Our Story

    • We began this journey with faith that God would complete the work and the promises that He had spoken to us in dreams, through vision and confirming Word of His Prophets. This Journey is in a new beginning but over the years God has shown His favor and grace to the Vision and Ministry that He has put into plan and action concerning His call for our mission and ministry.
    • Starting your own business always takes a leap of faith. For Shirmodda Robinson and Cynthia Matthews, it began with one step. When God gives you a vision, you must go after it even when it seems like you don’t have the means; you walk and work by faith.
    • The road to success was a long one for Matthews and Robinson. The two met as managers at a Shreveport Foot Locker store. They both felt it was that first step, on faith, out of bad situations that made the difference in their lives.
    • “I grew up in poverty and after leaving home I stayed in a bad situation because I wasn’t sure what else there was. I had no faith in anything,” Matthews said about abusive relationships over a course of 13 years. Robinson also stated that she grew up in the home with a single parent, struggled in school and didn’t physically develop a relationship with her father until her late thirties.
    • They thought of starting their own company when they moved to another local shoe store. They said more than anything, that’s the message they wanted to send: “No matter where you come from, you can come through that and thrive if you have faith,” Robinson said.
    • In 2004, Abana Shoes’ owners, Shirmodda Robinson and Cynthia Matthews, were managers at Shoe Show in Shreveport, LA where they had an encounter with four young boys that changed the course of their lives. Robinson credits Matthews for receiving her first job in the footwear industry. The young men entered the store and requested to try on several pair of shoes.
    • "We always treat every customer regardless of their age as if they are important and as if they matter," said Matthews. Robinson put each pair of shoes behind the counter after the young boys decided that they did not want them. When Robinson returned from retrieving the last pair of shoes, she looked behind the counter and saw that all the shoes were gone, and all of the kids had left except one.
    • Recognizing that the young boys took the shoes, Robinson told the other young boy that if they brought back the shoes by the end of the day, she would not call the police. As she was preparing to close the store, she looked across the parking lot and saw one of the young boys returning with the stolen pairs of shoes. The emotional Robinson sat him down and explained to him why they should not steal shoes. He replied to her that they took the shoes because they did not have any shoes and the kids in the neighborhood bullied and teased them. That day Robinson bought each pair of shoes for the young boys out of her own pocket.
    • After this experience, Robinson and Matthews had a vision to design their own footwear. They started designing the prototypes from their home in 2004, but due to the lack of capital, did not officially launch Abana Shoes until 2012 when they opened their online webstore.
    • As they searched for capital, they continued to do giveaways in their area for individuals and families that were less fortunate.
    • "God blessed us to receive our initial investment to open our first brick and mortar location at 2934 E Texas Street, Suite 101, Bossier City, LA in 2015.
    • The response has been great, and it has been positive. On the bottom of each pair there is a “Walk By F8th” message in script of the soles. As Robinson states, "a thought became a word and the word became exposed."
    • We have donated and given away shoes in Caddo and Bossier Parish in Louisiana as well as Uniondale, NY, etc. This outreach is done as an expression of our gratitude.
    • Abana: (Heb. marg. ‘Amanah,’ perennial) the Chief river of Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). Its modern name is Barada, the Chrysorrhoas, or ‘golden stream,’ of the Greeks. It rises in a cleft of the Anti-Lebanon range, about 23 miles north-west of Damascus, and after flowing southward for a little way parts into three smaller streams, the central one flowing through Damascus, and the other on each side of the city, diffusing beauty and fertility where otherwise there would be barrenness.
    • The meaning of the name Abana – made of stone, stony, Our Father, Constant, Everlasting, Father Of Answers.
    • "We see Abana as an inspiration, being positive and using the business as an avenue to help others. It's not about selling the shoe, it's the message behind the shoe." Abana Shoes goal is to get the products into other stores.
    • We are thankful for each and every one of you that have committed to support us from the beginning to now. To those of you who reach out to us in love, prayers or any other generosity of time, talent, or resources, we extend our appreciation. For those of you who shared in our amazing and inspiring journey, we thank you and ask that you continue in acts of love; in your lives and in the lives of all that you touch. May we all continue this walk of faith.