Terri Kuhns took over the reigns of the Family Shoe Store from Jane McCann Apr. 1. Jane opened the store with her late husband Steve McCann on Nov. 9, 1989. After 31 years in business, McCann felt it was her time to step away.
“There is a definite need for a shoe store in Creston,” McCann said of her decision. “And I was ready to retire.”
Kuhns said McCann has been a friend for many years, but she had not considered purchasing McCann’s business until maybe a month ago. She initially went to the Family Shoe Store to acquire display materials and fixtures for her own store, Village Bootery, in Winterset, of which she still owns and operates simultaneously.
Kuhns’s decision to rescue the shoe store that has been in the McCann family for nearly 31 years came to her while driving home.
“I thought, ‘Hm, maybe I should look into that,’” she said.
Kuhns, who has been in business in Winterset for 28 years, took over Village Bootery after the owner had died.
“His brother was in the same water conditioning business as my husband was,” Kuhns said of her connection to the deceased owner’s family, “So when he came down to wrap it up and get it ready for sale, he and my husband were just talking and said, ‘well this would be a great little business for your wife.”
Kuhns was working in Des Moines at the time while her children were still young, and after some thought, she took up the offer without any prior experience.
“I just jumped right in without knowing a thing,” Kuhns said.
She added that she was off to a rocky start, but one of the employees, who had been working their before her proprietorship, was reliable help in turning this risky decision into an enduring success.
Kuhns said that work boots will remain stocked given the store’s proximity to the railroad. However, she will introduce new brands such as Sketchers, Corkys and possibly Viking in order to keep the identities of her two stores distinct.
“I’m going to try not to make our stores be copies of each other,” she said. “Because they both have different strengths.”
Kuhns also said the Family Shoe Store in Creston has unique advantages over her home base in Winterset.
“I battle with competition from Des Moines, it’s so close, residents are in Des Moines for work and stuff, but I think that’s a strength that Creston has is that there’s just not another shoe store very close,” she said.
McCann said she was happy to be able keep the store open by turning it over to Kuhns.
“I feel fortunate that there is a buyer and that the store will remain in Creston,” she said.
The Family Shoe Store will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.