For one Park City mom, the baby shoe business is booming | ParkRecord.com

For one Park City mom, the baby shoe business is booming

Naomi Doyle wasn’t looking to become an entrepreneur.

She had been a fabric designer for a local company, but when the owner sold it while she was expecting her second son, she decided she would devote all of her time to motherhood.

"I thought, ‘Great, I’ll just be a mom,’" she said. "I had two boys, I liked to run and do other things, so I was looking forward to that time."

Everything changed when her son was born. She looked at him and discovered an opportunity to put her artistic skills to use.

"His little feet would be sticking out in these really ugly Walmart shoes, and I thought I could do something creative," Doyle said. "I thought I would make some better shoes. ‘How hard could it be?’"

What started as a hobby soon became a passion, and that turned into a business, dubbed Cade&Co, after her sons, Caden and Colin. She began selling the shoes online and at farmer’s markets in town. Then, in January, 12 years after making her first pair of shoes, she opened a brick-and-mortar store on Main Street in the Gateway Center, at 136 Heber Ave.

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"This little spot here is one I’ve been eyeing for probably two years," she said. "I’ve always thought it would a perfect place to do retail. So when it opened up, I popped in."

Creating a successful business out of a hobby seemed to Doyle like a natural progression. She’s the type of person who likes to be busy. Even when she watches TV, she said, her hands have to be working. That used to mean needlepoint blankets, but it became making baby shoes.

"I’ve always had that personality," she said. "But [the needlepoints] took, like, 1,000 hours. I needed to make something that I can finish and maybe make a few of."

The shoes quickly became a hit with mothers in town and others buying baby gifts. She wasn’t surprised people wanted the shoes, but it became difficult to manage being a mother and an entrepreneur. For someone who enjoyed being busy, it was strange to find herself scrambling for time.

"It was hard to have the kids at home and try to make the shoes and to be selling them," she said. "The challenges of making them profitable and juggling a family were tough, but now my kids are getting older and it’s a lot easier. They don’t need me as much."

Now that her children are older and the Cade&Co brand is more established in town, Doyle is enjoying the challenge of operating a physical store. As well as being a retail center, she uses the space as her studio. Customers and others walking by the shop can see her busily sewing the next pair of shoes, head buried in her work.

Not having to set up her goods at a farmer’s market is another benefit of her new digs.

"It’s so fun to open the door and have my stuff already hung up and set up," she said. "I’m not, like, setting it up in a parking lot somewhere, and that’s the best. I can leave and go somewhere and not worry about the store."

Doyle also sells a collection of clothing and leather jewelry in the shop, and she intends to eventually expand into leather purses and handbags, as well. But no matter how her company evolves, she is confident baby shoes will remain her specialty. The children of her first customers have long outgrown her shoes, but people will always need her services. She said people come to her because her shoes are unique and often reflect a certain them, such as a pair that says, "I love PC."

"It’s amazing how many people need baby gifts," she said. "Most of my customers have babies up to a year old, and that seems like such a narrow time frame to be able to sell a lot of shoes. But so many people know someone who is having a baby or going to a baby shower. Those babies just keep coming."

Cade&Co

136 Heber Ave.

Cadeandco.com

435-901-1362