A Walk in Her Shoes

Yesterday I swapped shops with Elizabeth Todd and took over at The Shoe Hive. I have often teased Elizabeth that it must be soooo easy to sell shoes. I mean, it’s like selling chocolate to chocoholics…yes…I’m pretty sure that’s a thing. When you’re shoe shopping, you don’t have to have a good hair day, you don’t have to feel thin, or be wearing the right clothes. Your feet never disappoint. If you’ve gained or lost a few pounds, the shoes still fit. I think that’s one of the reasons we love them so much. When you see a great pair of shoes, you can envision them with the outfits you already own and anticipate how much better those outfits will  look with the shoes.

From the moment I walked in, I was intent that I was going to be the star salesperson of the day. This was my chance to sell my second favorite thing…shoes. I walked around the store and immediately began shopping. It wasn’t intentional, but so many things called out to me that I couldn’t help myself. Veronica Beard half boots with a stripe up the side, Stuart Weitzman navy pointy toed pumps, Vince slip-ons, oh, and the jewelry! So much jewelry.

Flynn in Coconut by Veronica Beard | Anny 70 Suede in Nice Blue by Stuart Weitzman

At first Elizabeth kept shadowing me like I couldn’t be left alone with customers for fear that I wouldn’t know anything about the shoes. Ha! I know everything about shoes. My first sale was the Stuart Weitzman navy pumps. I don’t want to brag, but after Elizabeth picked up several other blue shoes (all with a lower, chunkier heel), I headed over to a slightly higher and slimmer heel (of course) and guess what? That’s the shoe that won out. Thank you. My first sale.

After that, I was confronted with the difficult task of selling sneakers. Not just any sneakers mind you, but expensive, distressed sneakers that look like they’d been worn for a few years already. Now, you know me. I would venture to say that in the 19 years I have owned Bellacara, not one of you can remember seeing me in sneakers. I would go even further and say that you can count on your hands how many times you’ve seen me in flats. So, when it comes to selling sneakers…this is an uphill battle for me. Add the high price tag and I’m scratching my head. Why would I spend that kind of money on “dirty sneakers” when I could get some fabulous high heels?

Elizabeth’s response, “because they are handmade in Italy with the finest Italian leather and feel as though you are walking on air when you have them on. They also look good with everything and are all you will want to wear once you put them on.” Unconvinced, a customer contemplating them says, “I won’t buy them until you try them on.” What? Okay, fine. On they go and…dang…these are really comfortable. They also make my foot, a size 9, look smaller somehow. The gold glitter star on the side is just enough bling to make my jeans look cuter. So, in that instant I was converted.

Superstar White Leather Gold Star by Golden Goose

Did I spend more than I sold? No. Was it close? Maybe. I also bought some lightning bolt earrings and some super fun hosiery socks. Was it fun? Absolutely.

Lightening Bolt Earrings by Mignonne Gavigan

I can’t wait to see how Elizabeth fairs selling makeup. Foundation to her is like sneakers to me. I’ll hope you’ll come by Bellacara on Friday and give her a run for her money like I got at The Shoe Hive. Be sure to ask her all about foundation.


  • The latest from Angela
I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.


1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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