The Secret Shoe Store

Mother-daughter Secret Shoe Store New Shoes!

Mother-daughter Secret Shoe Store New Shoes!

With the sorting of each new season’s clothes into keep, give, and what was I thinking piles, I want to jump in the car for a 90-minute drive to what I dubbed years ago as the Secret Shoe Store.  Tired of this season’s sorting project, yesterday seemed like the perfect day for a Secret Shoe Store adventure.

So with my teenage daughter in tow, we headed out for her first experience at the Secret Shoe Store where shoe dreams, more delicious than panna cotta with raspberry puree, come true.

Believe me, the shoes at the Secret Shoe Store are magnificent.  Really magnificent.  But it’s the owner and her team that hooked me years ago.

I don’t know a whole lot about Sherrie other than my immense respect for her as a small business owner.  She has a relentless ambition and has built a business that leaves Nordstrom’s, Saks and Neiman Marcus’s shoe departments in the dust.  She’s the owner, who of course wants to sell you one more pair, but she’s also the owner who cares intensely about her customers.  No matter how crazy the store is, she finds the time to sit and talk with you like you are her only customer and friend.  There’s something else telling about Sherrie and the kind of business-woman she is:  the same team of people who worked there when I started my seasonal buying trips fifteen years ago are still there.

Yesterday, as I was getting settled and trying on my first pair of shoes of the afternoon, I looked up and saw Sherrie.  It’s been nearly a year since I’ve seen her. She was walking with a slower pace and looked a little tired reminding me that all of us are aging – even this power-house-of-a-business-woman.  I jumped up to greet her but she was intently focused on my daughter.  In a most genuine and caring way Sherrie gave my daughter a kiss, hugged her and told her she was beautiful.  It was an immensely tender and human moment.  In an instant Sherrie, a stranger to my daughter, validated her.  She buoyed a teenage self-image that seems to be battered on a daily basis.  She said you are here in this world and you make a difference.

That’s the magic of the Secret Shoe Store.  It’s not about the fabulous shoes (did I mention how magnificent the shoes are?!), rather everything in between and all around the shoes.  It’s about Sherrie and her vision for her business.  It’s about her belief in her team to make her vision thrive.  It’s about being relentlessly ambitious, believing in your vision even when your feet don’t move as quickly as they once did.  It’s about being human and making a difference in someone’s life even when you didn’t know you did.

In the spirit of Jamie Eslinger who is practicing a year of abundance by giving one gift a day, I share with you the abundance and the identity of the Secret Shoe Store.  You can find Sherrie and her amazing team at Shirise, in Glencoe, Illinois at 341 Park Avenue and always online.

The one more pair of shoes that are being shipped?  A sparkly pair of Fit Flops.  Well done Sherrie!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. kendell
    Dec 18, 2013 @ 11:46:52

    I know this shoe store but have never met Sherrie. I will make a point of it the next time i go in!



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