Tiffany Bullock has an MBA in finance, marketing and strategy. She also loves shoes. A lot.
So much so, in fact, that she abandoned her fifteen-year-long career in finance to open her very own shoe store on Michigan Avenue. “I know what I love—I love shoes,” she says. “What woman doesn’t?” Taking the advice of a former professor who said that at some point, “everyone needs to go out and do their own thing,” Bullock made her vocationally changing decision on her way home from a vacation.
“I ended up coming back, [and] getting a job at Nordstrom to get some retail experience,” she says. Now, she is running House of Sole—which features shoes and accessories from Spain, Italy, China, Brazil, UK and the U.S., with prices ranging from $60-$690. But don’t ask Tiffany to pick a favorite pair of kicks. “I’m talking in front of the shoes right now—you’re asking me which are your favorite kids!” she jokes.
Bullock does admit she likes Chie Mahara of Spain for her wide-foot type—a big theme behind the store as well. “I believe in working with…the foot type of the customer,” she says. Whether it’s a flat foot, high in step, low in step, working with those types of feet, [you] can tell which type of shoe…will work for them.” She says Chie Mahara is a great pick, because the designers used to be in orthopedic foot sales. She is also a fan of Paco Gill, another Spanish designer that is available in Chicago only at House of Sole, because “they seem to cross a lot of foot types.”
As for the accessories, House of Sole carries handbags (whose designers include Cate Adair, fashion designer for “Desperate Housewives”), jewelry, t-shirts and the Oprah-approved Seda France candles.
“There’s something in here for everyone,” Bullock says. After all, as she puts it, “Your walk tends to change when you find that perfect pair of shoes for you.” (Nicole Briese)
House of Sole, 1237 South Michigan, (312)834-0909