Lasting flair for footwear

Jean Cardno of Cardino Shoes. - Nik West
Jean Cardno of Cardino Shoes.
— image credit: Nik West

Jean Cardno opened Cardino Shoes 15 years ago this September. While strolling through the downtown all those years ago, she noticed there was nowhere to buy shoes in Duncan. And with that idea in mind, plus a love for colour, fabric, and design, Cardino Shoes was born.

Now with over 30 brands of footwear, Cardino Shoes has become an island destination for the discerning shopper.

We sat down with Jean Cardno to find out what inspired her to open this beloved Duncan boutique.

What is your business and what inspired you to open Cardino Shoes?

It was a marriage of my love of fabrics and clothing combined with the realization that the only shoe shop at the time in Duncan was closing. It sort of happened very quickly after thinking it might be a good idea.

Who are your customers mostly?

Women who need comfort and appreciate beauty.

What kind of training do you have (this can be formal or informal training)?

I don’t have any (formal) training, but I had a Mother who had the worst feet in the world, so years spent in shoe shops and department stores looking for the perfect shoe. Also my time spent as a nurse being on my feet for 8 plus hours a day taught me a lot about the need for comfort.

What is the most important thing to look for when buying a pair of shoes?

It has to fit well, work with the occasion you need it for, and have style — no one wants to look underdressed!

What are some of your favourite designs and styles right now?

I love Chie Mihara and Coclico from Spain and also Naots and Ecco as I appreciate how they do business in the world.

What advice would you give to someone starting a new retail business?

If you want to grow your business, always advertise. Social media is only one way of doing that, don’t forget local print — your customers, and new ones still read the local paper and magazines.

If you weren’t selling shoes, what would you be doing?

I think I’d like to sit awhile.

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