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July 20, 2021

Jon Skudlarek and Justin Kehrwald help further explain what being an intrapreneur is as they give us their history of climbing the ladder in the retail world. Learn how two employees started at the bottom of management and worked their way up, by using healthy competition. Learn how a shoe company has survived a second recession by employing the right people.

We Meet: Jon Skudlarek and Justin Kehrwald, Regional Manager and CEO of TradeHome Shoes

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About Guest:  In 1921, two friends Al Mains and Cecil Ginsberg were looking for a business opportunity. They found a man who was looking for some investors for his shoe stores. These men recognized that their chief competition was mail order operations like Montgomery Wards and Sears Roebuck. To encourage their potential customers to shop in the local community, they thought of the name “Trade At Home.” Then they shortened it to one word: “Tradehome.” 

And so it was that Tradehome Shoes began in 1921, and the name Tradehome remains to this day. It was family owned until 1999 when nine individuals, who had worked their way up in the company, bought it. Their succession plans include getting other Tradehome employees involved with ownership. Tradehome offers endless growth opportunities for individuals to work their way up through management, district management, regional supervision, buying positions, and possibly even ownership. All it takes is desire and hard work.

From two stores in 1921, to over 120 stores in 2021, the success of Tradehome’s survival and growth has been summed up by its former owner, Donald Mains, in one word: PEOPLE. “People means our customers, and the outstanding level of Customer Service that sets us apart from other operations. People also means all the Tradehome organization with the ability and the attitude that has assured our success all these years.” This focus on customer service is what has set Tradehome apart from all of the other competition in the past and present. This focus on “people” is why Tradehome is here today!


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