Caitlin Begbie, 20, has followed in her family business footsteps, opening a new Smiths Sports Shoes in Warkworth.
Her mother has been the manager of the Smiths Sports Shoes store in Whangarei for the last 14 years, and owner for the last two. Growing up around the store, Caitlin has picked up knowledge and expertise.
She says it has been her ambition to start her own store and Warkworth is an ideal location because it is a growing market situated between Smiths stores in Albany and Whangarei.
“It means shoppers don’t have to drive far to find comfortable daily footwear,” Caitlin says. “We have shoes suitable for walking, running and outdoor adventure.”
When a customer visits Smiths Sports Shoes in Warkworth, Caitlin observes their gait and makes a recommendation for a fitting shoe.
“I check to see if their arches are collapsing, whether they need support or just a neutral shoe.”
Smiths also has sports shoes for children.
Some of the more innovative products in store include the New Balance 1080 with its propriety ‘fresh foam’ cushioning and uppers that are lighter and more breathable.
The store also stocks the Salomon brand, which is known for its ski gear, but also produces a line of trail running shoes.
“They are great for road and trail. The Contagrip outsole won’t wear out on the road, but still provides a good grip.”
Caitlin says the hottest seller has been Birkenstock sandals, which have a cork base that moulds to the shape of a foot, providing optimum comfort.
She says since the store opened seven weeks ago, the community response has been better than she could have asked for.
“People have been stopping in to browse or just wish me the best. I love living in Warkworth and am looking forward to fitting people in the right shoe for them”