Shop Talk - Jan 31, 2008
By Kristy Eckert
The Columbus Dispatch
SHOP TALK. A weekly chat with a store owner or clerk in central Ohio.
Lenny and Marcia Comeras, co-owners of Easton Shoes, 1880 W. Henderson Rd.
Lenny, your father opened this store with a friend more than 50 years ago. When did you take over?
Lenny: I came back into the business in 1977.
How has the store changed?
Lenny: It started as a family shoe store. Back in the '50s and '60s, we were selling everyone in the family everything -- from the womb to the tomb. We sold ice skates. We sold work boots. We sold everything.
Now we'ver found our niche -- fashionable comfort.
Marcia: Luxury comfort. We're not trendy at all.
The two of you married in 1993. How did you meet?
Marcia: I previously was in the shoe business in Indianapolis. I had two shoe stores there. We were introduced by a shoe rep.
Lenny: The couple who introduced us -- they had, like, four other successful matches, or three. They're, like, matchmakers extraordinaire.
You travel the world to visit shoe shows and buy directly from shoemakers. Explain your buying rules.
Lenny: We have to both be in love with the item. If only one of us is in love with it, we don't buy it.
And your comfort rule?
Lenny: The rule is that the shoe has to have comfort features built into the construction on the shoes or we won't even consider it.
You also have quite a selection of jewelry. Describe what you offer.
Marcia: The jewelry is all handmade sterling silver, and we buy it from the source -- from the silversmiths and artisans (in Mexico).
Your average shoe price is about $150 a pair. Why should people make the investment?
Lenny: Their well-being.
Marcia: It fixes your whole physical being. People come in with canes and walkers, and they'll leave and forget they came with one. And they'll have to come back.
Lenny is actually the bigger shoe collector in the family, yes?
Marcia: Yes. He had a custom closet built ... He has every shoe since he graduated from college.