A half-century tradition of shining service in Downtown Seattle

Nordstrom’s shoe shine family keeps feet clean. # k5evening

SEATTLE – For nearly 50 years, customers have been coming to Nordstrom’s flagship store in search of shine and looking for a friend.

“These will look like glass,” shoemaker Brent Perkins told one client as he finished.

“A little treat for your shoes.”

Perkins’ father, Morgan, started this business in the early ’70s.

“There is a shoe shine shop in Nordstrom, and there are no shoemakers,” says Perkins.

Morgan lobbied the store’s management.

“‘Hey, do you want to have fun having a full-time shoe-shine man, the likes of which you’ve never seen?” And they said, “Try it.”

Elder Perkins retired a decade ago, and Brent continues where his father left off.

“And then I started to like it as I got older and I realized the value of the place,” he said.

For as little as five dollars, a pair of shoes will have a new lease for life. New friendships are free.

“It’s a great place for people to come and stop, and we catch up with them, we get to know their families.”

“And how was your day?” he asked a woman who had just jumped on a shoe shine chair.

And the conversation started.

“I have two sisters and a brother…”

The business has changed over the years, attracting more and more female customers looking to change up their footwear, innovate on sneakers and other less formal footwear, and survive the pandemic as business went downhill.

“I feel good,” Perkins said, “I feel really good. People are coming back.”

“It’s always been about people,” explains Perkins.

He ends up with another customer and admires the final product.

“If I make them even more shiny, they’ll catch on fire. They’ll literally explode,” he joked.

Brent Perkins looks forward to another half-century of “shining” and making friends.

“It’s a great place,” he said, “I’m not going anywhere.

RELATED: New store at Pike Place Market features custom-made shoemaking craft

https://www.king5.com/article/entertainment/television/programs/evening/a-half-century-tradition-of-shining-service-in-downtown-seattle/281-07fee614-26c0-401d-8b4a-618e45e0f161 A half-century tradition of shining service in Downtown Seattle

Russell Falcon

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