In the beginning of September 2014, Della Stewart embarked on the adventure of opening her own dance store, Dancin’ Soul, in the Village of Carlsbad. Location plays a vital role in a store’s success, and Carlsbad Village proves to be ideal for costumer traffic.
“Because of the beautiful downtown location, many costumers that come into the store are not necessarily looking for dance-wear but are just walking around and browsing through the different stores,” Stewart said. “Tourists from all over the world have come in to buy souvenirs from Southern California which helps by business.”
The local store owner’s expertise in dance is well backed with her history in the dance world.
“I started dancing when I was three years old at the YMCA in Los Angeles,” Stewart said. “In high school I was a state champ on the San Dieguito dance team and when I went to college at the University of California Irvine and majored in dance.”
Not only can owner Della Stewart share her experience with dancers that come into her store, she is also equipped with a background in financial management.
“Because of my exposure to financial management in my past career, I was able to predict the chances of success a dance store could obtain here in Carlsbad,” Stewart said. “There are no dance stores convenient to the Carlsbad area and as a mom I knew that many such as myself would shop at my store here if not for any other reason, because of convenience alone.”
Supporting small local businesses is important to our economy and small business shopping also comes with many perks that you cannot find at a corporately run store.
“When you shop at Dancin’ Soul, my goal is to make the experience as positive as possible by personally working with the costumer to ensure that they get what they need,” Stewart said. “When a costumer buys something such as a specific type of dance shoe, I make sure to continue to have that product available for when a new pair is needed. I am also in personal contact with local dance studios so that I can provide different styles or brands that each teacher prefers and recommends to his or her students.”
For pointe shoe fittings, Dancin’ Soul takes their training above and beyond to give dancers the most thorough fitting available.
“One or two times a year a rep from Bloch flies out from the Midwest to fit pointe shoes at my store,” Stewart said. “When she came out this year she taught the staff her techniques for fitting pointe shoes, pointing out what to look for in different people’s feet so that we will know how to fit girls like an expert. Learning from the rep has furthered my knowledge in fitting pointe shoes and will provide above average fittings for costumers at my store year round.”
Those who have been fit at Dancin’ Soul take note of the extra effort Stewart has put in to make the experience amazing.
“I was fit for pointe shoes at the new dance store in Carlsbad recently and I liked it much more than my past experiences with fittings at other stores,” freshman Lindsay Foster said. “My new shoes really work well for me and I will go back to Dancin’ Soul for my next pair of pointe shoes for sure.”