New owners reboot longtime downtown Kennewick shoe store

A fashion enthusiast followed her dream of owning not just one – but two – businesses, now located under one roof in downtown Kennewick.

Jamie and Loren Wikstrand bought the 68-year-old David’s Shoes store earlier this year. The longtime business is located in a historic brick corner building outfitted with green awnings at 201 W. Kennewick Ave.

Jamie, who launched an online-only clothing shop, White Bluffs Boutique, last fall, moved her products  inside the 68-year-old store – a happy mashup of longtime business meets e-commerce.

“We weren’t looking to purchase a shoe store,” Jamie said, but the former owner reached out to her husband over social media after seeing the launch of White Bluffs Boutique and thought the couple might be interested.

David’s Shoes has new owners and new inventory at 201 W. Kennewick Ave. in downtown Kennewick. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

The Wikstrands became the third owners of the shoe store, which first opened in 1953. David’s Shoes once had additional locations in Richland and Pasco but those are long closed and only the Kennewick store remains, at the corner of West Kennewick and North Benton avenues.

“A lot of the people who have come in have been coming here for 50 years,” Jamie said. “Their parents first brought them in, and they’re still regulars today.”

Jamie said the store is named for its original owner, and the second owner used to be one of David’s employees, operating it once he retired in the 1990s.

Since taking over, the Wikstrands started remodeling the interior and bringing in new offerings, including shoes at a lower price point to serve all budgets.

David’s Shoes carries mostly women’s shoes focused on fashion and comfort, with an average price of $50, but the Wikstrands are expanding their men’s lines and have a small selection of kids’ shoes.

Popular brands include Birkenstocks, OTBT, Naked Feet, Spring Step, Rieker and Corkys.

David’s Shoes expects to also start carrying Californians, a higher end line of sandals and flip-flops.

A new shipment of Birkenstocks is what brought Dawn Shepherd in on a busy weekend before the popular sandals flew out the door.

“I was born and raised here and had never been in, and then I started seeing all the cute stuff on Facebook,” Shepherd said. “So I came in and they said they were new owners, and I was like, ‘Oh I haven’t been missing out this whole time!’”

Jamie is excited to put her stamp on the decades-old shop.

“I have always had a passion for clothes and shoes, and I tend to shop at boutiques versus big box stores,” she said. “I had been doing a lot of online shopping during the pandemic. And Loren said, ‘If you don’t ever take a risk in life, you will never be successful.’ ”

So Jamie debuted the online boutique featuring contemporary and trendy items, “putting the ‘fun’ in functional,” often with a western flair.

“My customers can be 18-25 years old, but my 71-year-old mother also shops from here,” Jamie said.

All her tees are American made, with clothing ranging from $25-$55.

Quite a few of the pieces available are displayed at David’s Shoes, taking advantage of the chance to show customers the clothes in person.

Shepherd also bought her second shirt while selecting shoes. Online sales are still available from White Bluffs Boutique, and clothes may be delivered or shipped.

Working full time with the two shops every day for the last few months, Jamie has grown the business enough to warrant the need for a part-time sales associate. She’s currently looking to hire someone to work 11 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends.

David’s Shoes & White Bluffs Boutique: 201 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick. Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. White Bluffs Boutique is always open for online sales at whitebluffsboutique.com. Both shops are on Facebook @davids-shoes-kennewick and @whitebluffsboutique

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