Owner of the Shoe Inn in Qualicum Beach, Debbie Ryan, admits when she opened in 2001 she wasn’t overly knowledgeable about the shoe business, but things changed after a big fire a couple of years later.
“It smoked out all my mistakes,” she said. “It smoked out all of my dead stock that I foolishly bought because I didn’t know what I was doing, it was perfect.”
Ryan began her work with shoes on the wholesale side of the business and when the space opened up in Qualicum Beach on Memorial Avenue she said she knew it would be perfect for a shoe store. There wasn’t anything else like it in the area and she felt people would be interested in quality, comfortable and beautiful footwear, she said.
Today she has a strong local clientele as well as many tourists in the summertime, she said. People come back to the cozy little store to see brand names like Ecco, Rieker and Blondo.
The store is lined with tall trendy boots made with quality leather, luxurious faux fur-lined styles and comfortable walking shoes that are eye-catching and stylish. Ryan said her favourite product at the moment is the Blondo waterproof boots, because of the quality of leathers used, and they come in a variety of styles, she said.
Visitors to the store will also see something else small, sweet and furry, Taco the wonder dog.
Find Ryan and Taco at the Shoe Inn at 678 Memorial Ave. in Qualicum Beach, call 250-752-4177 for more information.