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Desperado’s rebrand success leads to the opening of New Shoe Store In Bend’s Old Mill District
by Rebecca Meade
After nearly 20 years in the boutique world, Bend clothing storeowner Joanne Sunnarborg is expanding her business this fall with the grand opening of Shoes &… by desperado. “We are truly excited to be opening a shoe and accessory store in the Old Mill District. It’s what our customers are asking for. It’s filling a niche of fashionable footwear and accessories that will be chic and comfortable,” says Sunnarborg. “I want people to be able to wake up to snow and know they have footwear from my store that will get them down the driveway and will look great in the office too,“ Sunnarborg says smiling. She then quickly adds, “And when you’re heading south in the middle of January, we’ll carry year-round great vacation footwear too.”
Two years ago Desperado rebranded its boutique. The store moved away from being a high-end western specialty store and created a boutique experience that Sunnarborg says better meets customer’s needs. “We changed up our clothing to fashion forward, trend setting lines, some with a unique bohemian flair. It’s working, and we intend to follow that success in our new shoe store,” Sunnarborg shares with pride. Boots will continue to be part of what the new store offers.
Shoes &… by desperado will have its grand opening along with its sister store’s 19th Anniversary with a Trunk Show Celebration on October 16th-18th. The Friday night kickoff party will feature live music by local favorite Moon Mountain Ramblers. Libations will be offered all weekend long.
Shoes &… will be located right next to Desperado on the Old Mill District’s North end. The new shoe store will have its own entrance on Powerhouse Drive, but will be accessible from Desperado by a doorway between the two stores. “They are definitely two separate stores, but we want people to be able to easily access our shoes and accessories to go with a new outfit or be able to pick out clothes to match that great new pair of heels,” says Sunnarborg. “I’ve built my business on customer service. We believe the new shoe store is another way to better serve our growing clientele. We are very lucky to live in a community that loves to shop local. Bend’s economy may be tourist based, but our core demographic is from right here in Central Oregon,” she says.
The new shoe store will offer a wide variety of footwear at a moderate price point. Many of the shoe lines will range in price from about $75 to $150 with an emphasis on quality and fashion, and still be comfortable. Cost of the boots will generally run higher. “We will still carry our amazing cowboy boots by companies like Old Gringo, Liberty Black, and Tres Outlaws. They’ve become mainstream and are a ‘must have’ in many women’s and men’s closets,” Sunnarborg smiles. She is bringing in world-renowned custom boot maker, Tony Benattar of Liberty Boot Company, for the new shoe store’s grand opening. “He’s the best of the best when it comes to custom boots. Seeing this level of craftsmanship is something not to miss,” says Sunnarborg.
Sunnarborg says she will also carry amazing fashion lines by shoe designers like OTBT, Sofft, Steve Madden, Bernie Mev, Charles David, ASH, Minnetonka, Free Bird and Timberland for men. Jewelry, scarves and handbags will round out the accessories portion of the new store. Sunnarborg say, “I plan to listen to my customers. If there is a shoe or handbag line they like, I want to know about it. I want to know what’s important to them. It’s how we do business and as we like to say these days – it’s in our sole.”
Find your Sole and much more in Bend’s newest shoe boutique, featuring footwear and accessories that will make your inner and outer self-shine.