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Leigh Standerfer,

owner of Heirloom Shoe

01. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I always wanted to be a singer! I couldn’t carry a tune, but I thought I was hot stuff!

02. What was your first job?
I grew up on a farm…beyond the countless chores I had, my first paying gig was chopping cotton with my two other sisters. It consisted of waking up at the crack of dawn before the temp. reached 110 and walking about 5 miles worth of cotton rows chopping weeds. As hot and miserable as that was, I kinda miss it…some great memories made.

03. What do you like to do in your free time?
I love playing and watching sports, cooking, eating good food, and spending a ton of time with Hamilton (English Bulldog) and my family.

04. What's the best advice you've ever received?
My dad once said, “If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing right”. That has stuck with me and I know it sounds silly, but I think about that not only in my business, but even when I am cleaning my house or working in my yard. Weird, I know.

05. How long have you been in business and how did you get started?
Heirloom Shoe opened in September of 2010…just hit the 1-year mark. I have ALWAYS wanted to open a shoe store in OKC. I have had a business plan for about 8 years and if I would have had any money and my parents would of let me skip college, I would have opened it years ago! I thought OKC needed a cool women’s shoe store that carried brands and styles people loved, but couldn’t find around here.

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06. Why do you choose to operate your business in Oklahoma as opposed to somewhere else?
Oklahoma is home. I am super close with my family and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Another great thing is that Oklahoma and OKC is still “young”, but really blossoming and a great place to start a venture like mine…unlike NYC where you may find a shoe store on every block.

07. Why do you think it’s important to keep it local?
Besides the fact that when you buy at Heirloom Shoe you are providing food for Hamilton, it essentially comes back to benefit the shopper. I am constantly supporting local charities, providing items for school auctions, etc. The money that is spent at Heirloom Shoe stays here in OKC.

08. What locally owned business (other than your own) could you not live without?
The Wedge. I love me some pizza, and fresh salads, and killer gelato, and beer…I could go on and on. The Western location is dangerously close to my store.

09. Our Facebook fans want to know: What is it that sets you apart from the national chains and promotes loyal, repeat customers?
Hamilton and I work the store everyday, so if you come in more than once, there is a good chance I am going to remember your name and quite possibly your shoe size. How often do you get that at Nordstroms? It’s the level of customer service that smaller, local stores provide that national chains cannot compete with. I visit the shoe cobbler weekly to tailor shoes for my customers on my dime, Ham and I write “Thank You” notes. Customers are more likely to shop where they feel appreciated and known. And it also doesn’t hurt that we have kick a** shoes that you won’t find at most national retailers.

10. Our Twitter followers want to know: What drives you to keep doing what you do?
I have waited for the day that I can say this…”I don’t have a job”. I feel like I am NEVER at work, I absolutely love being at the store. It is extremely easy to work 10AM-6PM six days a week here, because this is what I have always dreamed of doing. If I am fortunate enough to still be going strong 10 years from now, I can’t imagine not being here everyday. If I ever get bored, I just start trying on shoes!!

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