Hello, we are Steve and Rita Smith, owners of The Shoe Smith. We have been family-owned and operated since 1988 and we are committed to quality, comfort, and customer satisfaction.
Steve, commonly referred to as "The Shoe Smith" or "The Shoe Guy", is a board-certified pedorthist. That means he is an expert in footwear, common foot ailments, and how to adjust footwear to accommodate everyone's unique pair of feet. Steve can not only make you a custom pair of inserts, but conducts a thorough consultation with you to ensure that your footwear and inserts are the perfect fit. He's also the "big machine guy"; he works on shoe and boot resoling, heels, shoe shining, and so much more.
But don't be fooled! Rita works with our heavy-duty stitching machine for purses, coats, and more. She's usually the one at the counter and works on updating the store's merchandise and atmosphere.
Steve and Rita have been married since 1981. They started working at Wolfe's Shoe Repair, owned and operated by Steve's brother-in-law in 1986. After two years of learning the ropes, the business was offered to them for purchase and they jumped on the opportunity. If you want to read about how we came up with the business name, scroll down.
In 1987, Steve and Rita were blessed with their first daughter, Darlene, better known as "Dar". Dar grew up in the business, spending much of her early years in a play pen in the store. It wasn't uncommon for loyal customers to come pick her up for a day of shopping in the mall. That likely had an impact on her love of fashion and cosmetology. Dar grew up dancing competitively and has a passion for dance to this day. She spent many years as a hairstylist and dance teacher. Now, she works for a professional beauty store and a local yarn shop, where she's fostered her new hobby of knitting.
In 1998, Steve and Rita had their second daughter, Judy. Judy also spent much of her childhood days in the store. She drew pictures to sell to customers and, when she was old enough, stitched together leather pieces to make purses and coin bags. Judy took after her sister and danced competitively for many years. She went to Heidelberg University in Tiffin, OH to major in environmental science and mathematics and minor in computer science. Now, she is employed at the National Center for Water Quality Research on Heidelberg's campus, is a Zumba® instructor, and is working on building her own business.
Now that you know a little about our family, we would love to get to know you and yours! Whether it's your favorite pair of shoes that need some love or your aching feet that need some help, we are committed to helping you with the best service around. Come be part of our family.
How did you come up with the name?
We get this question all the time and it's actually a fun story. After we purchased Wolfe's Shoe Repair, named after Steve's brother-in-law, we decided we should change the name. We couldn't think of any good ideas, so we decided to get our customers involved. We held a contest where customers could submit a name suggestion for a chance to win a pair of shoes. A few days into the competition, a customer came in and looked at the competition promotion. He turned to Rita, a little bewildered, and said, "Well, why don't you call it `The Shoe Smith`? It's a pretty good play on words." We chuckled, as we couldn't believe that we hadn't thought of it. Naturally, we immediately declared him the winner and gave him his free pair of shoes.