Jocelyn Brunner: A creative and strategic shop owner

This tech-savvy mom knows how to combine family and a business

Jocelyn Brunner stands in front of her Invermere store, Summit Footwear & Fashion.

Jocelyn Brunner thrives on trying new things to grow her business, Summit Footwear & Fashion in Invermere. — Photo courtesy Jocelyn Brunner

Are you comfortable in fancy high heels and a little black dress as well as in steel-toe boots and a coverall? Then I’ve got the store for you. Summit Footwear & Fashion has all styles of footwear and much more on Seventh Avenue in Invermere.

Owner Jocelyn Brunner thrives on offering brands that are known for comfort, quality and design. She answered a few questions for us below.

What is it about your work that has you excited to get out of bed in the morning?

My husband and I moved from Calgary almost nine years ago to raise our family in my husband's hometown of Invermere. Moving to the valley and purchasing Penner Shoe Store was the best decision we have made for our family. I get to be a working mom who is able to be a part of my kids’ school day and their activities, plus I have a great job where I get to be creative, strategic and a part of an amazing community. It's pretty easy getting out of bed for that every morning.

What has motivated you throughout your business journey?

Growth. I love trying new things to grow our business. Every buying season I research new brands and products to introduce to our customers.

Also, I love technology and what it can do for our business:

  • our new point-of-sale technology that can provide amazing analytics;
  • our computer-based loyalty points program; and
  • our online store, which will launch in late spring this year.

All these advancements help push our store to another level of success and keep me motivated and engaged in our business.

What trends have you observed in your community that might impact the local economy in the next five years?

Over the last five years, I've noticed many shifts in the Alberta and local economies that have directly impacted how I buy for the store. A couple years ago customers became more conscious of the price point they could afford. Historically, we had only offered premium price, brand-name footwear. This category was not performing as well as in the past.

This is when we decided to introduce jewelry, handbags and other accessories as well as footwear brands from Europe that may not have been as well known but were still premium quality. We strive to offer something for everyone without sacrificing quality, comfort and design.

Virginia Rasch

Virginia is a writer and copy editor with Koocanusa Publications. She is an avid outdoor recreationist in all seasons and has lived in the Kootenays for 10 years. With degrees in the natural sciences, she has worked as a tour guide, an environmentalist, a writer, and a copy editor of scientific publications. Virginia now brings her passion for everything green to Kootenay Business. View all of Virginia Rasch’s articles

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