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  • Christina Fotinelli

Dear Jocelyn,

Skip Ludlow knows a thing or two about shoes. His great, great grandfather had none; he sported rags tied with twine. His great grandfather had one, a threadbare pair, that he shared with his cousin Ansel. His grandfather, the pride of the Ludlows, worked at Bernie’s Shoe Emporium in Central Stockton and was named ‘Employee of the Month’ at least once in a career that spanned three decades, earning him a modest discount on a pair of last season’s work boots (used). His father, Earl, well no one mentions Earl as he preferred going barefoot. Sanity was restored to the Ludlow name with Skipper Ludlow, a chip of the old ‘shoe’ block. 

Dear Jocelyn,

May I call you Joss? Well Jossie, I was first drawn to your fledgling shoe boutique when you had barely opened your doors. A loyal devotee of footwear - it runs in the family - I entered Shoes & More with high hopes. These were swiftly dashed as it must be said that your collections lack style, comfort, durability - well anything that makes a shoe good. At first I didn't blame you for your odious selections. Considering that the majority of folk in Outer Stockton view the sensible walking shoe to be the height of fashion I felt you were duly catering to demand but I kept looking for a glimmer of sophistication and elan that was never to be. Now I know you and only you are to blame you for the drab selections at your sad little emporium where shoe aficionado go to die. 

It is hard to deny however that you are doing a bustling trade, in fact the only trade within a 50 mile radius, which is why Josefa, I cannot understand your rancour at the opening of my humble embryonic effort to inject some pizzazz to the shoe-scene of Outer Stoketon.

“Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world."

You know who uttered those words, Jojo? The iconic Marilyn Monroe, that's who. An icon who would not step foot into your shabby shoe stand. Let’s not prevaricate JoJo, your last haul was a cataclysmic failure. Oversized, overpriced, over-ugly. That's what you're selling Jo-Coco, below the ankle ugliness.

If The Shoe Fits...

I answered a call from above, Jossena. It was actually a cry from the people for nicer shoes and I felt it my civic duty to deliver. Cinderella said....

'One shoe can change your life.'

How true is that? If it worked for Cinders you can bet your bottom dollar it may weave the same magic for other folks. So, what did I do? I went to my cupboards and yanked out every slipper, stiletto, heel, wedge, flat, ankle boot, sandals platform and peep toe I had. Plus the brogues and the loafers and the oxfords and the derbies. Then I mortgaged my house and ordered more. All proudly displayed for people Outer Stockton to delight in and thus Sole Beauty was born. 

Then The Other Shoe Dropped

How did you thank me for raising the bar, Jazza-belle? You vandalise my store, you boobytrap my deliveries, you lure my customers away with your bargain basement pricing, you send goons to douse my fledgling customer base in dirty dishwater.

You Will Never Walk In My Shoes

...and you know why Jo-so? Because your bunion hammer-toed, toe-cheesy nasty feet wouldn't last a minute in my fine shoes. An inspiring and brilliant lady who was once also underestimated and rose to dizzying heights said,

“I still have my feet on the ground. I just wear better shoes."

In those words of Oprah, I found peace, inspiration and a salve for my anger. I may be short on customers Jossabelle but I am high on trend and that..... you bunioned, verucca-plagued hag will never go out of style.


PS The next time you receive a delivery and all you get is size 4s in lime yellow, don’t stop to wonder how it happened. IT WAS ME! 

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