– Words by Angela Cowan Photography by Lia Crowe
Twenty years ago, serendipity laid its hand onto Jean Cardno’s life when it presented an opportunity to open a shoe store in Duncan. And Cardino’s Shoes was born.
Jean has dedicated the last two decades to making the business a success, and it’s clear her hard work paid off. Cardino’s Shoes is a coveted destination for both fashionable and high-quality footwear, with customers travelling from all over Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and farther afield to browse the selection.
“I understood the need for the right footwear,” says Jean, a former nurse. “I’ve never done high fashion for the sake of high fashion. I’ll do high fashion and really well-made products. Some of the best shoes are made by small artisans in studios in Spain or Italy.”
Driven by textures and colours, Jean loves to “look for the beautiful in things,” which she freely admits can vary widely depending on the subject matter.
“I love colour intensities. I love roaming through places like Chintz and Company, and other places that still sell bolts of fabric.”
A New Zealander by birth, she arrived 39 years ago to settle on Vancouver Island. But she still loves to travel. With one son locally, another in Australia and her daughter — the talented ethical clothing designer Eliza Faulkner — in Montreal, Jean loves to explore the neighbourhoods where her children live and work, and see the spaces through their eyes, always seeking the sublime.
The 7 Sins
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
Diane Von Fürstenburg, an iconic fashion designer in the ’70s who embraced feminism wearing a dress. And, who is still in business today.
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
Avocado on toast with a good flat white (coffee).
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
Well, I could never spend that much on myself, so I would share it.
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
On a beach, reading.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?
What makes your heart beat faster?
Any shop or gallery full of colour, textures and designs that is well curated. It lifts the soul.