After more than 3 decades at its helm, last Fall former owner Ed Jurgrau, who opened the store in 1979, sold the business for personal reasons. With waits of up to 2 hours just to have a shoe properly fitted by Jurgrau, he continues to work at the store though he is cutting back his hours and has handed over the day-to-day operations to its new owner to Fradlin.
“Everyone knows that Ed is Shoe Train,” says Fradlin, who consults with Jurgrau daily about how to make the store the best it can be. “Ed sold the business to me because he knew that I would work with him to make Shoe Train even better. I have hired a marketing, PR and social media company, sasse agency, to bring this fantastic, traditional store into the 21st Century,” says Fradlin, who moved here recently from New York City. An admitted shoe “collector,”
With a hip, new Facebook page where Fradlin engages with her customers, an interactive new website that offers both educational and fun information, Fradlin has also taken it upon herself to reach out to the community – a community that knows Shoe Train well as a traditional store that offers a properly fitted shoe. Fradlin has created an informative quarterly speaker series that is free and open to the public.
In August, Shoe Train’s Event Engine hosts Flip into Fashion (ripe with a “red carpet”). With the small business owner in mind, Shoe Train is teaming up with Carl M. Freeman Companies and other Cabin John retailers to support MCPS’s back to school supplies drive. All in attendance are encouraged to bring school supplies as donations for those in need while enjoying fun filled evening of children’s fashions modeled by local children ages 2 to 12. This is the third in a series of free community outreach events sponsored by Shoe Train.
In April, to mark National Youth Sports Safety Month, Shoe Train hosted, Don’t let your kids' sports injuries “spin” out of control with Former Harlem Globetrotter, Mike Wilson, and pediatric orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Richard Reff. While Wilson entertained the children (and parents) with basketball tricks and offered tips on how to talk to coaches to keep kids safe on the field/court, Reff, discussed the importance of well-fitted athletic equipment/protection and how best to avoid athletic injuries.
In January, Shoe’s Train’s inaugural outreach event, Transitions:
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