Main Streets Make Memories - This one is for Phyllis
This year we have a lot to be thankful for and now more than ever we are grateful for the places and people that provide comfort in our lives.
The holidays are a joyous time, but they can also be bittersweet for many. Whatever you are feeling this season we wish you peace and love. We hope your memories make you smile and we wish you another year full of beautiful memorable moments.
Thank you to our shop owners and community partners for creating these opportunities on our Main Streets. Thank you to our community of shoppers who cherish these people and places. We look forward to providing more ways for you to connect with each other in 2022 and beyond.
Finally, thank you JSM and Anna Mastroianni, Beyond Main merchant and owner of Sole Shoes in Westfield, NJ. Your story warmed our heart and illustrates the magic that is created on Main Streets everywhere.
Our communities connect us in deeply meaningful ways. Thank you for sharing your experience and reminding us to cherish these small moments we often take for granted. Read their story below and share your own with us on social media or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and truly memorable holiday and new year.
Message from Anna at Sole Shoes
Dear Friends: I received this email from a customer yesterday. It moved me so, I asked if I could share it. Privileged to have been a part of this experience and to witness the genuine love of their friendship. Thank you for sharing your story JSM. This is for you Phyllis.
Subject: Yesterday's visit
Yesterday was a special day for me. I returned to Sole, alone, after a very long hiatus. Herein lies the tale. . . .In the past, my friend, Phyllis and I would shop at Sole at least twice a year. We would make a day out of visiting Westfield, going to our familiar shops and restaurants. We’d laugh and chat, spending way beyond our set budget but always enjoying our last stop, Sole. After a day of walking around, we needed to sit down (and try on shoes). At our last visit, Kyle, a much younger salesperson, convinced me that I most definitely needed green booties. To my surprise, they became my “go to” shoe later in life. Time has a way of moving along. I moved away, the pandemic came. Phyllis passed away from brain cancer. Yesterday, I was in Westfield for a visit and even found a parking spot right in front of Sole. “Should I go in?” I thought. After all, I had only shopped Sole with Phyllis and she was no longer next to me. I had bought shoes for special occasions, everyday, spur of the moment, whatever suited my fancy here. How could I return without her? I looked in the windows. I walked past the store. I turned around and walked past again. The door was open. I stepped over the threshold. It was as if Phyllis wanted me to be there. Every shoe, every slipper, every boot caught my eye. The smell of fine leather brought me back to some of the finest, some of the funniest times we had shared in this very place, Sole. I just wanted to stay and try on every beautiful shoe I could see. Alas, I could only find a few that suited my needs. With shopping bag in hand, I turned to leave. It was a bittersweet moment, having to leave Sole. I knew my days with Phyllis were over. However, Sole remains. Throughout the difficult years, Sole has been there and hopefully will remain.I wish you well.