It no longer takes a vacation to San Francisco to find that fun and flirty pump or a drive to Chicago for that perfect embellished sandal. Amy Puchowicz knows all too well how difficult it is to find “vacation shoes” in Greater Cleveland. That’s why she opened Amy’s Shoes in Rocky River — to allow “fashionable women who want to be noticed” to be freed of uniformity. And they are, thanks to the inventory of unique footwear found at the store, which is part of The Shops of Old River.
With more than 100 styles lining the store’s interior glass shelves, there is something for women of all ages. “Not everyone wants to wear a stiletto,” says Puchowicz, who aims to carry different heel heights from the bohemian Pink Studio Winnie half-inch wedges ($72) to the sexy 4-inch Betsey Johnson Clovis platforms ($180).
While you bite your nails in front of one of the two full-length mirrors contemplating whether you should buy the preppy plaid Gigi Favela Tia pump ($295) that will go just perfectly with your new denim a-line skirt, Puchowicz educates you on the brand. In this instance, Gigi Favela is manufactured in Italy, and Amy’s Shoes is the only store in Ohio to carry the line.
When Puchowicz chooses her shoes from trade shows and vendors, she looks for a distinct detail like texture or ornamentation, while keeping comfort in mind. She is also turning Clevelanders on to established yet hard-to-find labels, including London-based Head Over Heels and Joy Chen — the eclectic, sophisticated brand with funky details based on graphic design — and Neu Aura, a line of shoes made from animal-friendly materials.
“It doesn’t matter what kind of day you’re having,” Puchowicz says with a smile. “Whether you’re feeling fat that day, or skinny, or sick, shoes always look nice. And you stay the same size!”