September 9, 2013
Naked Shoeshiners In NYC?
“We’re not Hooters,” the shoe shining ladies exclaim. Proprietor Kevin White opened the store because he was tired of getting his shoes shined by stony-faced men in “run-down, hole-in-the-wall” shops.
The store is called Star Shine NYC and features pretty, personable, young ladies to shine your shoes, as well as big flat screen TV’s tuned into sports channels.
So, basically it’s every single man’s dream. Plus, a shoeshine.
Kevin White figured the stuffy Wall Street District was desperately in need of “a shoe shine place with some pizzazz.”
What better way to spice up shoe shines than to hire a staff of attractive, sociable, young women in short-shorts and tank tops? Ok, so they’re not naked, but you were intrigued, right?
According to CNN Money, “I’ve definitely heard the comparison to Hooters,” said Star Shine employee Samantha “Sam” Nazario, 23, a self-described feminist and actress who writes horror fiction. “We’re not Hooters. [Star Shine] is well within my comfort zone.”
“The whole business model is based on having females give shoe shines,” said White Senior, 55, who previously worked at an engineering firm in the financial district before opening Star Shine with his 30-year-old son, Kevin White Junior.
Kevin White Senior emphasizes that the womens’ personalities are far more important than how they look. “The number one priority is for them to be very personable and outgoing.” As luck would have it, all of them just happen to be very attractive as well.
According to the White’s, none of their employees were expert shoe shiners when they applied; rather, they just had a personality that was the right fit for the job. They brought in an expert to train them.
How much do the lovely ladies get paid, you might be wondering. There pay wasn’t discussed in CNN’s interview, but surely a decent hourly wage and great tips.
“The bottom line is they have to give a good shoe shine,” said White, who’s also booking private events including corporate affairs and bar mitzvahs.
The father son duo of dapper plan on stepping their business up to the next level by adding a cold drink into the mix, but White warns, “it’s not a bar.”
He continues, “A beer and a shine will cost $10. Customers will be limited to two drinks each, and the shop will still close at 7 p.m. sharp.”
The owner of a well-established competing business around the corner, shrugs Star Shine NYC off as a fad. “For me, no problem, because my customers come for me,” said Mike Shimunoff, owner of the well-established competition.
One of Mike’s customers, attorney Steven Pugliese, said that while he understands the “incentive for a lot of people” to visit Star Shine, he is going to stick with Shimunoff.
“I’ve been coming here for years getting my shoes shined,” said Pugliese. “I’m not going to change and have some girls in hot shorts shine my shoes.”
It may be sort of a novelty in a staunchly corporate area, but something tells me Star Shine NYC isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Image Credit: Thinkstock.com