Holt Shoe Shop with owner Brian Smith was our CEO business visit on Wednesday. Brian and his wife, Laura, purchased the business from the Holt family in 2014. Brian talked about the financing of the purchase and the SBA loans and rates. He shared with students the challenges of inventory purchases and stressed the importance of cash flow. Brian talked about fixed costs, variable costs, expenses, receivables, taxes and the importance of a professional accounting firm. Brian informed students about his focus on social media marketing versus print advertising. Thank you, Brian, for sharing your morning with CEO. We appreciated your time and hospitality.

Reflection by Jade Heuer:

Wednesday morning we met Mrs. Greenwald at Holt Shoe Shop on Madison Avenue. Until this day, I had never been into the store, but my Dad goes in there to buy his work boots. Holt Shoe Shop was opened in 1955 by the Holt family. Up until December 1st, 2014 this was the Holt’s family business. Then Brian Smith and his wife, Laura, bought the business. Brian’s wife is the person who runs the business, but Brian helps repair broken shoes and does work a couple of days a week. Brian is a pastor at a Baptist church in town; he also is in the real estate business. He has a lot on his plate! I am inspired by all of his hard work and endurance to juggle all of this at once. Though we talked about their story, we talked about business type items. We learned things about inventory. Since they carry shoes they have to figure out what size, what brand, how many to carry. That is honestly so stressful to me. I could not handle that. He also has to market the store. This is the only industrial shoe store in Granite City, while being the only shoe repair shop. Toby’s mentor, Nicole Woolard, of Push media Solutions, runs the Holt Shoe Shop webpage. They post a couple of things weekly to stay active. All in all this was a very different business visit. I really enjoyed everything and Mr. Smith is a very wise man with a lot on his plate. He is really good at all that he does. From pastoring, to business owner, to selling real estate, he is gifted and called by God.

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