Chiappetta Shoes | Jennie Tunkieicz
Growing up on a farm in Somers, Wis. Jennie Tunkieicz always wanted to be a newspaper reporter. From the time she saw her first byline in the Somers Elementary newspaper, she was hooked. She worked at the Kenosha News before moving to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Throughout her career, she covered local government, making her a great fit for her current position as the Chief of Staff to Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser.
Do you remember your first published work?
I certainly do. I can quote you the poem still, my third grade poem:
The flag was made by Betsy Ross
And we all know it wasn’t a loss
She knew we wanted to be free
So she worked quite diligently
So the flag we fly, it is a must
Thank you, Betsy
In you we trust
I always loved writing.
How do you like your position working for Kenosha County?
It is very fulfilling to be part of making my community – the community I’ve always lived in – better. It’s just really awe-inspiring to be part of this. There are so many various issues that we help with; every day is different.
You grew up on a farm in Kenosha County, how do you feel about the growth happening in the county?
My dad loved farming. But I remember when I was just a little kid, my dad would say: “You know, someday, Jennie, this will be a megalopolis between Chicago and Milwaukee. We won’t have these farms.” He knew that the best use for the land was probably industrial. So as much as he loved working in that dirt, he would tell us: “When I go, don’t try to farm this.”
Do you have any hobbies?
I am a singer in a rock and roll band: The Grateful Deadliners, named after the fact that we’re all newspaper refugees.
Do you play originals?
We do one. It’s an homage to our time the newspaper industry called “The Circulation Blues.”
So tell me about your shoe journey.
I have always had difficult feet, always. As a child, my mother would take me to a shoe store and they would have to bring me boxes and boxes of shoes to try on.
Obviously I’ve always enjoyed fashion, but it would be very difficult because the shoes that would fit were not pretty. I remember in junior high school, she got me a pair of expensive shoes that fit but they looked like bowling shoes, so kids would tease me, it was just all very difficult.
How have things changed?
Now it’s great because not only are there shoes available for people with hard-to-fit feet, but when they don’t fit quite right people – the “sales people” – at Chiappetta can design inserts and do various things to make those shoes fit. I do keep them on their toes. They actually do various things for my shoes.
How has that affected your daily life?
I really love working out every day. About four years ago, my feet started hurting all the time. I went to Chiappetta’s and they diagnosed the problem. They made inserts for my athletic shoes and it’s been life-changing. Without those inserts, I might have had to give up working out!
Is Chiappettas the only place you shop for shoes?
Oh yes, absolutely! And still they have to bring out boxes and boxes and boxes, but I usually buy more shoes than I should, but I love them.
How many pairs do you own?
A lot. I have a lot of shoes, … more than 50. I have a problem. But luckily Chiappettas is there to help spur on my desire for comfortable shoes. They’re supportive in that way.
What is the most important thing for you in a shoe?
I spend a lot of time running around to different meetings. I often have to be on my feet for meetings as well. So they have to be comfortable, cute and comfortable.
What shoes are you wearing today?
This is a Beautifeel. Beautifeel is really one of my favorite lines of shoes because they almost always fit. Very few things have to be done to doctor them up to make them fit. I can wear their heels and their flats. They’re always very, very comfortable.
How do you pick your shoes?
Well, it’s like any kind of attraction: isn’t it first how they look?
I mean that’s the thing you go: “Oh, that’s a cute pair of shoes, I need to try them on.”
And there are times when I’m disappointed. For whatever reason, it doesn’t work. But you know, it is the same with a relationship. You try it on, sometimes, it doesn’t work.
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