Fort Payne Footworks: Local From Head to Toe

Fort Payne Footworks, located in downtown Fort Payne, is the place to go if you’re looking for fashionable footwear, apparel, or outdoor items. They are just one of the many local small businesses that prove that you don’t have to go out of town to find a great gift this Christmas season.

“We try to stay up to date with the popular brands. We’re proud to be a small town store but offer big city products.”

Fort Payne Footworks got its start in 1995. Jack Davidson bought the store from previous owners in 2006, soon bringing on his sister, Jill Caneer, to help run the store. Fort Payne Footworks has grown considerably since its beginnings, now offering a wider variety of products and brands than ever before as well as an expanded line of outdoor apparel and equipment, and has even outgrown a single location. They recently opened a second Footworks location in Rainsville next to Body Vision, and that decision was all about better serving their customers according to Jill:

“We had been thinking about expanding for awhile. We have a lot of people from both Rainsville and Scottsboro that shop with us, and we wanted to provide a more convenient location for them and other customers on sand mountain.”

When running a small business, you inevitably meet many new and interesting people each and every day. For Jill, making new friends and becoming part of their lives is a reward in itself.

“We like it because we get to meet different people. You get to know people. Not just local people but also people that come from different areas to vacation or visit. You make friendships and learn about people’s lives.”

When these people come from out of town, whether on a day shopping trip to downtown Fort Payne, or on a week long vacation to Mentone, they bring value to the community. They shop and eat at many local businesses, and part of the job description of running a small business is sometimes being their tour guide.

“People come from out of town to shop here and some of the money they spend is taxed to help fund our town. They also don’t just stop here. They always ask us to recommend a local place to eat or other places to shop or things to do.”

When people, whether they are locals themselves or just passing through, shop at a local small businesses, they make a real positive impact on the local economy and help make the community they patronize with their business stronger. Not only do they help provide jobs, but help local schools and nonprofits, Jill explains:

“When you shop local you’re helping all of the employees that work at local businesses and you’re helping the local schools. You help the schools both through taxes and because small businesses donate to schools and advertise with them. We always advertise in the school’s football programs and yearbooks, and we also work with Churches and charities if they need a donation or a gift card to raffle off.”

Small businesses also play an important role in the fabric of the community. The people that own and run small local businesses are invariably members of the community who care about its future, and help in many ways, some of them unexpected:

“As a small business we can be flexible with our prices. If a family comes in and we know the kid doesn’t have shoes to wear to school we can work with them to make sure they can afford some. You can’t do that with the big box stores because they have to stick to set prices.”

Shopping local is important, and that’s what Native is all about. Jill says that Native has been instrumental in rewarding people for doing so, and for helping her business:

“If you use it to your benefit, Native can be free advertising. So many people have won the drawings and spent their money back here that it’s like Native has paid me money to be on the Native Rewards app.”

You can use the Native Rewards app to support the local small business community. You get great deals and a chance to win money every time you shop with local businesses like Fort Payne Footworks!

Get it here: