Face Behind The Store: FOOTLOOSE
Owning a shoe store was the next step for Debbie Simes.
Relocating to Cambridge in 2001, Debbie worked as a truancy officer for Life Skills in Cambridge for 18 months before moving into the position of coordinator for Victim Support. While in that role, she and her husband saw the opportunity to open the franchise in Cambridge.
“We pursued that and in March 2011 we became the owners of Footloose Cambridge,” Debbie said. “We’re now in our eighth year and I just love it.”
And she believes the Cambridge community is a big part of that love.
“One of the best things about it is getting to know the people,’ she said. “We get a lot of people popping in not only to look at our products, but just for a chat and to say hi. Getting to know them on a more personal level has been awesome.”
The Simes family have now called Cambridge home for 17 years. Debbie and husband Davehave three kids – two currently at Uni, with the youngest in her final years of school.
“Cambridge is a great place to live,” Debbie said. “Its proximity to everything – Auckland, the Mount, lakes and beaches.
“Both my husband and I are both heavily involved in the community, especially in sports; squash, rowing and rugby. We like getting behind things.”
And in a business capacity too – Footloose is a big supporter of events and get behind whatever’s happening, be it rowing, cycling or hospice events.
“And the support and co- competitor relationships with other businesses in Cambridge is fantastic,” she said. “We hold regular fashion shoes with other stores which are well attended and supported by our local customers too.”
Aside from Debbie instore herself, there are three other Footloose Cambridge staff – Anne-Marie, Wendy and Ella.
Anne-Marie has worked alongside Debbie for two years, driving in from Tirau each day.
“I really love Cambridge and all the people here,” Anne-Marie said. “And it helps because I also really, really love shoes.”
Footloose has stores throughout New Zealand, each specialising in selling quality women’s footwear and accessories. During its 20-year span, the Footloose philosophy has remained the same: making Kiwi women feel good and confident about themselves in Footloose shoes, in the latest designs and of the best quality materials.
One foot in front of the other – in fabulous shoes, of course.