A Bit About Lori
As we come into the Spring season, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and answer a few questions. These are the most asked questions I get from customers, friends, and other women in business. I hope I answer some of your questions, as well! Here's to a new season, and a healthy one. Xox, Lori.
Why did you open Lori's? Did you always know you wanted to be in fashion?
I’m asked that question often. As a young girl I always had the entrepreneurial spirit. I had the idea when I was 13 to start a beading business. I set up a bead stand (not that different from a lemonade stand) in front of my house and I sold beads by the scoop and made and sold my bead creations. One summer in particular I sold $600 worth of beads, necklaces, and bracelets and thought that I was on my way to making it big! The next year, I worked at Saks Fifth Ave in the teen department doing displays and working on the selling floor. I always loved fashion, and shoes in particular.
What do you find most rewarding about being a woman in business?
My motto is, “people walk in as customers, but leave as friends”. That is what drives me, that is what I find most rewarding.
I consider myself to be a “people person” and I love interacting with our customers. My business allows me to connect with so many interesting people. I have fostered so many great relationships being in business for so many years and find that to be so rewarding. I also love that I am providing a service for women. Nothing makes me happier than seeing people wearing shoes and accessories that they bought from the store.
Just as our customers enjoy shopping at Lori’s, I love shopping the wholesale markets for my stores. I love finding unique products that I know will thrill our customers.
What are the "it" factors you look for in products for Lori’s?
“Who is wearing this? Which one of our customers will appreciate this? Will it sell? Would I wear this?”, are just some of the questions I ask myself when I do the buying. To stay on trend for our customers, I consider what the major fashion brands are showing, what’s being advertised, what influencers are wearing, etc. In the end, I buy what I believe to be the best of the best from that season’s market. With the help of my son Matt (he has a degree in fashion design from Parson’s and experience working in design in NYC and Italy) we are able to do some interesting customization that makes our shoe collection unique.
What’s something you’ve always dreamed of doing?
I’ve always dreamed of living in Florence, Italy. I studied there during my undergrad years (art history and Italian) and have a number of dear friends there. I could see myself cooking in a restaurant there. After shoes, my next love is food. Wait. Let me check my waistline: first food, then shoes.
What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?
My wedding shoes. I put them on 38 years ago when I married the love of my life (my high school sweetheart). Today they no longer fit me but they remind me how happy I was on my wedding day and each and every day after.
What are your style/fashion tips for women?
Wear only what makes you feel good inside. Find a style that works for you and make it your own. Don’t take fashion so seriously; It’s about expressing yourself and having fun.
Here are some other tips:
1) Buy a shoe rack.
2) Organize your closet so you see what you have.
3) Always have a “go to” outfit.
4) Don’t forget to accessorize.
5) There are lots of colors besides black.
What gets you through hard times?
My positive attitude.
What are your hopes for the future?
There are so many things I hope for. Most importantly, for researchers to discover a cure for ALS.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Passionate, resilient, hopeful.
Suzy Girard-Ruttenberg says...On December 07, 2021
I lived in Chicago, worked at Lori’s and even lived above Lori and her husband’s store on Armitage and Halstead. (You know I loved her shoes if I had to sleep over them! )But I also loved this fabulous, devoted, creative and oh so hardworking couple. 28 years later I live in Florida, am married, work as a business coach, recruiter and emotional intelligence expert and have a daughter who loves shoes (like she had a choice?) But I still remember my days helping customers and observing Lori’s instincts as a fashion trendsetter and business leader. My dream is also to live (at least part time) in Italy. Let’s grab a pizza when we’re neighbors one day Lori! Sending love and light to you, your husband and family. Bless you for turning your family’s challenge into a commitment to triumph over this terrible disease🙏🏻❤️
Elise Richter says...On August 09, 2021
I love shopping at Lori’s in HP. The staff is very friendly, warm, and helpful. I also enjoy ordering online if I am unable to make it to the store. I also will pray for a cure for ALS and I hope now with assistive technology your husband can continue to be as independent as possible. I am an OT.
