Luya Shoes And Other Fine Things has tempted shoppers to make the pilgrimage to Zumbrota since it opened in 2014, thanks to its unique selection of shoes. Today, the store opens a second store at one of the Twin Cities’ hottest shopping destinations, 50th & France in Edina, in the former dpHUE space. (That hair “color bar” recently moved to a larger space down the street at 4405 France Ave. S.)
Luya is known for its unique selection of footwear and emphasis on handcrafted goods by socially responsible brands. “We try to look for artisan, handmade, unique, top-notch, seriously wearable shoes,” says co-owner Connie Hawley, who owns the store with her son, Travis. “You won’t find ridiculous heel heights or poor, cheap quality.”
While the Zumbrota store carries shoes for women and kids, the Edina location will focus on women’s shoes, plus a selection of shoes for men. Connie, who worked as an aviation security inspector before opening the store, sees shoes as works of art, and displays them as such. “We set up the store more like an art gallery than a shoe store,” she explains. “We combine unique displays, good lighting, interesting props, and attention to colors and styles of footwear, paired with art from local artists. At Luya, the shoes complement the art, the art complements shoes.”’
In addition to shoes and original art, Luya also carries handbags and other accessories. “I’m always on the hunt for cool, unique things,” says Connie.
The store also emphasizes customer service—something that can be a frustration for many shoe shoppers. To curtail issues with locating sizes, all the available sizes are out on the floor and you can see immediately if your size is in stock. “You don’t have to wait for someone to get your shoe from a distant back room and then wait some more when another customer sidetracks them with a request, too,” says Connie.
If a customer’s size isn’t available, no problem—Luya can also place special orders and can usually find out quickly if a size is readily available from the shoe company.
“Before I opened Luya in Zumbrota, I asked women what they liked and didn’t like about buying shoes,” says Connie. “Most told me they just wanted to be left alone to try them on at their own pace. As a shoe fanatic my whole life, I felt the same way. I always hated bothering the sales person to go and get another size for me to try, and then felt bad if they didn’t work for me or if I didn’t like them once I put them on. Besides, how can you shop on your lunch break if you have to wait for someone to locate your size?”
Opening Wednesday, Nov. 1 @ Luya Shoes and Other Fine Things, 4944 France Ave. S., Edina, shopluya.com. You can also shop at Luya’s original location in Zumbrota at 236 S. Main St. and at a Luya holiday pop-up shop In Red Wing at 325 Main St., open now through Dec. 29.