The four-year anniversary shindig last Saturday at Pump Shoes and Accessories was like most days at the popular Division Street boutique: Friendly service made shoppers feel welcome and comfy, and pretty sandals in a slew of colors and styles tempted guests, too. But a more-festive-than-usual vibe was pumpin’ throughout the store. With margaritas flowing and colorful balloons hanging inside and outside Pump, shoppers took advantage of discounts on everything in the shop, including Michael Kors sandals, Betsey Johnson heels and espadrilles from Spain-based designer Eric Michael.
Kelly Kang, 27, has been shopping at Pump for three years. “[Owner] Maureen [Longua] has really good taste in shoes,” she says. Kang likes that the goods are reasonably priced and fashionable but still comfortable. In fact, she has bought so many pairs of shoes at Pump, “It’s doubled my shoe closet!” Jenny Parker, 28, doesn’t mind making the trip to Wicker Park from her Forest Park home. “I like the service, and she has a lot of shoes that you don’t see anywhere else.” Also, Parker adds, “It’s a fun store to shop in.”
So what motivated Longua to open Pump four years ago? “I just really love shoes,” she says. “I felt there was a void of feminine and fabulous shoes at moderate prices in this neighborhood.” As for the big looks for this spring, Longua points to “lots of fun color, but a nude, heeled sandal is a must for your wardrobe this season. When it comes to flats, pick a tan or brown gladiator that can be worn with everything from flat-front shorts to patterned sundresses.”
Part of the fun of running Pump is the location. “My customers are my neighbors, and that is what I love about this Wicker Park area,” Longua says. “Despite the growth, it hasn’t lost that community-neighborhood feel that keeps Wicker Park a true jewel of this city for shopping, eating, playing and raising a family.” (Mary Susan Littlepage)
Pump, 1659 West Division, (773)384-6750, pumpshoeschicago.com