The End Of An Era – A Tribute to Teddy
My father Theodore Adelson came into this world in March 1927 and yesterday, he passed way leaving a legacy that was amazing. He grew up in Cambridge, MA. and graduated from Harvard College and then served in the Navy. He had his share of challenges as he lost both of his parents in 1955 and his brother Norman who died at the age of 18 from a hunting accident. He had two sisters – Marion and Phyllis. Teddy got married in 1949 to Florence Cohen who is still living. He had his first child Robert in 1952. I, Steven came into the world in 1955 followed by my sister Carol in 1958. My father worked for Filene's Basement in the shoe department as a shoe buyer before opening up his famous shoe store, Teddy Shoes in 1957. He started his business with $11,000 with the promise from his parents that he would pay rent if he made money.
My father had connections in the Boston shoe market and would buy factory seconds and closeouts from companies that made shoes for Thom McAn and Baker's. He also developed a lucrative dyeable shoe business, a wide width and large size following and ballet and tap shoe department. Prior to joining my father in 1978, my father had opened up stores in Watertown and Somerville. We also had later had an East Boston location. I came on board and began learning how to run the business and eventually became the owner. In the 80's, the nature of the business changed as the supply of factory seconds and closeouts started drying up.
In 1993, the business went in a different direction as the famous dance shoe manufacturer Capezio abruptly closed stores in Cambridge and Boston. My customers asked me to carry the line, so I gave Capezio a $3,000 order which I thought was exhorbitant at the time. In the early 2000's, I was giving them $30,000 orders. Once Capezio was part of our store's product mix, other major companies like Bloch, Motionwear, Sansha and So Danca joined our list of vendors. So the saga of a destination specialty retailer began. Development of our website and social media feeds ensued. Partnerships with the dance community and relationships serving the greater Boston area continue today.
My father was a kind, hard-working man who was devoted to his family. He loved to travel, play golf and cards in his free time and was a life-long Red Sox fan. So now my father's long, successful and wonderful life has seen its end. The lessons I have learned, the opportunities I have had and the memories I cherish are things I will always remember. Today I pay tribute to my father Teddy and his amazing legacy!
Your loving son,
Steven H. Adelson