FAIRMONT – While he is not a collector of shoes, Eric Monthe does have an appreciation for footwear when they flaunt and interesting design.
The different styles from dress shoes to casual tennis shoes present looks which Eric often perceives as a form of art, which he enjoys also for the dimension he can add to his outfits through their presentation.
“I’m not a shoe collector but I’m a shoe lover,” Eric said. “I love shoes, it’s like an equation which is like ‘These will go better with this.’ Summertime is going to be more flip flops, winter is more boots.”
Due to this appreciation, Eric and his wife, Marianne Monthe, have opened a shoe store on Adams Street in downtown Fairmont, A Pied, to stock shoes they enjoy of all styles, and also give the community another option to shop for footwear.
The store’s name, “A Pied,” translates from French to “by foot,” reflecting Eric’s heritage of his home country of France, as well as the variety of footwear available at the store.
“It’s a French name; I speak French, it’s my native language,” Eric said. “We have kids shoes, women, men, dress and athletic shoes. We try to get a feel for what people like, so we carry most of the brands.”
The store has been open since April but held a ribbon cutting with the Marion County Chamber of Commerce May 10 where community leaders welcomed the shop and its owners to Fairmont.
“We want to welcome you to Marion County and specifically to Fairmont,” said Mary Jo Thomas, a board member with the Chamber of Commerce. “I have a love of shoes, I’ve already bought my first pair here, and I encourage you all to come in.”
Inside the store are racks of shoes of all sizes and styles, and Eric or Marianne are available for assistance during store hours. As of now, they stock a variety of brands, but Eric said they want to see what people like to find out which items to stock more of.
“We have a variety of shoes, try to cater for the everyday Joe,” Eric said. “So far a lot of people are going in and out, they like to see what it’s all about.”
Eric said that after acquiring the building, they needed to decide where to go with it, but chose shoes in part because of the lack of options in the Fairmont area.
“If you want to make a change you have to be the change,” Eric said. “The closest thing to a shoe store in Fairmont was Walmart. You either have to go to Bridgeport, Clarksburg or Morgantown.”
Eric said he has so far been enjoying the people of Fairmont who have visited his shop and hopes he is able to be of service to the people who support him, his wife and their shoe store.
“For me, it doesn’t matter the area, it’s what kind of people are in the area,” Eric said. “If you care for the community, the community will support you, otherwise you could be in Central Park and still close.”
A Pied is located at 124 Adams Street in Fairmont and is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon-6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call the store at 304-534-8119.