Our story.

Congratulations on making it to Friday!

We've talked about the history of brands we carry and all the great achievements and/or challenges they've had to overcome. Brown's Shoe Fit Co. has been successful for over 100 years now, yet not many people know the back story, so here we go!

Win Brown traveled to rural Shenandoah, Iowa in 1909 where he worked as a window trimmer at Andrews' Dry Goods Company for 2 years. While reading a magazine article about a man who had started a company out of a tiny four-foot wide stairway, Win had an idea. A space just 9 foot wide was available for rent next to Security State Bank, which Win had began selling shoes out of with only $1,700 in operating capitol. 

In February of 1913 the net worth of Mr. Brown was roughly $6,000, and the rental lease on his small space had expired after three years. 611 West Sheridan Avenue became the first official Brown's Shoe store, where it is still located today and was recently remodeled (Shoutout to the guys in Brown's shop for a beautiful face lift). Win grew his business by recognizing that people deserve an opportunity to own and operate their own business as well. To bring this idea to life, he would partner with and loan money to new owners in shoe retail.

Over the years more and more stores opened, with few being closed, maintaining the same moral philosophy that Win had when he began the company. Today, Brown's Shoe Fit Co. has a national reach with 74 stores throughout 12 different states. All of the stores are operated by their managers who have completed the training program, which takes roughly 1-3 years to complete! Each manager is a vested partner in Brown's by owning a share in their own store along with investment opportunities in all other stores! 

My name is Kaitlyn and I am the Online Sales Manager at the West Des Moines store #14. My employment with Brown's started in 2019, working at the General Office in Shenandoah as the Graphic Productions Manager at just 20 years old. I had a full time position working 40 hours a week with great pay and amazing benefits, at the age of 20! I left the office in April of 2020, and moved back home. In October that same year, Ben Dillehay, the Manager of Brown's West Des Moines, called me out of the blue.

My hard work and effort at the General Office had not gone unnoticed, and Ben offered me an interview for this position, which would be the first of its kind in the company. In January of 2021 I accepted the job, moved 3 hours away from home, and got to work. I will be 23 next month with almost $300,000 in online sales under my belt in just 8 months, bought my first house, and all without a college degree. I am reaching goals I thought were impossible before the age of 30. I have a great salary, health benefits, 401k, and receive commission. This truly reflects how much Brown's appreciates and cares for all their employees. 

I felt the need to share my personal story with Brown's because I want everyone reading this to know that if you feel stuck or lost in your career path; there are amazing opportunities that can guide you to achieve what you've always been capable of, even if you didn't think you were. Hard work and care for employees is very fundamental for having a successful career. In my opinion, Brown's Shoe Fit Co. will reach seemingly impossible heights as a small business, and will support every single owner/employee along the way.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if you have any questions about job opportunities, please email us at desmoinesshoes@gmail.com or call us 515-381-1696.


Brown's Shoe Fit Co.


  • Millie Wagner

    Hi Kaitlyn,
    I worked at Brown’s Shoe Fit through my college years (during the late 1970’s) in Warrensburg, MO. I have many great memories of working there and was pleasantly surprised to see that the company now has an online presence.
    Congratulations on your success and on finding such a wonderful company to work with!

  • Don Crawford

    Congratulations Katlyn . I was with Brown’s 40 years. Best oriented family company to work for.

  • Dawn Henss

    Congratulations on your success with Brown Shoe Fit. I know they are a great company to work for.

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