Russian Pointe® Retailer: Jazz Ma Tazz
A few decades ago, dance classes were considered expensive and elitist ― so they only appealed to a small segment of the population. Today, dance is everywhere, and the number of dance studios, and dance classes, and dance options has skyrocketed. “Nowadays, everyone takes it at least once,” Todd says.
Instead of just teaching ballet, many studios now offer jazz, hip-hop, modern and lyrical, and the expansion of classes has brought in a wider selection of people who are learning how to move to the music and embrace the art form.
That broader acceptance of dance has been good for Todd and her two dancewear retail stores, the one in Abbotsford, which opened in 1993, and her second store in Maple Ridge, BC, which opened in 2007.
As dance has become more popular, Todd says she’s seen dancers stay involved with it longer, and that means more students are taking pointe. To cater to that larger population, Todd has expanded her pointe shoe selection to include a wide variety of brands and styles.
This summer, Jazz Ma Tazz added Russian Pointe® shoes to their line-up because dance students had been coming into the store requesting them, and several dancewear retailers in British Columbia started carrying Russian Pointe® shoes and were successful with them.
“We like the color because it’s a little bit daintier and lighter than the other ones,” Todd says of the Russian Pointe® shoes. “It’s nicely tapered, so it’s not quite so blocky, and it’s nicely made with nice quality fabric.”
Jazz Ma Tazz carries both the Rubin and the Entrada, and Todd says the Rubin with a V-cut and no drawstring have been especially popular. Todd also says many of the dancers in her area tend to have wide feet, so she’s ordered the widest width available.
Although Todd never danced on pointe herself, she has made it a priority to become fully trained in how to properly fit pointe shoes. She’s also hired several former dancers, including Audrey Gilpin of the National Ballet of Canada, to work in the store so they can offer expert guidance to their customers.
Todd attribute’s her stores’ long-term success to having a friendly, knowledgeable staff, not buying too many products that will end up on the shelf, offering superior customer service and building strong relationships with the nine or ten dance schools in her area.
She’s increased customer loyalty by hosting pointe shoe fittings at local dance schools, which helps parents save time and money by not having to make an extra trip to the dance store. Todd says getting out there into the community to know what your customers want is essential. “You have to know how to market your product,” she says.