For the second year in a row, a Canberra small business has won a top award in the 2008 ACT and South West Region Local Business Awards.
Competing in the fashion category against seven other finalists, Angelo’s Shoes, a small family run business in the heart of Manuka, proved that if the ‘shoe fits, wear it’. Owner Anne Rendina was shocked when it was announced she had once again been honoured.
For Anne and her three-member team, the award is testimony to the value small businesses bring to Australia. “It’s about personal service and caring for customers,” says Anne. “There are thousands of small businesses across the country passionate about what they do and they persevere in an increasingly competitive environment. Here, their success adds to the personality of Canberra and surrounding region.”
Angelo’s Shoes sells an extensive range of imported footwear, made to the highest standards.
Canberra’s support for Angelo’s Shoes, after last year’s regional and then national win, was second-to-none, says Anne: “People just walked in the door to say ‘well done’. They were proud an ACT business won.”
Angelo’s Shoes picked up the award on June 20 in part because of the nature of her customer base. Anne’s oldest customer is in her mid 90s and her youngest in her 20s. She has been selling shoes to some of the same customers for more than 21 years and has a steadily growing interstate base—including politicians, lawyers, dignitaries, celebrities and doctors.
Angelo’s Shoes also won for their high level of personal service and commitment to working with women who have orthotic problems. Anne works with foot doctors to help women with knee, lower leg, feet and bone problems.
Anne bought the store 21 years ago and has been in the same Manuka location since she took over. She knew nothing about retail—or shoes for that matter—but says her parents were born in Italy and she’s always adored fabulous footwear.
Now Anne travels internationally on buying trips to handpick her range of high-fashion women’s shoes made with exquisite leather and other materials, and to exacting production standards. “Women from Canberra no longer have to travel to Sydney or Melbourne for shoes and accessories,” says Anne. “Those days are long gone.”
Angelo’s Shoes now moves on to the national awards which will be held in Sydney on 13 September 2008