2 min read
We talk with owners Sam Papoutsis and Dia Stamadianos about bringing heritage brands back in style, and why they carry Cougars in their stores.
How long have you been in business?
We’ve been in business now for over 8 years, our original shop opened in 2009 and our second shop has been open since 2013.
When we first opened our shop the total selling surface was 300 sq.ft, not sure if we had the record for smallest shoe shop in Canada!
Why did you decide to go into retail?
I’ve been working in footwear retail since 1990. In 2009 I found myself unemployed and spending a lot of time at the coffee shops on St-Viateur. I saw a spot on Park Avenue that was vacant and I was just curious. I didn’t even know if it would be a good location, but the rent was good. I said to myself “I’ve got some time off from the corporate world so maybe I should check it out”. With the support of my loving family, I just went for it.
What was your vision when you opened your store, and has the vision changed over time?
The vision concept behind Mile End Kicks was a feeling of retro heritage sneakers. I started to appreciate all the heritage brands from my youth and realized how few of them were still around. I wanted to bring back the heritage sneakers!
We’ve stayed retro and true to our roots. We try to bring in different brands every season and love to bring new and exciting products. Hence the second location with more American made boots, and sandals from Spain and Portugal, Italy and Greece!
Why have you chosen Cougar Shoes as one of your featured brands?
Cougar has been around for over 65 years, I remember their boots when I was growing up. The brand fit nicely into our concept retro look – especially when they reintroduced the Pillow Boot. My wife had a pair back in the 80s in the original tan color with the red lining, but I'm not sure if they were waterproof back then...
Where do you get your inspiration from when keeping up with the latest fashion trends?
With our technology that we have today, the internet, trade shows, we are constantly researching and looking for different brands to introduce.
What makes shopping at your store different and unique?
We strive to offer the best customer service and knowledge the brands we carry. We give a little history behind the brands, we take pride when someone walks in and we love to make them feel at home.
With two locations in the Mile End neighborhood, Mile End Kicks has everything you need to satisfy your retro and heritage boot needs.
Photos courtesy of Mile End Kicks.
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