Newstore features eco-friendly, specialty shoes

Published on Thu, May 18, 2006 by Tara Nelson

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New store features eco-friendly, specialty shoes

By Tara Nelson

Jody Finnegan has a passion for shoes from clunky and comfortable to stylish and elegant – and even more in between.

Finnegan, who owns 12th Street Shoes in Fairhaven, recently opened a second store in March at Birch Bay Square, formerly known as the Peace Arch Factory Outlet.

Finnegan said the new store – although slightly smaller – will offer many of the same brands as her Fairhaven store such as Josef Seibel, Naot from Israel, Haflinger and Dansko, a cork-based comfort shoe.
“Our most popular shoe is Dansko,” she said. “It’s our number one selling brand by far because it’s a comfortable shoe.”

Finnegan, a former engineer, added she favors shoes that are both comfortable and fashionable, although many customers have requested dress shoes.

“We try to keep the heels below three inches to keep them comfortable,” she said.

12th Street also specializes in unusual and innovative shoes such as Earth, a posture-friendly shoe line developed by a yoga instructor; vegan shoes, or shoes made without animal products such as leather; and El Naturalista, a ecologically-friendly shoe line from Spain that includes the Iggdrasil, a stylish leather shoe with a natural recycled rubber and tea tree oil sole that had a refreshing scent ($120).

“They’re fun shoes and they’ve been very popular,” Finnegan said. “We sell out of them every time we get them in.”

Finnegan said although they don’t regularly carry vegan shoes, they will order them on request. Many of the vegan shoes come in similar styles as the ones featured in her store.

“We’re a leather store,” she said. “So it felt kind of weird having a vegan shoe because I felt that someone who was vegan wouldn’t necessarily know to come to a leather store, but we will special order them if people want them.”

Men’s shoes include Allen-Edmonds, Naot, Reaction, Josef Seibel, Dansko, Kenneth-Cole, and Kenneth-Cole NY.

Finnegan said she has scheduled a grand opening sale for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 19 through 21 that will include a 10 percent sale on most store items, contests and gifts.

“So if you bring in gently worn shoes, you will get an additional percentage off,” she said.

All shoes will be donated to the YWCA’s Back to Work boutique.
12th Street Shoes is located at Birch Bay Square at 3400 Birch Bay-Lynden Road, suite B-1A and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
They can be reached by calling 366-5140.