardships and celebrations, and really get to know them for who they are.
3) How do you think being downtown influences your business & clientele?
I find that there’s something really special about being downtown. It seems that everyone can appreciate the history and the architecture of the old buildings. Having the shop downtown add the extra touch of “special” that we strive to be. Our store faces Heritage Square, which is a ton of fun in the summer with all the festivities and concerts happening. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a cup of joe and a leisurely day of shopping in all of the little stores downtown.
4) What did you do to help Shoes & Such weather the bad economy?
We started with being a lot more selective about what we sold. Next we started looking for new brands that would offer the same chic style with color and quality but for a less expensive price. We started listening more closely to exactly what people wanted, observed what they were comfortable spending and we also started carrying items that were more versatile for casual and dressy days. We brought in only shoe brands that would provide quality products at a reasonable price.
5) Anything exciting (new merchandise, partnerships) on the horizon for Shoes & Such?
Well, we just did a major remodel within the store!! We redid the floors, painted the walls, added new fans and chandeliers. We also started a new thing called Wednesday Happy Hour. It’s a two-hour window every day that we offer one VERY special deal. The time frame varies depending on the Wednesday but so far it’s been a lot of fun! We don’t post anything up for public viewing so the only way to get in the know about the special is via our email guest list. Around Mid-June we will be receiving cowboy boots by Old Gringo, which are fantastic! We also are expecting more Birkenstocks in fun summer colors.
6) What’s the single best piece of fashion advice you’d like to give the ladies?
Use clothing to express yourself! It’s easy to be discouraged by fashion but it’s just as easy to come in, try on some fresh styles and discover new look. Embrace who you are!