May 2024

Shoefly OregonAs a little girl, Sydney Mitchell used to dream of boots with wings so that after a million days of rain, she could fly up and see the sun. Now she’s the owner of Shoefly Oregon, a women’s clothing and shoe store at 229 SW G Street, and as of April 1st, she joined forces with Jan Bertaggia, formerly of Wild Rogue Emporium, offering a new selection of clothing, shoes, accessories and gifts. 

“You can expect to be welcomed into our little shop and offered a ‘visual feast’ of classic and unique apparel as well as shoes that offer both comfort and delight,” Sydney said. “Shoefly Oregon’s team of warm-hearted women love fashion as much as they love people!  We offer complimentary foot measurements and, when you purchase a shoe from us, we also offer a complimentary waterproof spray and any minor leather stretching for the very best fit.  In addition, you will find style accessories like scarves, jewelry, socks and hats, along with small gift items for family and friends.”

Jan agreed. “We believe in the Platinum Rule: treat others as they would like to be treated,” she said. “We believe every moment counts, so we strive to make sure your time in our shop is a delight. We believe that what goes around, comes around, so we try to make sustainable business choices and treat our clients with care and kindness.”

Sydney opened her first business when she was five years old, picking wild “cotton” and selling it to people off the Alaska Ferry as it docked in Cordova. She loved it, and an entrepreneur was born.

“Growing up in Alaska, I loved going to the store for shopping, for holiday performances, for seeing people and catching up,” she said. “That’s right, the store. There was one big grocery + everything store in each of the small towns my family moved to, until we moved to the big town of Juneau.” 

Sydney thought she would help plan and develop towns, so she got a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Planning. After working as a county planner and a land use planner for a tribe, she decided she had it all wrong.

“I was meant for taking business or community ideas and bringing them to life,” she said. “I went back to college and gathered skills in graphic design, photography and marketing, combining my love of small towns and marketing to form a marketing and graphic design agency. We served nonprofits, small businesses, state and tribal clients with an eye on sustainability, fun and return on investment.”

Sydney opened Shoefly Alaska in 2005, and it felt like coming home. Her love of small towns and “the” store has led her to create shops that walk her small-town talk of hands-on service and kindness for all. She believes small towns are places of intersection, where people can come to touch and see goods, but more importantly to connect with locals and visitors alike in a vibrant downtown adventure.

She and her husband invested in a second home in Josephine County ten years ago. “It was a home we found in foreclosure, and because my husband is in the building industry, we’ve been able to take ‘vacations’ and work on our house ever since,” she said. “We love it so much here that we decided to become self-employed snowbirds and open a second store in Grants Pass on Oct. 31, 2020.”

In the end, it’s all about community. “In a world where finding face-to-face community is getting harder, thank you to the Sneak Preview for being a vibrant local paper with local stories and local ads,” Sydney said. “We appreciate you.”

Shoefly will also be hosting its annual BLOWOUT SALE in May at Wild Rogue Emporium at 202 SW 6th Street.

For more info, the phone number is 541-218-6813. You can also see them at shoefly.com (coming soon) and on Facebook and Instagram.