Shop: On Pointe Bellevue
Shop Owner: Rhea Lwin
Location: Bellevue, WA
Expertise: We are a ballet boutique specializing in pointe shoe fittings for the Pacific Northwest ballet community.
What is your background and what led you to start your business?
I took my first ballet class at the age of three and have continued dancing recreationally for the past forty years! I'm a graduate of the Leavey School of Business from Santa Clara University, and for many years had a successful career in corporate sales and team management.
Over time, I wanted to be my own boss and start my own business. Eventually, I decided to combine my two loves - business and dance - so we could serve this incredible dance community. I have enjoyed shaping On Pointe Bellevue into a vibrant, busy ballet boutique filled with beautiful products and building an amazing team of subject matter experts that our community can rely on. I'm so proud of my team. They are truly passionate about what they do, and even on the crazy days, we enjoy our special roles as professional pointe shoe fitters.
What keeps you going and doing what you're doing as a store owner?
What keeps us going? Knowing how critical our role is for the success of our customers. Dancers are passionate, dedicated, and have shown exceptional resilience, and we feel the same about our jobs. We always strive to create positive moments and the best experience possible when working with a dancer at their fitting appointment. We want them to leave their appointment feeling empowered with new knowledge, confident in their product choices, and excited to get back to the studio.
On a different note, as pointe shoe fitters, we are lifelong learners and few things excite us more than a new pointe shoe and learning everything about it. Sometimes after testing a new shoe, we actually pull it apart to see the inside layers! We test new products all the time, attend pointe shoe seminars, meet with manufacturer representatives, and collaborate with fitters from across the globe to stay on top of what's new. It's the learning opportunities that truly excite us and our desire to share our knowledge with our customers.
On Pointe Bellevue
What do you love most about providing dancewear to your community?
Playing an important role in the success of our customers and being a knowledge resource.
What are some favorite brands that your store carries, and why?
This is a tough one! We love all our business partners. I have been very impressed with the Nikolay brand. They produce gorgeous, high quality products, on-time deliveries, and have been strong supporters of brick and mortar dance retailers from the very beginning. Their unwavering support of dance stores has really resonated with me throughout this pandemic.
What sets your store apart from other dancewear retailers, and why?
I don't compare myself to other dancewear retailers. I am obsessed with focusing on our own strengths, demonstrating value, providing the ballet community with what they need, and treating customers how I would want to be treated - with professionalism, good stock, and fair policies.
Are there any new dancewear and/or accessory trends you’ve noticed lately?
Olive and hunter green are back!
What are some of your best-selling products?
Pointe shoes. All day, everyday.
A lot of dancers struggle to find pointe shoes that fit correctly and flatter their feet. Do you have any advice for finding the perfect pair of pointe shoes?
Understand that pointe shoes are a process, and we are fitting you during a snapshot in time. Is it your first pair? Then we focus on stability, placement, and alignment - and we prioritize those things over certain aesthetics.
Preparing for a competition? We focus on different details of the fit. The more pointe work you do, the more your pointe shoe needs to change. Developing dancers are still growing. Your muscle tone changes. Technique improves. Flexibility changes. Goals get reprioritized. It's an ongoing process, and most dancers don't settle into their "forever shoe" for years. Have patience.
In your opinion, is there a “must-have” item for any dancer?
A well-fitted dance shoe!
What made you make the decision to carry Pointe Paint?
Pointe Paint is so easy to work with, a fast application, and looks so good! Leave your Sharpies on your desks!
What’s one thing you want customers to know about you and/or your store?
We always have your best interest at heart.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with the PointePeople community?
We are so excited for this season's big return to the stage. Best wishes to everyone!
Location: 12001 NE 12th St #85 | Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: (425) 643-2386
Instagram: @onpointebellevueFacebook: On Pointe Bellevue