So this is my first blog post, I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Shannon Doyle and I am the founder of Heart & Sole. In this post I want to tell you about me and the story behind how Heart & Sole began, nearly 5 years ago.
I grew up in a small fishing community in Newfoundland, graduated high school in 2003 and moved on to Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), where I graduated with a Bach. of Commerce (co-op) in 2009. After graduating from MUN I worked with the Provincial Government as an internal auditor - sounds boring I know! - but I enjoyed report writing and auditing. It wasn't long after when I got married and we started our family. Today we have 2 beautiful boys, aged 5 and 7.
In 2012, the thought came to me how the Town of Carbonear did not have anywhere to purchase footwear, and that the nearest place for people to shop for footwear was St. John's (an hour drive away). Then I began to think of the little community where I lived as a small child - Bay De Verde, NL (approx. hour drive from Carbonear) - if they wished to purchase footwear they would need to drive over 2 hours to St. John's! I thought this was crazy and couldn't understand how no one else thought about this before, or perhaps they did, they just never did anything about it. Well I was going to do something about it, and in July 2, 2012 Heart and Sole opened its first location in the TC Square, Carbonear! Can you believe the first location was only 450 square feet :0 our stockroom now is larger than our first location! LOL! By Not long after opening it was clear that the demand was in the area and I took a leap of faith and moved over to a 1,830 square foot location within the same mall (where we are still to today).
In 2013, a separate division called X-Tream Apparel & Promotions opened which does embroidering and screen printing for teams and corporations on branded apparel like Under Armour Team Apparel and in 2015, a second store was added in Bay Roberts (2,900 square feet), the larger location enabled us to take on more suppliers and offer more selection for our customers. My goals for 2017 is to be able to exceed customer service expectations and find more ways to give back to our communities. We have done a lot for teams, organizations, and schools since opening and I want to make that a priority going forward as well.
So I've told you the Coles notes version of my story of Heart & Sole, what you don't see or hear is how much risk is involved in running a business or how stressful it is. Before I started Heart & Sole I probably didn't see it either nor appreciated the impact local business has on our communities or our economy. I am a true believer now in supporting local business and I hope you will be to. Stop and think about what you are purchasing the next time you are out shopping and ask yourself, "can I purchase this from a local business?" Just a little food for thought - this past Christmas season we offered customers a 10% discount on their purchase if they came into our store with a donation for the local food bank. I noticed demand was high at the food bank in Carbonear and wanted to help. Just before Christmas I was beyond joyed to be able to delivery 2 vehicles full of food to the Carbonear Food Bank! I have no idea how many food hampers were able to be filled with all the food but I'm sure there were multiple which helped multiple families during the holidays. It was a local business that organized that.
Well I hope I didn't bore you too much! Please post any questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you!
Until next time,