Scioto Shoe Mart
The Perfect Fit
In 1963, at the young age of 7, while most girls her age played store at home, Shannon Stark was helping her mother in the store her parents just opened in Portsmouth, Ohio. Fast forward nearly 30 years, and Shannon, all grown up and married to Charlie, opened a new local branch of Scioto Shoe Mart in Marion, Ohio. The couple opened the Marion store on November 20th, 1992. Many thought the Starks were foolish for opening a shoe store in the old Dutch Pantry. Not every welcome was warm. “People thought we were crazy when we started. The mailman said, ‘I give you three months. Make sure you give us your forwarding address.’”
Shannon and Charlie were determined to extinguish the uncertainty in people. The Starks’ mission was simple: provide quality shoes and service to their Marion patrons, leaving people with “happy, healthy feet.” This mission inspired Shannon to become a certified pedorthist. Along with her certification, Scioto Shoe Mart works closely with local doctors to ensure customers receive shoes that reflect their personal style, but also benefit their health. Being in the shoe business her entire life, Shannon knows the importance of a proper fit.
Devoted to her store and her customers, Shannon saw no obstacle too big. Even the internet and the challenge of online shopping can’t compete with the personalized service at Scioto Shoe Mart. Knowing the benefit of shopping in-store over buying online, Shannon states, “People are shopping online, that is the reality and it will get worse. But you can’t touch, see, or feel things online. Local businesses support our community, they pay taxes, they donate to nonprofits, they provide jobs. Our hope is that people understand our customer service and community involvement makes all the difference.”
Looking back on the success of the store, it’s clear to Shannon that her achievements were made possible by the work ethic instilled in her at a young age, “I remember when we first started, my dad worked at the steel mill while my mom ran the store. My dad borrowed $50 from my grandfather, and we started with ten pairs of shoes. My parents worked endless hours every week. There were many times when we didn’t think we would make it, but I learned what hard work and perseverance looked like. Without what I had learned as a little girl in that tiny, one room shoe store in Portsmouth, Scioto Shoe Mart would not exist here in Marion.”
Scioto Shoe Mart recognizes the importance of growing community. The Starks love to talk about how great Marion has been to them, “Whenever we have had issues, the town of Marion has rallied around our store. Whether it has been a personal or business problem, our customers and friends have been behind us 100%, supporting our store and family. Marion is home.”
The support from the community is what allows the business to flourish. They have expanded the store three times, allowing Scioto Shoe Mart to offer special events and VIP services for large groups and companies, all while giving back to the community. Scioto Shoe Mart offers a surprising (to some) selection of brands and varieties. Whether you are shopping age 0-100, you can find something for everyone!
You can find Scioto Shoe at 206 James Way in Marion, OH 43302 or reach them at (740)-389-5775.