The Stein Mart you may drive past these days is not the Stein Mart of the past.
That Stein Mart was of humble beginnings that clothed much of the Mississippi Delta for little or nothing.
People would travel from Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas to shop at the famed original store in Downtown Greenville.
The famous sales would have people lining streets waiting for the store to open.
I am reminded of these days with the news over the weekend of Freda Stein’s death. She was 96.
Freda and her husband Jake were integral to the success of Greenville from the 1940s until the mid 1980s.
My personal experience with Stein Mart is only as a shopper, but as a college student looking for clothes for a job interview in the mid 1980s, I made the trek to Stein Mart simply because that is what I could afford. It was the first suit I had ever bought on my own.
I don’t remember exactly what I paid for the suit, but I do remember buying a Sax 5th Avenue tie for 50 cents. I was thrilled.
By the way, I got the job.
And the tie lasted another 10 years, until it looked like it was worth 50 cents.