Heading Logo

Charm Harness & Boot: not your average shoe store

Katherine Ryder Published: August 1, 2011 10:49 AM
  • 1 of 4 Photos | View More Photos

N-early 30 years ago, Roy Miller bought the store that is today known as Charm Harness & Boot. Roy started by selling horse and carriage harnesses along with approximately 72 pairs of Red Wings shoes.

Today, Roy's three sons manage the store that stocks over 18,000 pairs and deal with 70-80 different companies and brands.

Even with the expansion in product line and success, Roy's eldest son, Allen Miller says "we still try to keep that small family atmosphere."

As the store's name suggests, the store once focused equally on selling harnesses and boots, but now they primarily focus on footwear. Harnesses and saddles are still available, but the store will not be getting any new inventory in that area.

"We don't sell the harnesses as much as we used to," Allen said. "Still, customers " especially tourists " like to look at the selection."

According to Allen, his dad was raised in a shoe store. When Roy was younger he didn't much care for the business, but as he got older he realized that it was a good fit for him.

That good fit is part of the reason why Charm has one of the most versatile and successful businesses in the area.

"We have a lot of different products available to our customers," Allen said, "including apparel. It's mostly seasonal...it's very big in the fall."

As fall is always the busiest time of year for all businesses in Amish country, Charm Harness & Boot is no different.

"60 percent of our customers are from out-of-town, normally falling in a two-hour radius," Allen said. Although the business doesn't see many tour buses stop in front of its doors, Allen is content and understanding.

"We don't have craft stores in Charm like in the Berlin area," Allen said. "That's more typical of the tourists. Along with our locals we get farmers and rural-type people from the Indiana area."

Something that Allen prides himself as well as the business on is his relation to the customers.

"Helping our customers in our work is a priority," Allen said. It was a mentality that his dad started back in 1982 when he opened the store and it has maintained over the years.

"We're successful because we stick to how we started," Allen said. "Working with the customer and helping them find what they're looking for is important to us."

"We can also work with our customer and really consider their occupation too," Allen said.

With all of their different brands, Allen acknowledges that the business is not partial to any certain line. "However, Red Wing shoes have gotten us to where we are."

Some of the other brands that Charm Harness & Boot carries include: Rocky, Danner, Justin, Carhartt, Keen, Ariat, Merrell, ECCO, Georgia, UGG, Columbia, Thorogood, Born, UnderArmor, Skechers, Harley Davidson, Dockers and Chippewa.

Along with the store, Allen tries to be very involved in the community. "I hope that the community views Charm Harness as respectable and successful," Allen said. "The businesses in and around Charm always work together to meet the needs of our different stores and our customers."

The store will have its annual large sale during Charm Days Oct. 7 and 8 with a store"wide 10 percent discount.

Charm Harness & Boot is located at 4432 CR 70 in Charm. Store hours are Monday and Tuesday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thursday and Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information call 330-893-0402.

Rate this article

Do you want to leave a comment?   Please Log In or Register to comment.