Every Spashionista wants to have that Cinderella moment, the one where the handsome prince places the glass slipper on her foot and it's a perfect fit. I've had that moment, complete with handsome prince, every time I visit my friend Matthew Bretherick's shoe store. As you can see from the photo I'm a frequent visitor. Everything you see below has served me better than a coach and footman ever could - and these definitely did not turn into a pumpkin and mice after midnight.
Matty is currently the manager of a Shi by Journeys store at the Galleria Mall in Franklin, Tn, but we met several years ago while he was managing the Shi at the Opry Mills Mall. In an outlet mall filled with bargain shoe stores how do you get customers to bypass them and buy from you? How do you see to it that your store is always busy and your profits up? How do you go from managing an outlet mall store to managing the one Nashville's upper-crust and their stylists frequent?
The answer is deceptively simple. Treat your customers as if they are the most important person on the planet, because if you're in sales they are. Of course, Matty is not just a terrific salesman, he is also one of the most generous, open-hearted people I know. It doesn't matter to him that I'm old enough to be his mother and in a wheelchair, we are thick as thieves.
The ritual is always the same. We hug and catch up on life for a few minutes then Matty disappears into the back. He returns carrying many shoeboxes filled with styles he thinks I will like and can wear. After my third or so visit not only does he remember my shoe size and favorite color, he knows my left foot is wider so it's the one I favor when trying on shoes to check for good fit. He also understands my feet don't work well in barely-there flats and I can't wear sandals or impossibly high heels - but those grey ankle boots pictured above are a dream to wear. If he doesn't have my size in a color I want he'll check for fit with a different color and have the ones I want shipped to my house. The red Frye boots are an example, and that's important to me because I find it especially difficult to find boots that fit properly. I paid full price for those boots four years ago and have never regretted it. I'd say the photo represents a near 50-50 split of full-priced and sale-priced footwear.
So what's the big deal? If you're a Spashionista and are lucky enough to find a Matty to help you find shoes that are not only stylish but fit you properly you are investing in clothing that works well and goes a long way towards making you look great with very little effort. If you live anywhere near Franklin, Tn it's worth you while to go see the real Matty (but, be warned, only I get to call him "Matty". You have to call him Matthew. If you call him "Matt" his Mother will not be pleased!). If not, let me know if you've found someone in your life that has proven to be your fashion angel.