By Alicia Pack
It’s almost time to go back to school, so don’t forget the tiny toes!
Little Feet, located on S.R 56, is all about children’s shoes and accessories. The store offers an assortment of top brand name shoes and more for children from infants and toddlers up to boys and girls size 6, and in medium (regular), wide and X-wide widths.
Diana Ciccarelli took over the business four years ago. Previously, Ciccarelli worked with handicapped children in New York, where she learned the importance of correct shoe sizing for young kids. Ciccarelli can’t stress enough the importance of sizing your children often. “If your child takes off his or her shoes a lot, it could mean that his or her shoes are too small,” she says. “In order to get your child’s proper size, it is important that both feet are measured, since a majority of the population has one foot that is larger than the other. The child also should be standing, with his or her weight on the foot being measured, in order for the measurement to be accurate.”
She adds that she and her staff will usually put the child in a size one-half size larger to allow for movement and growth. Ciccarelli and her staff are experts in fitting hard-to-fit kids.
Ciccarelli says that one of the most recent and exciting additions are the Willits soccer cleats, which come in sizes Wide and X-Wide. But, soccer isn’t the only sport Little Feet caters to. The specialty shoe store also carries ballet and tap shoes, as well as leotards, tights and dance bags. Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Little Feet also can special-order many items.
For everyday shoes, Little Feet carries brands such as Stride Rite, Saucony, Sanuks and See Kai Run. When machine washing your children’s shoes is a necessity, try Tsukihoshi brand kid’s shoes, which are safe to wash in your washing machine. Little Feet also suggests Sun San Sandals for that day at the beach, since these sandals can handle getting wet, and Lelli Kellys, which are great for the little girl who wants to get a little dressed up with her shoes.
Little Feet also carries Crocs, one of the most popular choices for kids. Children can even decorate their own Crocs with a variety of accessories.
The store also features many great gift ideas for baby showers. Ciccarelli suggests Pedi Peds, which are very soft-soled shoes for infants, and Trumpette socks which are “just so cute.”
Little Feet definitely focuses on children, so shoes aren’t the only items in the store. If you’re tired of swim diapers, Ciccarelli says to try iPlay bathing suits. The suits have built-in diapers and are reusable, which eliminates the need to buy swim diapers.
The store’s selection of hair bows and hair bands also is hard to beat. The newest additions are Mickey and Minnie Mouse-shaped bows.
Little Feet has an assortment of seamless socks, as well as Pedi Peds tights. As the cooler fall and winter weather approaches, Ciccarelli says the store will carry a larger selection of tights, as well as pretty crocheted hats.
At Little Feet, kids come first. Children are allowed to roam around the store and the staff will accommodate every child and will do all they can to limit stress on children and their parents.
“We appreciate the support from our customers,” Ciccarelli says. “Without them, we could not have built the great relationships we have with so many of you and I want to say thank you. We love the kids and always want them to have fun in the store.”
Little Feet doesn’t just help the children in the store, Ciccarelli and her staff play a part in helping the community as well. The staff puts together items up for bid at the St. Anthony’s Catholic School (in Dade City) and Hunter’s Green Elementary (and other) yearly fund-raising events.
After Halloween, Little Feet collects candy and then donates the treats to troops in Afghanistan. Last year, the idea was last minute, but the store’s customers still brought in more than 500 lbs. of candy. Ciccarelli said that last year, a few sweet children even brought in their own Halloween candy to donate to the troops. As an incentive, Ciccarelli gives a 10-percent-off coupon to the store for anyone who brings in candy.
This year for back-to-school, Little Feet is having a big “BOGO” sale, where all Stride Rite shoes are buy one, get the second pair (of equal or lesser value) for 50-percent off! The sale runs now through Tuesday, September 6. There also are two other ways to save:
• Little Feet always features a 50-percent-off wall, where all of the items on display are half off their original prices, which is great for the child who needs an extra pair of shoes.
• Little Feet also offers a great program for frequent buyers: When customers buy eight pairs of shoes, the ninth pair is 50-percent off.
Little Feet is located at 27607 S.R. 56 (next to Wolf’s Den and in front of Sam’s Club). For additional information, call 991-1785 or visit LittleFeetShoesOnline.com.