TreadZ owners keep their feet under them during recession |

TreadZ owners keep their feet under them during recession

Sean Johnson
Post Independent Intern
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post IndependentTreadZ shoe store has so far been able to weather the economic storm.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – In the midst of a turbulent economy there are brave souls, those who step out and take risks.

Jon and Erin Zalinski took a jump hoping to land on their feet, and it just so happens that is exactly what happened.

A little more than a year ago on May 15, Jon and Erin opened TreadZ, a shoe store located in Downtown Glenwood Springs. Starting a business is not an easy undertaking even under the best conditions, but the Zalinskis are making it work.

“I think that if we had a crystal ball, we may have second guessed our timing,” Erin said. “But just like starting a family, if you wait until everything is just so, you may never get around to it.”

After Dragon’s Boot and Shoe closed they saw the gap it left in the local retail environment and saw an opportunity. This opportunity was a lifelong dream to own their own store.

When considering the name for their venture, the Zalinskis wanted to provide a name that didn’t pigeonhole them. Around town everyone calls them the Z’s, hence the unique spelling of the name. By doing this they believe they added their own personal identity to their store.

The smell of leather and cleanliness guides the customer through the store. The comfortable ambiance with which Erin and Jon seek to provide the customers with their individual needs can hardly be contained within the small-town shoe store.

With a personal cup coffee maker next to two plush chairs, a customer can kick back and have a relaxing time looking at shoes. The care and pride in the store is apparent, and the determination to acknowledge every customer does not go unnoticed.

“We think, and we hope, that our customers enjoy our store and will tell a friend – OK, every friend – about TreadZ and the customer service they received,” Erin said.

With the economic slam that is hitting everyone the Zalinskis don’t always have a secure feeling, but they have had the benefit and courage to adjust to the situation. From their will to work with the current conditions they have not had to change the way they run their business.

For them, future success rests on the continual building of relationships with their customers. The Zalinskis are keeping their guard up and are continually looking for ways to improve and expand their business.

Shoes? For the Zalinskis shoe buying is often harder than purchasing “that perfect pair of jeans or a slamming bikini.” They wanted to provide great customer service but carve themselves out as a niche store.

Being a high quality shoe store is no easy task, and the Zalinskis are finding that maintaining awareness and providing the products people are searching for has been their biggest hurdle.

Many high quality shoes can be found inside the walls of the store. Keen, Reef, Merrell, Tsubo, and Ahnu are just five of the 22 brands they carry.

Along with their high quality shoes the store is housing merchandise exclusively made in Colorado. Locally made jewelry and handbags from O Loves M can be purchased to gain that Coloradan look.

“I anticipate a continual evolution of merchandise as we continue in business,” Erin said.

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