Update January 31, 2019 –
Sadly, Tokota Shoes has closed perminantly.
Location: 130, 140 Bellerose Drive
(the Shops of Boudreau)
Owners: Edna Ledi-Lauzon and
Specialties: Unique, high-quality shoes
and excellent customer service
Interesting Fact: Tokota is the Ghanaian word for sandal.
There’s just something about a new pair of shoes. Shiny patent pumps, supple leather loafers or sneakers that scream street style—nothing puts a spring in the step quite like some cool new kicks. Except, of course, finding those kicks in a cool new St. Albert boutique. Carrying designer shoes and accessories from all over the world, Tokota Shoes is a shoe-lover’s delight. Created by Edna Ledi-Lauzon and her husband Andre Lauzon, this modern boutique will surely evoke the inner Carrie Bradshaw in even the most reluctant shoe shopper.
A busy mother of three school-aged boys, Ledi-Lauzon worked in the banking industry for 17 years before opening Tokota Shoes last May. Today, with her husband supporting her every step of the way, the new entrepreneur is living her lifelong dream. “I’ve always wanted to do this. I turned 40 last year and decided it was time,” she says. “My mom always had an extensive shoe closet. I think that’s where the love came from.”
Like a shoe closet from a beautiful daydream, almost every style of shoe imaginable lines Ledi-Lauzon’s shelves: stacked-heel sandals, office-ready oxfords—even booties fit for a newborn. The retailer’s passion for fashionable footwear is evident at every turn. With about 20 carefully curated brands in store, many showcased on custom-made sculptures no less, Tokota Shoes stands out in our city’s fashion retail market. “The products we bring in are hard to find. You likely won’t find them in any other store,” says Ledi-Lauzon. “We think of our clients when choosing which shoes will be in the store.”
In some cases, Ledi-Lauzon skips the suppliers and goes directly to the designers (who she finds through her own research) to pick up a brand. Ellen Rueben (a designer from Israel) is one, and Keyman Designs (a violinist who designs shoes in Turkey) is another.
Ledi-Lauzen says her shoes range in price from about $125 to $400; she carries shoes for women, men and children. The brands in-store come from around the world, handmade in countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, Peru, Turkey and the United States. “Our store is for someone who wants something different for shoes. Here you can find something that reflects your own personality; something that reflects your own style.”
In addition to high-quality product lines, customers can also expect top-notch service. “Customer service is huge,” says Ledi-Lauzon. “Our clients are fantastic, and I’m getting to know many of them by name. They want to know where the shoes are from, where they were made. It’s been fantastic getting to know people.”
After a year in business, Ledi-Lauzon isn’t looking back. “I love it. I love what I do. I love being here every day. I love the community, and the support we’ve gotten has been fantastic.”
In accomplishing one of her life’s dreams, it’s pretty safe to say this store owner has fallen head-over-heels for the shoe business—and has brought something very special to St. Albert in the process. t8n
Looking to catch a sale? Follow Tokota Shoes on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to watch for in-store specials each season.
Some call them “shooties.” Some call them “sha-booties.” But, what does Ledi‑Lauzon call the open-toed shoe-bootie-hybrid? Spring’s biggest trend, that’s what. As for what else is in style this spring, try a stacked heel. Ledi-Lauzon says that trend is going strong, too.