Amy Coleman says...On April 27, 2021
I’ve been shopping at Lori’s since the 80s when it was a little shop in the alley just east of the current store. Since I was in high school, Lori has gone out of her way to steer me in the right direction and point me towards the prefect loafer, boot, sneaker, pump, mule, clog… whatever shoe Lori tells me to get, I usually do and I’m always so glad I did. She feels like an old friend shopping with me. My favorite bags, earrings, and gifts come from Lori’s. I now live in LA, but I stop at Lori’s whenever I’m “home.” When I’m back in CA, my friends often ask “where did you get that?” And I love sending them to Lori’s website. I didn’t know Matt went to Parsons! I have a son in school there now too! So glad Lori opened Lori’s and it’s still thriving! Thank you!
Beth Stock Schindler says...On March 11, 2021
I absolutely love and admire Lori! She is simply the nicest woman around, truly inspiring, smartest and the most beautiful inside and out! Not only do I get compliments on every purchase I’ve ever made at her store, including my own wedding shoes! I also pick her brain about business every time I see her and she’s so humble. Thank you Lori!!!
My feet are also thanking ‘Lori’s Shoes’ because I work on my feet, with planter fasciitis in both, and they’ve made the best recommendations to keep me comfortable and fashionable!
Tracy Geimer says...On March 04, 2021
Lori, this is a lovely article… thank you for sharing! Almost every pair of shoes in my closet is from your store… but aside from the fun of wandering in and never knowing what I’ll find,, I love seeing you and your team who are always friendly and authentic. It may sound silly but I always feel a sense of community when I’m in your store which can be hard to feel in Chicago. And even when it can be hard to find a place to park or I know I only have a few minutes, I’m always so glad I popped in. Thank you! – Tracy
Linda Cohen says...On March 04, 2021
Love this. I love your “history” and I love reading about you. Your optimism is inspiring. I love what you said about your wedding shoes “how happy I was on my wedding day and each and every day after.” It takes a special person to say that, and you are special. I wish you more happiness every day and a cure for ALS.
Mary Ridley says...On March 04, 2021
How lovely to read this snippet of your history, Lori! I remember meeting you at your shop on Armitage back when my daughters were still in high school. It was just as you say—you were so friendly and helpful, and we felt welcomed like we had already known one another. Over the years, and many, many pairs of shoes, I’ve watched your business grow, innovate, and prosper. Congratulations on all of your many wonderful accomplishments! Here’s to many more in our new normal, when we all still need shoes! ❤️
Edie says...On March 04, 2021
I had a thought recently; where would I buy shoes if there were no Loris?……SCARY 🥺
Heath Howe says...On March 04, 2021
Lori, this is lovely. Thank you for taking the time to share these thoughts and answer these questions. Your store is such a fun place to be. Great people and wonderful products. You’ve really made something with Lori’s. It is not simply a shoe store. It’s a special place to go. Sending positive thoughts and hope to you, your husband, and family.
Sheri Lucterhand says...On March 04, 2021
I have shopped at Lori’s forever …. I love your staff!
Always welcoming and honest about what looks good. It is very rare not to find something that I want. Stay well and I love your designs and the energy of your passion! Hey who doesn’t love
Annie curran says...On March 04, 2021
Love your story & yes you truly are a people person. Enjoy stopping & shopping in your store . Have bought several beautiful pair of boots over the years . Don’t stop . Love loris.
Charlotte Bracamontes says...On March 04, 2021
Hi Lori! I love that you are using yourself in your ads. You make the best model for your brand. You look wonderful & I enjoy reading what you have to say. You’ve always been humble, sincere & nice! I’m proud of having been your friend that’s so long ago now. Be well. ☮️
Beth Kamins Shaffer says...On March 04, 2021
Lori is one amazing person, besides being my boss, she makes everyone love her, I am thankful I work for lori everyday!