Ruthayn Sgaglio owned a lingerie boutique from 1995 to 1999 in Katonah and her husband John is well known from 25 years of running Sgaglio’s market on Main Street. He’s been antsy to start something since retiring and turning the deli over to his son two years ago and she knows Katonah has been in dire need for a shoe store. So with the closing of Country Willow, he prodded her for what she knew would work best in that space.
“It is a wide open market for the town,” she told him, “and if we didn’t jump on this it was just a matter of time before somebody else was going to do it.” Opening today, March 22, she and her husband feel their partnership will work well at 33 Katonah Avenue and Shoetique will fit right in with all the other mom and pop stores that Katonah is accustomed to.
He has 25 years of recognition in the community and she brings along her retail experience to the avenue. Of course, she know shoes. “I’m a woman and I love shoes,” she says, and her husband can verify that.
The Sgaglios spend a lot of time in the winter months in Florida, where he relaxes with a driver on the tee and she takes it slow out at the pool. He was shocked one weekend to find 25 pairs of shoes in the closet for someone who doesn’t ever go anywhere. Feigning ignorance, she told him, “I don’t know how they got there.”
Here she’ll freely admit to having a lot of shoes and knows very well how to find the vendors, shows and shoe lines. As for Mr. Sgaglio’s part, he has the business end of it all – even if he can probably get by on a pair of sneakers and golf shoes.
But business for Mr. Sgaglio comes natural and learning from the bottom up goes hand and hand (or foot). “All he does is look at women’s feet,” says Ms. Sgaglio, and he now knows the difference between a wedge, a loafer and the latest look. Along those lines, she’s glad that they didn’t open up another bra store.
Still, this family business means more than his and hers because somebody has to market the enterprise. Sure they’ll use some of the local media to place ads but what better way to advertise shoes, she says, than having two teenager daughters who have inherited what she calls her “sickness” for shoes.
“The word is out at John Jay High School,” she says, and the inquiries have already begun. They won’t be disappointed either with the Stewart Weitzman’s, Ann Klein’s and Dr. Scholl’s if need be. Of course, Shoetique will carry the Italian shoes that can’t be pronounced by those of us happy enough at PayLess but work wonderfully for women perfectly content to be afflicted by the Sgaglio family illness.
Katonah can also look inside for candles, jewelry, handbags and other accessories that will provide ample choice for women taking the time to stop by. Nothing really for men, she says, unless they’re smart enough to be thinking on their feet. Holidays, birthdays and Mother’s Day, “There’s no guy who’s not going to score points buying his wife something nice in a pair of shoes or a handbag,” she concludes.
Shoetique will be open Monday through Saturday, 10AM-6PM.
Rich Monetti interview of Ruthayn Sgaglio