Originally published on www.AlexandriaGazette.com
Many adults find choosing a great Father’s Day present for their dads perplexing. But for me, I always know what he wants — better quarterly numbers from The Shoe Hive, the boutique we own together in Old Town.
Having my father as a business partner has been a great professional experience but it’s also been fresh glue for our personal relationship. I don’t know many women my age who talk to their dads every single day, with email and text check-ins numerous times in between.
Bringing The Shoe Hive to life in 2003 was initially just a good idea for a hobby for him, a recently-retired corporate executive who was trained as a public accountant. For me, it offered the chance to have a “zero” in my budget for accounting services and gave me a mentor who had forgotten more about business than I would ever know.
As our store grew, my dad became avidly interested in the boutique sector as a whole, dovetailing with our efforts in Old Town to start the Old Town Boutique District in partnership with our sister stores Bellacara, Red Barn Mercantile, and Hysteria. My dad lived in Cincinnati at the time, in a walkable retail neighborhood called Hyde Park. He befriended some of those shop owners and studied what made a store successful.
He’s gone to merchandising shows with me to Las Vegas — maybe the night-time gambling option made it a tad bit more attractive — and he knows more about women’s shoes and fashion than any 70-year-old man in America.
Even now, we consider it a great family outing when on a vacation to go shopping in the independent boutiques. I think those trips have made me appreciate our Old Town visiting shoppers even more – people who are visiting relatives or staying at The Hotel Monaco or The Lorien on business.
And when you think of it, Old Town is the perfect place to buy your own Father’s Day presents.
Our friends at La Cuisine this year are featuring a fabulous leather grilling apron, similar to the ones worn by welders — the perfect mate to their cool grill sets. Red Barn Mercantile is offering a homemade hot sauce kit, giving everyone all the tools they need to make two unique hot sauces at home. Bellacara is featuring some old-school Italian shaving products by Proraso.
The easiest gift for dads in Old Town might be running shoes from Pacers — a great way to tell him you want him to stay fit and healthy for a long time to come.
And if you are using Father’s Day as a catalyst to get closer to your own dad, Hooray for Books has a neat thing called Letters To My Dad: A Paper Time Capsule. It will provide special prompts for you to write letters to your father marking special moments in your relationship — with envelopes included noting when your dad should open them. I think I’ll buy that and send my dad notes about our upcoming sales numbers.