October has been a CRAZY month for us here at Mar-Lou – and we love it! Between trunk shows, fabulous deals and wonderful customers we’ve been keeping EXTRA busy. I know it’s hard to keep up with everything we’ve got going on – but don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for! Here are the end of October events at Mar-Lou:
“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”
– Marilyn Monroe
My favorite part of getting dressed in the morning has always been putting my shoes on. Long before I worked at a shoe store, and way before I experienced the joy (and pain) of breaking in a new pair of converse, I remember pure excitement at the thought of getting to pick out a brand spankin’ new pair of shoes at the beginning of every school year.
My sister and I, to our delight, would hop in the car, and our mother, probably to her despair, would drive us around for hours until we found the perfect, all black, low-heeled, lace-up, but still fashionable, comfortable AND extra narrow pairs of school shoes (private school dress code made our options limited, and two girls with skinny feet made those limited options even narrower . . . no pun intended). Maybe it was my school uniform that made me appreciate picking out my own unique, distinguishable pair of shoes, or maybe it was the entire experience. Either way, these memories are ones I look back on fondly.
All nostalgia aside this memory, paired with a large dose of caffeine, got my wheels turning Shoes are typically the last thing we put on in the morning, the last part of our routines, but the first and most important item needed when venturing out to start a productive day or drive down the street to the nearest Dunkin Donuts. Shoes are a necessity.
We often take for granted the clothes on our back, the shoes on our feet. Have you ever thought what your life would be like if you didn’t have shoes? You’d certainly be uncomfortable physically, but how would you feel mentally? What about when cold, inclement weather hits or when the ground is so scalding hot you can’t take a step barefoot? Speaking for myself, and maybe many of you, I’d feel powerless, hopeless.
The problem is, there are many people around the world, and here at home in the United States, who do not have even the most basic pair of shoes to put on their feet. What does this have to do with me, with you? Everything. Because we can help.
Soles4Souls is an organization dedicated to helping people in need to acquire not only shoes, but opportunities for better lives. Their self-proclaimed vision is to “eradicate extreme poverty by 2050”. Soles4Souls provides countless ways to give back to those in need, including monetary donations, traveling to impoverished areas to help and, of course, donating shoes! New shoes, old shoes, red shoes, blue shoes, one shoes, two shoes . . . you get the picture. No pair of shoes is useless to Soles4Souls. Even the pair of shoes that seems like it’s on its last leg (pun intended) can be re-purposed and put to good use!
Now, you know the team at Mar-Lou LOVES shoes. What we love even more than shoes is simply making people happy and comfortable. We’ve teamed up with Soles4Souls as a drop-off location for shoe donations. It’s as easy as rounding up any pair(s) of shoes you don’t wear/need and dropping them in the box on your way into the store!
Charity and donation is often associated with the holiday season, but I challenge all of us to make giving back part of every season. Remember: before you toss those old shoes, take some time to drive up to Mar-Lou and drop them in our shoe-donation box. All it takes is one pair of shoes to make life easier for a woman walking to work every day, or to spark joy in a little girl on her first day of school. Every shoe helps, no matter how big or small.
Web/Social Media Administrator
Want to learn more? Check out this awesome video from Soles4Souls to find out “the power of a pair of shoes”!
In case you didn’t get the chance to stop in for the SAS Trunk Show on Friday- NO FEAR! – check out this video to see what you missed (including styles from the upcoming SAS Spring 2016 line)!
It’s that time of year again – the leaves are changing, and the wind is blowing a little more crisply. It’s the season for hot apple cider, pumpkin carving, and ankle boots (a personal favorite of us at Mar-Lou). Most importantly fall, namely the month of October, is dedicated to raising Breast Cancer awareness. According to cdc.gov, with the exception of certain types of skin cancer, breast cancer is the number one most common cancer women develop. Educating women about early detection, yearly mammograms and raising funds to support research is of the utmost importance.
Breast Cancer Awareness month provides wonderful chances to give back to organizations, such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. Many retailers get involved by selling special edition pink versions of their products or selling products sporting the widely-recognized pink ribbon. When you purchase items of this nature, a portion of your proceeds goes to Breast Cancer foundations . . . or so you think.
In doing some research, I found a few interesting tidbits I want to pass onto you, readers. The organization thinkbeforeyoupink.org serves to educate and motivate us to be fully aware of whether or not the products we purchase in support of breast cancer are actually, well, supporting breast cancer.
