Abbey – SHOE + SHOE

Liuba Orlesky, owner of the new children’s store SHOE + SHOE, is enthusiastic about the welcome she has received in the Glebe. Photo: Michael Abbey

By Michael Abbey

I was met by the very energetic and enthusiastic proprietor Liuba Orlesky when I entered the new children’s shoe store SHOE + SHOE at 802 Bank, former home of the video game outlet. The colourful room is full of wood, the original hardwood floor reflecting a long life of care by previous tenants.

The store is decorated with furniture from Cambodia, Romania, Germany and her homeland of Ukraine. The setting is comforting and speaks of hospitality and quality goods. There is ample room for the little ones to frolic with friends as well as a bevy of carefully selected toys. An enticing collection of footwear and other items adorn the shelves.

She is working on a plan to make the outlet accessible, though there will be no facilities.

She caters to the needs of children from zero to five years old. Her inventory is eclectic and she “will not go for too many shoes. I want to make the best choice.”

Orlesky is no stranger to young ones as she has a 17-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl. “My children were my inspiration to start SHOE+SHOE and my son is a great help in my currently long hours of working.”

She uses a local importer and is pleased with the support and turnaround time when placing orders. Early in the planning she did contact some manufacturers in Europe directly and was asked to use a third-party importer.

SHOE+SHOE is environmentally conscious, selecting “products that will last, give comfort and be eco-friendly as well.” Froddo shoes from Croatia are amongst her favourites. I was especially taken by the uniqueness (not to mention cuteness) of the sandals and loafers: colourful with suede/leather trim. To be honest, some sandals look like edible treats just waiting to accept the chubby little feet of an eager three-year-old.

I asked Orlesky why the Glebe and she mentioned that there is no competition in the neighbourhood. She has been contacted by the Glebe BIA and has nothing but praise for their welcoming and friendly approach to new merchants in the area. She feels at home in the Glebe. This speaks to the influence this part of town has on merchants and how easy it is to fit in.

She has a background in art and believes “that the experience of creating and visualizing helps me to select the product.” She is very thankful to have the opportunity to vend wares made by dedicated craftspeople from different countries.

She is committed to the face-to-face retail approach and has no interest in an online store for the time being. She is concentrating on the store during her inaugural year in business.

Her website features her preferred vendors such as Kuoma (Finland), Camper (Spain), Pajar (Montreal) and Columbia (USA). She also mentioned Geox (Italy) as one of her faves. Inventory is displayed on her website and she believes once people browse her wares, the next step is visiting the store.

Orlesky expects the uptake of her goods to skyrocket as her clientele revels in the exquisite colours and handmade look of the footwear; and so far, so good. Acceptance by the neighbourhood has been overwhelming and better than she foresaw.

My parting words for Orlesky were “do they make those in a men’s 43?”

Michael Abbey is a retired high-tech professional and bridge enthusiast who writes about business for the Glebe Report. He can be reached at abbey.fenderpbs@gmail.com.

SHOE+SHOE Kids

802 Bank Street
613-421-4477
info@shoeplusshoekids.com
Closed Mondays.

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