By Austin Brown
I’d like to begin my career here at Cheap Sushi by introducing myself the same way the Joker did to his enemies — I’m a man of simple taste.
Being a simple man, you likely won’t see me jumping into the mosh-pit, getting killer concert footage. Rather, I’ll focus on the arts and steer clear of the fast-paced music side of things Cheap Sushi typically emphasizes.
I’ll start my adventure here with Wholesale Fashion Shoes, which opened to the public on Black Friday. The San Francisco shop is in the culturally abundant Mission District. They sell mostly fashionable women’s shoes for $11.99, along with boots and handbags.
Alicia Chin is the manager and part owner of the Mission Street store. She is 24 years old and lives in Sausalito, California. This is her first time running her own shop.
Upon entering the store, Zion, Alicia’s three-year-old yellow lab, gave me a warm welcoming as he galloped around the shop and chased down a toy ball Alicia tossed (or kicked) his way. His presence gave Wholesale Fashion Shoes a home-style feeling.
The towering gray walls inside the store were lined with shelves where high stacks of women’s shoes— all of which came in assorted styles and colors—filled the displays. Toward the back of the shop, a shoe sculpture, which had the appearance of a tree, featured red designer shoes lined along gray branches against a white wall. The store was nothing less than interesting.
Here is a brief Q&A, featuring questions that were left out of the podcast:
Cheap Sushi: If this store does well would you want to add more locations?
Alicia Chin: Definitely. In the near future I’m actually hoping to open one in Oakland if this store does well.
Cheap Sushi: Why this particular location at 20th and Mission?
Alicia Chin: Again, because it’s my main demographic. I just love the area and the people. I love the culture here. And like I said before, it’s very fashionable in it’s own way, it’s unique, and people don’t make a lot of money around here, which is why I thought it would be the perfect place to open.
Cheap Sushi: Is this your first time running a store?
Alicia Chin: This is my first time owning a store. I used to manage a store in Mill Valley but it was a different type of sales.
Cheap Sushi: How different?
Alicia Chin: It was a high-cost boutique in downtown Mill Valley and I loved it. And the owner there was amazing; she taught me about customer service and retail in general. I was there for almost six years.
Cheap Sushi: How has it been running a store for the first time?
Alicia Chin: It’s been an experience. I’ve definitely learned a lot about the technicalities, the legalities, and about hiring. I’ve learned so much that I can’t even start to explain everything.
Cheap Sushi: Alright. Well, we’ll try to dig a little deeper. Has it been a fast learning curve?
Alicia Chin: It was really fast in the beginning and it’s becoming more gradual, but like I said, I’m learning stuff constantly.
Cheap Sushi: How’s it been managing other workers?
Alicia Chin: It’s been fun. I just happened to hire a great team; I got really lucky. I haven’t had to fire one person. They’re all just really passionate and really excited about the store and they bust their ass. I appreciate every single one of them.
Alicia Chin Audio interview:
Wholesale Fashion Shoes
2415 Mission Street
San Francisco, Ca 94110