(Originally Posted on www.footwearplus.com)
Longtime shoe industry veteran Harry Home, one of the first non-family members to a become vice president at Nordstrom’s, passed away peacefully Sept. 27th. He was 85 years old.
Home began his footwear career at age 15 working in the stockroom at Nordstrom’s in Seattle. Over the ensuing decades, he rose through the chain’s executive ranks, eventually leading its expansion into the Oregon market. In his early 40s, Home launched his own retail concept, Home Shoe Company. The chain specialized in juniors, but carried everything from Keds to Charles Jourdan. It grew to 15 doors located in the Pacific Northwest and was a successful business for 18 years. Home then went on to make his mark in wholesale, manufacturing and retail for such greats as Meier & Frank. He also did design and development for Nordstrom’s private label division. Home was considered a great mentor by his employees and co-workers, inspiring and teaching many who have gone on to become successful leaders in the industry.
“My father had an eye for good patterns that was second to none,” says Scott Home, president of Coolway and Musse & Cloud. “He treated people in an amazing way and was loved by all.” Scott Home says the best lesson his father ever taught him about the shoe business was: “Take care of the ones.” By that, he meant take care of every customer as if that person were the only one you would ever have. Another of his father’s shoe retailing tenets was: “Sell better shoes to the customer cheaper, but not cheaper shoes.” Home’s associates and family were fond of his many “Harry-isms”, as they dubbed the adages. Others included “A green shoe never fits” and “The price is higher than a cat’s back.”
Home’s greatest loves were his family, the shoe industry and the people who worked in it. He is survived by eight children, 36 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
A memorial will be held on Oct. 23 at 1:00 p.m. at Willamette National Cemetery, 11800 SE Mount Scott Blvd., Happy Valley, OR. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to the Two Ten Footwear Foundation (support.twoten.org). —Greg Dutter, Footwear Plus Magazine