10 questions with Head Over Heels owner Susan Holliday
For 15 years, Head Over Heels has stood out from the Baton Rouge crowd as a locally owned shop for shoes. Outside the overabundance of a mall or department store, owner Susan Holliday wanted to curate a sales floor of designer footwear with high-quality appeal, an intention that also spills over to her store’s accessory and clothing selections. Ready to shirk our boots for some warm-weather kicks, we sat down with Holliday to learn more about her boutique.
1. What is a typical day like for you and your team? We meet each morning with new goals for the day. The fun thing about retail is that each day is different. Some days we are crazy busy from the hour we open, but our customers are our number-one priority.
2. What is your professional background? How did you get into the retail field? My background began in human resources, and then I had the idea for a shoe boutique. After getting married I began working for Harold’s as a sales associate, so learned a ton about retail and customer relationships there.
3. What was your reason for opening the store? When did it open, and how has it grown or changed since then? We opened in 2001, and since then we’ve expanded our merchandise range to include some clothing as well as shoes and accessories.
4. What are the first things customers see when they walk through the doors? The first thing people see is tons of beautiful merchandise displayed in a way that makes shopping easy. We have always had comfy sofas and a relaxed atmosphere, but we’ve recently updated the decor and launched our new logo.
5. What sets your store apart? Our mission statement has remained true since 2001. We provide quality, fashionable merchandise at reasonable prices in a comfortable atmosphere with exceptional customer service.
6. What is one thing you think customers should know about your store that they may not be aware of? Head Over Heels used to sell mainly shoes and accessories, but in the past five years we have added more clothing items. We will always be a shoe boutique, but now we are able to offer one-stop shopping to our clients.
7. How do you keep your store’s inventory fresh and up to date? We are constantly going to market and finding fresh new looks for the store. However, I especially enjoy working with local designers and have collaborated with and enjoyed success with local jewelry designers and artists.
8. What are a few must-have items this season? I love the change of seasons. Since we live in the South we almost have a nine-month sandal season. I am so happy for the relaxed style and comfort of spring and summer, so I personally love my new flat form lace-up sandals by Gentle Soles. Accessories are always fun this time of year, too, with new jewelry, handbags and new Free People clothing that was just delivered to us.
9. Can you share a hint about what shoppers will see in your store in later this year? Trends for fall 2016 are so great! Lots of great textures and materials will be seen throughout footwear trends. Lots of booties and tassels on everything from bags to earrings. Everyone needs a new pair of navy suede shoes!
10. What are some of your best-selling products? We do really well with local designers like McClendon Designs and Sweet Pea and Olive for jewelry. Kelly Wynne, GiGi New York handbags and the Free People brand are also popular. We can’t keep any gladiator-style sandals in stock—but more are coming!