24 years ago, I walked into a shop on Jermyn Street and the young, debonair, good looking shop manager who served me was the best I’d ever come across in a Menswear store. He wasn’t available so I hired Howard instead. Joking aside, I hired him on the spot and he opened the shop with me on the 19th April 1997.
Last week Howard and I sat down and decided that now was the time to call it a day. It’s a bit of Covid, a bit of Howard feeling he was over his daily commute from Luton and a bit of me getting overwhelmed by Grenson. Somehow it just seemed like the right time. Funnily enough it doesn’t feel that sad as we have so many lovely memories.
A word about Howard. In many ways Howard IS the Tim Little store. He is the reason we have been here that long, and he is the reason that the customers kept coming for 24 years. Howard is a special and truly lovely person and will always be my friend. We plan to sit in a bar together for many years reminiscing about the times we had.
As for you, our customers, we are so very grateful. We genuinely talk about how lovely our customers are and we can’t believe that we haven’t had more grief from you over the years. You have been incredibly loyal, and you will be the thing we miss the most.
A few practical things:
Bespoke customers can still get their shoes made at the Grenson factory by contacting email@example.com and we will send your lasts there to be stored. Of course, the lasts are owned by you so you can always pick them up instead if you want them.
Any outstanding repairs will be dealt with by Grenson and sent to you or you can enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org So that’s it for now, literally any question you have can be sent to email@example.com and I promise it will be dealt with, and I will see every single email.
Finally, you probably know that we became known for our windows over the years (ask a cabbie they know them all), well here are three of our favourites and I’m afraid you’ll just have to imagine them blown up and art directed across the whole window.
“There is an old story about a man whose wife had run off with his Chauffeur, his Son was a drug addict, and his Daughter was a convicted criminal. So, he always wore shoes that were a size too small for his feet, because taking them off at night was the only pleasure he had left in life.”
There is an old Army saying that goes “always spend good money on your shoes and your bed, because if you’re not in one, you’re in the other.”
3. The Pope was walking through the streets of Dublin flanked by the throbbing crowds when the heel fell off his shoe. He noticed a Protestant shoe repair shop, and he went in, slightly apprehensive. He explained his predicament and said he understood if they didn’t want to mend it for him on account of their Religion. But they were very polite and fixed it for him on the spot. As he walked out, he was heard to say, “that demonstrates the incredible power and warmth of Human nature” and he carried on up the street. The next morning the shoe repairers had put a big sign in the window saying, “COBBLERS TO THE POPE”.
Thank you and good night.
Tim and Howard