When Melissa Jewell bought Bobby’s Dancewear, a dancewear store in Omaha, NE, in 2006, the store catered to children between the ages of 4 and 10 and only carried one brand of pointe shoes.
But Melissa knew the market for older, more serious dancers was growing in Omaha, and she made it her mission to expand her pointe shoe selection and bring in more customers.
Bobby’s Dancewear now carries 12 to 15 different styles of pointe shoes from three different brands, including Russian Pointe®, which she recently added because it wasn’t being carried by any other store in
“It’s a unique brand,” Melissa says. “They offer so many different options and there are such slight differences between each one that it really lets you find the perfect fit for each dancer.”
Bobby’s Dancewear recently held a Russian Pointe® trunk show at their store where Courtney May, the Manager of the Russian Pointe Boutique® in Chicago, came in for two days and educated the staff on Russian Pointe’s
product line and proper pointe shoe fitting technique.
“She actually fit a shoe on me,” Melissa says. “It was great to see her process and what she thinks through when she’s fitting someone.”
Melissa says about 80 percent of the customers who visited during trunk show bought styles of Russian Pointe® that Bobby’s Dancewear doesn’t currently carry, which gave her a good idea of which models she should order
for the future.
Melissa says the pointe shoe education has been helpful, because Melissa herself was trained as a tap dancer, not a ballet dancer.
A native of Omaha, NE, Melissa started dancing at the age of 4 and taught dance and gymnastics classes at her childhood studio and the local YMCA. She started working at Bobby’s Dancewear when she was 18 and worked there through college until she was promoted to full-time manager in 2003. She bought the business in 2006, at the age of 27.
Today, Melissa says she can’t imagine doing anything else. “I love the arts community,” Melissa says. “Once you’re in the dance world, you love it,” she says.