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Best ever shoe range … until the next best ever shoe range!

That’s it. I’ve finished. I’d do a happy dance if I wasn’t so tired!

I have this week finalised my Spring Summer 2017 range. It was my toughest range to order yet for the best of reasons: there were just so many gorgeous choices and a few new brands to tempt me, too.

I know people think it must be loads of fun to look at beautiful shoes and buy lots of them – and it is. But it’s also fraught with angst as I agonise over my choices and whether they will appeal to my gorgeous customers who span so many ages, tastes, needs and budgets.

If they don’t sell, I have to slash them at sale time and compromise what I need to earn to operate my business. If they still don’t sell, I am stuck with shoes that no one wants despite my best intentions and every pair represents dollars in limbo.

No wonder I hide some in cupboards! I can’t stand seeing them anymore.

But ultimately, it’s still wonderful to have so many fabulous choices. Not one of the brands I stock is exclusively for longer sizes … that’s what puzzles (and angers!) so many of my customers. Why don’t other shops stock them then, they ask me?

I reckon I bought and offered my best range ever this past Summer and ditto for this upcoming Winter. But now that I’ve seen this new Summer range that will start arriving as early as July but mostly in August, September and October, I reckon the best of the best is still to come.

I think I have everyone covered: from those who prefer flats to high heels; from casual to conservative to corporate; and, of course, just plain fun and funky! I have to say, it is way more fun buying shoes en masse in Summer … more bright and happy colours and styles are available; I guess just more occasions to wear beautiful shoes in our Aussie summer.

I do analyse the success of each range now and that can be sobering as well as inspiring. Very few brands repeat styles but when they do with their best-sellers, of course I feel more confident to buy these again. I have a few such styles coming up for both this winter (the wonderful Swansea shoe by Hinako is a classic example) and next summer, too.

For the first time this summer, I’m not stocking some Shoe Garden stalwarts. That took some deep consideration. Some of the brands have changed direction and I’m not as enamoured with their styles anymore. Others just haven’t been able to compete on style and pricepoint. In the end, I have to make some tough choices when I offer a wide range of brands. Then again, it’s this wide range that makes choice at The Shoe Garden so much fun! Sadly, there are fewer and fewer non-branded, boutique shoe shops around these days.

I guess it’s all a bit of give and take at the end. I start each buying session with an open mind and a strict budget. Weeks later, I emerge a bit blurry-eyed and sigh with satisfaction and anticipation for the season ahead. Mission accomplished.

Meantime, let’s bring on Autumn and Winter … new shoes and boots are arriving weekly and, yes, they’re gorgeous and yes, best range ever … so far!

Until next time

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