The Shoe Attic Celebrates Year 4 in Style!
Looking for the best shoes, trendiest accessories or hottest fashions in town? Everyone knows The Shoe Attic is the ultimate Williamsburg shopping experience. The Shoe Attic is kicking off year 4 in the prettiest heels on the block!
The Shoe Attic, located on Prince George Street, is a locally owned boutique offering women's shoes, clothing and accessories. They carry both trendy and classic styles that appeal to fashion conscious locals, students and visitors. After celebrating four years in Historic Williamsburg, The Shoe Attic has announced that they will move into Merchants Square in January 2017. (They will be in the space formally known as Closet Envy)
The Shoe Attic opened in November of 2012. Brittany had less than one year experience in retail before she opened the shop, and absolutely none in business! While her degree is in fine arts, Brittany worked with animals at a kennel/veterinary for eight years, acted in commercials and independent movies, and was in a dance company. However when she was 25 she moved back in with her parents, who had retired in Williamsburg, due to a chronic health condition which required in-home nursing. Brittany states her first year living in Williamsburg was a struggle due to her heath condition which did not allow her to explore her new "home". However, as her condition became more manageable, Brittany grew to love Williamsburg! There is always something to do here; the history, the animals, the art, music! Everything is beautiful and amazing, and this is coming from someone who grew up just outside of Washington DC and then lived in New York City.
In 2011 Brittany met a lovely woman selling shoes from a section inside a local shop. Shoes have always been a passion of hers, and her new friend was carrying a brand Brittany had only read about in fashion blogs. Upon speaking further with this woman Brittany was offered a job in her store. Brittany recalls she was often paid in shoes, but better than that, she learned a lot about the fashion retail business! Brittany worked at her lovely shop for about a year but unfortunately she had to close. Having established a foothold in Williamsburg, she did not want to move back to DC or NYC. She wanted to do something locally, and stay immersed in fashion. So naturally she thought of opening a shop of her own.
Fast forward 1 year later Brittany tells her parents that she wants to take on the adventure of opening up her own shop. Her parents took it well; they are extremely supportive and optimistic people. They suggested she attend a New York market (shoe trade show) to help her better understand the business, and confirm the decision. The first week of August she attended her first shoe show and Brittany knew amongst all of the gorgeous colors and designs that this is what she was going to do with her life. So August 5th, 2012 she sat with her parents and declared her intention to proceed with opening a shop. With their backing and moral support it was decided to move forward. A short three months later on November 17th, 2012 Brittany opened for business. She proceeded to say "Believe me, it wasn’t easy, we were still laying down the floor at 2 a.m. the night before we opened, - but it happened! "
The Shoe Attic has grown so much since then. People tell you owning a business isn’t easy; it isn’t that she didn’t believe them, Brittany expected it to be extremely challenging! She just didn’t know how much harder it was going to be. But she has adapted, evolved, and persevered to move up to the next level.
The Shoe Attic is actually a reference to Brittany's own shoe attic at her parents house full of her personal shoe collection. When she got sick she spent a lot of time online looking at fashion blogs and absolutely loved shoes! The designs, the architecture, the beautiful colors. She reminisces of a gorgeous pair of Steve Madden pumps, they had a slim stiletto heel with a platform round toe front and were the most wonderful cobalt blue! Her mother bought them for her after she spent a long time in the hospital. After collecting so many shoes the walk-in closet was overflowing. Her creative father turned the attic off her bedroom into a shoe closet for her, which became her personal shoe attic.
After Brittany decided to open the shop and her parents were so supportive she knew the name needed to have a part of them in it, and so it became The Shoe Attic. You may notice the "eclectic attic" theme in the décor of her store.
Williamsburg is a wonderful place to open and grow a business. Everyone is so kind and willing to help. People shared personal information about their businesses to help her learn and grow her own. The other merchants have been so incredibly friendly. The City and Colonial Williamsburg both strongly promote small business and an environment which is attractive to potential customers. Williamsburg is such a fantastic town, it is quirky with a mixture of locals, tourist and college students. Here The Shoe Attic can stand out and be appreciated; if it were to open in another area it might be overshadowed by malls or other large shopping strips.
Unlike many small towns, it is a very welcoming community with amazing small businesses filled with people who want you to succeed. We have a strong local economy and proactive promotion of culture and business by the City, County, and Colonial Williamsburg. We have Amtrak and Interstate 64, and are less than an hour from two excellent regional airports. It is easy to get here, and inexpensive to stay here.
It is a great place to visit and a great place to live. As a tourist destination and college town, public safety is a big priority of Government; that also benefits residents and businesses. The College and historical attractions also bring great restaurants, shopping, arts, festivals and cultural events. Williamsburg is always improving. Since she has opened her business in 2012 she has watched Williamsburg evolve in positive ways. It is an exciting time to own a business and be a part of the change.