Written by Mark Jaeger
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 14:47
For more than 15 years, Mr. Shoe has been a favorite stop for fans of trendy footwear on Milwaukeeâ€™s fashionable East Side.
Store owner Lee Sloane, who has lived in Grafton for a decade, hopes to transfer some of that magic to the new shop he has opened at 1359 N. Port Washington Rd. in Grafton.
The 1,300-square-foot location is next to the Noodles & Co. restaurant.
â€śWe have been voted the best shoe store in Milwaukee by a number of different media sources, and I think we will be every bit as popular in Grafton, if not more so,â€ť he said.
â€śFor one thing, we have parking in Grafton, which is not always the case on the East Side.â€ť
Mr. Shoe carries footwear for men, women and children, but Sloane said there is one thing all of those choices have in common.
â€śOur focus is on shoes that are fun and fashionable. We have a truckload of new stock coming in every week, so the selection is always changing,â€ť he said.
The store will regularly stock such popular womenâ€™s brands as Ecco, Zota, Soda, Paprika, Sloggers and Dansko, and menâ€™s shoes by Florsheim.
â€śI was in the wholesale shoe business for 10 years before I opened the store on Farwell Avenue, and I traveled all over the world placing orders from shoe manufacturers. It is an exciting business to be in because styles are always changing,â€ť Sloane said.
â€śThere is a big emphasis on fashion at the East Side store, where we sell a lot of heels. Weâ€™ll have trendy shoes in Grafton, too, but we are also introducing comfort wear like New Balance.â€ť
Mr. Shoe is not a discount shoe store, but Sloane said shoppers seem to be quite price conscious.
â€śBoots are very popular right now because of the change in season, and we have pairs starting at $17.98. Our most popular item is flat-soled boots for $24.98, so obviously our prices are very reasonable,â€ť he said.
â€śAfter 15 years on the East Side, we have developed a very devoted following. Now that we have opened in Grafton, we are finding some of those customers are coming here instead. Often itâ€™s people who have moved away from the East Side but always liked coming to our store.â€ť
The appeal of having a shop in Graftonâ€™s booming Port Washington Road business corridor is obvious, Sloane said.
â€śBeing right off the highway and surrounded by restaurants and other clothing stores makes this a natural choice for our store,â€ť he said.
Open for a little more than a week, Sloane said customers are starting to find the store, a quest that will be made easier when an ordered sign is finally delivered.
â€śI think this is going to be a very good location for us,â€ť he said.
MR. SHOE HAS been a popular stop for the fashion-conscious crowd on Milwaukeeâ€™s East Side for more than a decade. Owner Lee Sloane hopes to recreate that formula for success at his new store on Port Washington Road in Grafton. Photos by Mark Jaeger