This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!

Lately I’ve been thinking about turning this blog into a roast-type blog. Vancouver is a great place where lots of individuals and small groups are getting together and becoming entrepreneurs. But everyone thinks that a flashy website, opening up social media accounts, flashing business cards at networking events, and investing in ads will get them customers. And that’s SO far from the truth.

I’ve never been to New York, but I’m sure if I had I’d have enough content worth 15 blog posts on why New Yorkers know how to market better than we do. But we need not look as far as Samantha Jones’s tactics. I recently found out about a store called Nice Shoes, which sells animal-free and eco-friendly shoes. I know, it’s about damn time.

However, Nice Shoes did it right because they started spreading the buzz early, before they were even open. During the Eco Fashion Week trade show, I had seen a New-York based vegan shoe line called Neurara Shoes, and the volunteer said that they would soon be available at Nice on Fraser. Fraser is right in my backyard, so I thought to myself, I gotta find out about this place.

Soon after, the Straight had talked about Nice opening on March 1st, which would be the city’s first vegan shoe store. It took me a few weeks to finally get there. But before I went in yesterday, I checked out the website to see where they were located.

The tagline drives the point home even more, and I love the angry kid. As for the rest of the website, I’m not sure what platform they use, but it’s nice and simple. On the homepage: A description, store hours, invite to the email list, and social media buttons.

Their About and Contact pages are two combined in one. Also super simple to read. And the events page – whoa! They are already ahead of the game posting events into April.

There’s no painful, flashy intro, and the text is grab-able. When I searched for “vegan shoe store Vancouver” on Google, it wasn’t on the first page, but there are references to it, including two reviews on Yelp. Being four weeks open, it’s very impressive that they already have two good reviews. Always nice when the review is good too, especially if the person has driven to get there and isn’t disappointed.

They post regularly on their blog (embedded in the site, not elsewhere), and there are photos. Beautiful photos, which need more mention of the brands. They have Steve Madden. Yes! Steve Madden!

More recommendations? The word “vegan” in the title tag and throughout the site, and a link for people to review them on Yelp too. They could also get this puppy on Google Maps, and in the future, make way for a Media page. Cause I can foresee them being talked about for a long time.

I still haven’t mentioned the best part of Nice. So they’re doing it well on the web side. But does Nice deliver when you visit?

A new retail space in a condo building can’t hurt! The place is nice, white, clean, and fun. The shoes stand out, and so do their accessories. It’s a shoe store first, vegan secondary. And the owner, Joanne, didn’t just do the “hi” and leer back at me from behind the cash counter. She asked if I wanted to try something on, and was open to talking with me about the Keep line I saw at EFW which was disappointingly not at any of the other vendors listed on their website.

I described the style of shoe I had seen and she whipped out the Holiday 2011 catalogue. And it was there! My beautiful navy Solis shoe that is waiting for me. Though I can’t be guaranteed they’ll carry the shoe I want, she did mention that they would be selling online, which is a great option for those who don’t live in the Vancouver area. So she’s even one more step ahead of everyone else in the vegan shoe game, at least in Vancity.

While I have already spent my March shopping budget, the fact that I know that there is a knowledgeable and friendly local vegan shoe store owner nearby comforts me and gives me hope that even if you’re a new business, you can do your marketing right. Start out with some good buzz, a simple website, solid customer service, and build from there.

Nice marketing job indeed!

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