Six years ago in August of 2004, Sharon Snyder wanted to open a store. But there already were shops that sold dresses, candles and lotions, all the things she first considered. Then, the idea popped in her head that women will always want shoes and purses.
Thus the birth of "Steppin' Out Shoes and Such" boutique. Located on 110 W. German St. in the heart of Shepherdstown, the store is lined from wall to wall with fashionable shoes of every kind. From brands like Uggs and Clarks to newer finds such as Rieker and Korkeas.
Snyder hand picks each product by traveling to shoe shows in Atlanta, keeping in close contact with vendors and shoe publications.
Steppin' Out is located at 110 W. German St. in Shepherdstown.
"I want to outfit shoes for the 30- to 65-year-old woman with style, comfort, all for a reasonable price . . . something you can find as a gift to yourself," Snyder said.
And expanding into other categories, Snyder also sells the Vera Bradley brand, from laps to beach towels, make-up bags and the Vera Bradley staple - purses. Snyder says the brand is what keeps college students coming back. Especially during the downturn of the recession, Vera Bradley helped keep "Steppin' Out" a success.
"The products are great for anyone to come in for a day's shopping. Women come in here looking for the perfect wallet for their sister or a husband with a gift for his wife . . . shoes and purses will always be in demand by women."
And those women keep Snyder going with the business - they are the locals who support her and give her positive feedback. When opening the store, her biggest fear was people wouldn't like her taste in shoes, accessories or the store. But to hear people daily reaffirm that she's doing things right makes her love her customers and store.
These same customers also help the new lines coming into the store stay contemporary. Snyder is adamant about listening to ideas, name and other vendors that her shoe loving customers recommend and tries to carry them to her best ability.
And in true ever-evolving fashion, Snyder is looking to be open more days, longer hours and with more employees in the next few summer months.
Snyder loves the one-on-one interaction with tote-bag-carrying, fur-boot-loving women of Shepherdstown.