“Any company can put a pink ribbon on its products. The widely recognized pink ribbon symbol is not regulated by any agency and does not necessarily mean it effectively combats the breast cancer epidemic” (thinkbeforeyoupink.org).
This is where reading the fine print comes in. In order to make sure we are not simply furthering a company’s bottom line i.e., making money, it’s imperative we know what questions to ask about products claiming proceeds go to supporting breast cancer awareness or research.
Thinkbeforeyoupink.org provides us with a list of 4 simple questions to ask before purchasing pink:
- Does any money from this purchase go to support breast cancer programs? How much?
- What organization will get the money? What will they do with the funds, and how do these programs turn the tide of the breast cancer epidemic?
- Is there a “cap” on the amount the company will donate? Has this maximum donation already been met? Can you tell?
- Does this purchase put you or someone you love at risk for exposure to toxins linked to breast cancer? What is the company doing to ensure that its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?
It comes down to this: before purchasing pink, be aware of the ideals and “fine print” of the organization your money is going to. When in doubt, there are other ways to support breast cancer awareness that don’t involve purchasing products from a company.
Events to support breast cancer are right outside your door (or a car ride away, at least)! The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk raises money that goes toward breast cancer research and provides information and free support to those affected by breast cancer. (http://makingstrides.acsevents.org/). There is still time to sign up to volunteer or participate in a walk near your area by going to http://makingstrides.acsevents.org/.
As important as it is to make donations supporting breast cancer awareness, your support does not have to be monetary. Support the women in your life by reminding them to get yearly screenings and education on doing monthly breast self-exams. Little reminders like these cost nothing, but can mean everything to those you love.
Web/Social Media Administrator
Before You Buy Pink. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2015, from http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/before-you-buy/
Breast Cancer Statistics. (2015, August 20). Retrieved October 13, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/
Being someone that is new to retail, I was not aware of the existence of trunk shows until I began working at Mar-Lou. Now, if you’re anything like I used to be, the words “trunk show” didn’t ring any bells of excitement in me.
My immediate mental image was of a giant trunk, a man in a nice suit, and lots of pretty shoes… and I wasn’t far off. You may be thinking a trunk show is simply a ploy to get you to walk into any given retailer’s store. Trunk shows are great for retailers, it’s true. Trunk shows are also AMAZING for customers.
Why, you ask?
Here’s the basic layout of a trunk show in the shoe world: shoe vendor arrives, shoe vendor brings an array of shoe samples (mainly styles the retailer doesn’t carry), and shoe vendor spends time interacting with customers, answering questions about the brand, specific shoes, etc. The shoe vendor is there as an expert on whichever brand he or she is representing.
Trunk shows are awesome for you, the consumer, because you’re getting the inside scoop on a brand you love, or maybe even a brand you’ve never heard of and want to know more about before you buy. If you like a shoe you see at the trunk show, you can even order it! You get to see shoes you may not have been aware of from a brand that you already love!
I’m guessing if you’re reading this post, it’s because you’re a customer, you’re thinking about becoming a customer, or you really love shoes . . . or you’re bored (possibly) at work (no judgment).
No matter the reason, assuming we’re all shoe-lovers here, trunk shows are fantastic for this reason alone: what’s better than someone bringing tons of fabulous shoes and laying them out in front of you to see, touch, ask about and order?
If this post got you excited or at least slightly intrigued about Trunk Shows, you’ll be happy to know we’ve got a couple in the works! Come on in on Saturday, October 10th! We’ ve got a Clarks Rep coming to Mar-Lou with lots of lovely shoes to show.
Adding to all this trunk show excitement, on November 8th, our wonderful Rep from Munro American, John Brown, will be at Mar-Lou with his trunk of amazingly comfortable, stylish Munro shoes. You won’t want to miss this one, so mark your calendars!
Let’s all start getting educated and (most importantly) excited about what we’re putting on our feet!
Web/Social Media Administrator for Mar-Lou Shoes
When was the last time you assessed your foot health? It may sound strange, but really think about it. Do your feet ache on a daily or weekly basis? Do you have plantar fasciitis or find yourself constantly getting blisters?
According to the results of a survey taken in 2014 by the American Podiatric Medical Association “. . . 1,000 US adults ages 18 and older . . . say they have experienced foot pain (77 percent)” (apma.org). This statistic is astounding. Even more astounding is the fact that only 1/3 of the 77% seek help from a podiatrist (apma.org).
Think these findings don’t apply to you? You may not have foot pain, bunions, plantar fasciitis or any number of other painful foot ailments yet, but you could someday.
