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 Milwaukeeâs 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.
âWe 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 he said.
âFor one thing, we have parking in Grafton, which is not always the case on the East Side.â
Mr. Shoe carries footwear for men, women and children, but Sloane said there is one thing all of those choices have in common.
âOur 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 he said.
The store will regularly stock such popular womenâs brands as Ecco, Zota, Soda, Paprika, Sloggers and Dansko, and menâs shoes by Florsheim.
âI 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 Sloane said.
âThere is a big emphasis on fashion at the East Side store, where we sell a lot of heels. Weâll have trendy shoes in Grafton, too, but we are also introducing comfort wear like New Balance.â
Mr. Shoe is not a discount shoe store, but Sloane said shoppers seem to be quite price conscious.
âBoots 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 he said.
âAfter 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 itâs people who have moved away from the East Side but always liked coming to our store.â
The appeal of having a shop in Graftonâs booming Port Washington Road business corridor is obvious, Sloane said.
âBeing right off the highway and surrounded by restaurants and other clothing stores makes this a natural choice for our store,â 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.
âI think this is going to be a very good location for us,â he said.
MR. SHOE HAS been a popular stop for the fashion-conscious crowd on Milwaukeeâs 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