Sincerely Shoes is more than just a shoe store, it's a business that caters to larger women's shoe sizes. And according to owner Nichole Sanders, that's something worthy of a love letter.
"I’m a larger size myself and so are my sisters," she said. "It was kind of hard growing up trying to find basic stuff, even to wear to school."
Saunders said that if she did find shoes in her size, they tended not to be very fashionable. She also frequently ended up having to order them off the Internet.
By specializing in larger shoe sizes, Saunders said she thought she'd be saving people like her some trouble.
"You could be a 10 in this and an 11 in this, depending on who made the shoe," she said of buying shoes on the Internet. "That’s why I try to create something where they can come in and try on shoes and relax just like anyone else."
The store, which opened at 6152 Ridge Avenue on June 2, carries as small as size six, but specializes in sizes 10 and up.
But larger shoe sizes aren't her only specialty. Saunders also is a pro with the social media picture sharing platform Instagram.
Saunders said she's big into social media, but Instagram is where she's found success with her customers. She already has 633 followers.
"We sent them to our personal friends first," she said. "Then they started liking the pictures and it kind of just snowballed."
Several of her customers, she said, mention that they're following her on Instagram. Customers from Delaware and Chester counties have even come on down to Roxborough just for her shoe store, she said.
One of Sanders' methods is to put a photo up on Instagram of a new style of shoes coming in to let her customers know. And she's seen quite the response.
"Once they’re here about three people will probably come get them that day," she said. "Instagram has really been working for us."
What's also been working, she said, is throwing parties and gatherings in her shop. So far, she's had a book club meet in her store, a charity organization and she had a ladies night complete with cocktails and a male masseuse.
In addition to her current services, Sanders said, she'll also be offering online shopping to her customers who've expressed interest in shopping at her store -- via Instagram -- but are too far away.