But That’s A Different Story!
We all know the song “New York, New York.” The song says, ‘If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” I just came back from an accessory show in New York City and the whole time I was there I kept thinking of this song. It’s true! NYC is a city that is incredibly stimulating, intense, noisy, lively, lonely, crowded, suffocating, inspiring, competitive, and the winters can be brutally cold while the sweltering summers make the clothes melt off your skin. And yet, everyone wants to be there, like it’s a place where you want to try your hand at your possibilities, your options, even if it’s just while you’re there for a short stint, or while you’re trying to make a life there.
While I walked the market, believe it or not, I was shopping thinking specifically of some of you! There is no such thing as a perfect market, that’s why I travel to different cities to do some of the buying for you! I’m super lucky this way!
I have decided that if I get to go to New York, then it can’t be just all work. I try to have fun too! This time I took a very dear friend with me who was IMMENSELY helpful! After three days of hard shopping, we decided it was a must to hit a Broadway show.
So that’s what we did! We decided to go see “Kinky Boots,” partially because it was recommended to us by a friend, but mostly because of its fabulous name (I mean, really?!)!
The production was in this very quaint, old theatre. We had no idea what to expect. Well… the play was about a shoe factory from 1800s England. The owner had died, and the son needed to take responsibility of the factory, otherwise it would be shut down. I experienced a total déjà vu. My own family actually went through a very similar situation! My grandfather had a big, well known, shoe factory in Guadalajara, Mexico. When he passed away I was 9 years old. The factory was going to go under because there wasn’t a plan for what would happen when he was no longer with us. I still remember the commotion and distress in the family. It felt like we were standing in quick sand. It was really sad because lots of people were going to be left without work. The future looked very uncertain. Even at my young age, I knew we were in big trouble. My parents were agonizing and so was I.
In “Kinky Boots,” the son of the owner, saw an opportunity to make outrageous, sexy, boots for DRAG QUEENS in order to save the factory. (He had to think of producing a product that would sell better!) Of course, the son had a hard time wrapping his head around the idea of specializing in shoes and boots for drag queens since the success of his father’s business was in producing classic English shoes! There was a lot of dancing, singing, big eyelashes, and bling bling in the drag queen’s costumes. The musical was very funny, and very entertaining. The stage was set just like at my grandfather’s factory. They had rollers of wooden shoe lasts, old fashion desks, chairs, machinery. My nostalgic mind would jump from the dancing drag queens to my grandfather’s factory. Nails of memories shot through my heart. I realize that my grandfather died at the exact age that I am now! (SO young!!!!)
The only thing left from my grandfather’s legacy is a chandelier he had in his home. He had several of them lighting up the hallway. If you come to the shoe store, you will see that I have it in main room. I grew up seeing that chandelier all the time.
In “Kinky Boots,” the owner’s son saved the factory by manufacturing kinky boots. In our case…oh well, that’s a different story.