As a girl who loves her shoes, I am always looking for someone who shares my passion and knows their stuff. Ann Marie Escobar and her sister Mary Sease recently opened Shoe Port, a shoe boutique in Portsmouth, and they really know shoes. Coming from 20 years in the business, these fun and friendly sisters are a perfect addition to the fashion strip at Clock Tower Square, a section of the town that already draws the avid shopper.
Escobar says of her new shop, “We love what we do and are excited to provide great shoes as well as a fit service.” Admittedly, nowadays it is all too common to just stop into a chain store for shoes and we often forget that a fitting is the most important part of the experience. Trusting the person to know your needs and how you’ll wear into a shoe over time can help make the purchase more pleasant and certainly more dependable. I recently came to find out that each shoe brand is known for wearing differently over time and some brands are better known for work-wearers versus the casual walker.
This spring, Shoe Port’s shoe loving sisters say they are seeing a trend in beach comfort. Boat shoes are already starting to be popular again, with the loafer making a strong comeback. If you love the beachside lifestyle, Escobar recommends OluKai the Hawaiian, a brand that offers luxury sandals, boots and shoes made for comfort with clean lines.
Sease talks with enthusiasm about their customers and says, “This area has such a different group of people. Everyone is so causal and fun, people just come in, sit on our couch and chat and chat.” These two women love being together in their store and love spending the time to really get to know the shopper. With a couch in the store, you could say this place has the potential to be actual shoe therapy. Buy a pair of Blondo boots while you talk about your day; the environment lends itself to comfort and ease.
Loving what you do is important to run any business, but is particularly beneficial for a customer who may not know what they need in a shoe. Ranging from casual to work with an emphasis on quality and comfort, they offer women’s and men’s styles, as well as accessories and some special children’s shoe gifts. Popular brands such as Merrell, Clarks, Franco Sarto, Dansko, Sperry and more are available and always end up being the pairs that last maybe even a little too long (personally I like when I have an excuse for a new pair). Yet it’s always comforting to look to your closet at that great pair of Frye boots; reliable, timeless, comfortable and chic. No matter what you leave with, there is always a reason to go back for the lively, charming and shoe-fully indulgent experience.