Picture yourself 10, 20, 30 years from now, walking around with bunions or any other number of painful foot problems. What if your doctor told you this pain could’ve likely been avoided had you been wearing better shoes all those years? Dr. Taryn Rose, interviewed on Good Morning America, has done research on the topic of foot ailments, and this is what she found:
“She has traced many foot problems, including calluses, back to bad shoes. Women account for 90 percent of foot surgeries in the United States, with foot ailments ranging from bunions and hammertoes to neuroma, the swelling of the nerves in the ball of the foot. Women in their 40s and 50s often find that they have pain and large deformities from wearing ill-fitting shoes, Rose said” (abcnews.go.com).
… “from ill-fitting shoes”. SERIOUSLY?! This one of the most easily fixable problems: it starts with getting properly fitted. It takes no time at all to go to a shoe store, remove your shoe, and get fitted!
Getting fitted is only the first step. Step two is equally as important: investing in quality footwear. Being a poor college student, I am aware the word “investment” often causes panic, especially when the term is used in relation to buying shoes. There are so many other things I could do with $200 than buying a nice pair of shoes!
Okay. Let’s weigh our options. Say you buy 3 pairs of $200 shoes in a year. $600 for shoes in one year seems like a lofty investment, right? Well, let’s say you forego paying the $600 and buy 10 pairs of $30 shoes. Woah! That’s a way better deal right? You may think so, but the average cost of bunion surgery in the U.S. is between $3500-$5000 (buniondoctor.net). All of a sudden the $600 you paid to invest in quality shoes that kept your feet healthy and pain-free doesn’t seem so horrible. Plus, the added bonus of buying quality footwear means it’s going to last you a lot longer than a pair of shoes that’s cheaper but crafted poorly.
Don’t mistake this rant as me berating anyone whose never been properly fitted or bought a great pair of quality shoes. I am the QUEEN of bargain shopping, especially when it comes to shoes. The first time I was properly fitted was about a month ago and, honestly, if I wasn’t working at a shoe store I wouldn’t have realized the importance of it.
When I sit down and think about all the money I’ve “saved” buying cheap, less-than-comfy shoes over the years, it makes me wonder why I, and so many other women, settle when it comes to footwear. We’d never buy pants that don’t fit right or feel uncomfortable after a few hours of wear. Why doesn’t our footwear have the same buying-criteria our clothes do?
Our feet work hard for us, so let’s start working harder to keep them healthy. There are thousands upon thousands of adorable AND comfortable options for footwear. I challenge all of us to start treating our tootsies with more respect. Your feet will thank you!
Are Your Shoes Killing Your Feet? (2015). Retrieved October 5, 2015, from http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=126809
Day, B. (2014, May 19). New Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Suffer from Foot Pain | Press Release | Media Room | APMA. Retrieved October 5, 2015, from http://www.apma.org/Media/PRdetail.cfm?ItemNumber=13075
How Much Does Bunion Surgery Cost? (2014, July 7). Retrieved October 5, 2015, from http://www.buniondoctor.net/how-much-does-bunion-surgery-cost/
What are the top reasons shoppers return retail purchases they’ve made? According to a report on whowhatwear.com, sales associates from Bloomingdales, Shopbop and Topshop agree the main factors involved in customer returns are wrong size purchased and discomfort.
We all know it is a pain to be in a shoe that does not fit, but it can be an even bigger pain to return purchases. Unfortunately, returns are inevitable. Customers hate ’em and retailers hate ’em, but they are a part of the business. No one wants to keep an item they’re uncomfortable in, and why should they? Sometimes there are issues with fees or strings attached to a return policy that you weren’t made aware of. The return process can be incredibly frustrating.
What if I told you there was a way to eliminate the hassle associated with retail returns this October? Mar-Lou Shoes is participating in the Johnston & Murphy Walk-Test taking place for the entire month of October. What is a walk-test you ask? Pretty much exactly what it sounds like!
Here’s how the Johnston & Murphy Walk-Test works:
- Select a walk-test “tagged” shoe.
- Purchase shoe.
- Wear the shoe for 10 days (this is the test part)
- Decide you LOVE the shoe and keep your purchase!
- Decide the shoe is not the one for you.
- Return shoe for FULL REFUND. No strings attached.
This easy, no hassle return policy is taking place the entire month of October. This is a wonderful opportunity to try a Johnston & Murphy shoe out for yourself. Any questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at 440 449 7463.