Arlenne Villegas, owner of Diana’s Shoe Boutique in Melrose Park, takes a break from work inside of her store. | Michael Romain/VFP
Thursday, May 25, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Arlenne Villegas, 33, owns Diana’s Shoe Boutique, 122 N. 19th Ave. (also known as Broadway) in Melrose Park. The Maywood resident took a short break from her work to talk about how she came to own the shoe store she once worked in as a teenager.
I was about 16 or 17 when I started working here. I worked for the previous two owners. I got married and then stopped working because of pregnancy. Then I came back and started working here again for another four or five years before I went home to stay with the kids.
Now, I own it
On taking ownership
One day, we were walking by here with the kids and we saw that the lady who owned the store was tired of it. I said, ‘I’ll take over!’ That was around two years ago.
It’s always been a dream of ours [her and her husband Rolando Villegas] to open our own store and that was the perfect opportunity.
On Broadway’s diversity
This store has been here for over 20 years. It’s known for being the only shoe store on the block that serves the whole family. We have men’s, girl’s, women’s shoes. Most of our customers are women, though.
It’s very exciting working for a store you own. I love working with people. The community is very diverse. We have Hispanics, Italians, African Americans. But everyone is unique and they have their own faces, so I have to think about each and every person as an individual.
For more info on Diana’s Shoe Boutique, click here. VFP