A Shine & Co began in 1996 as “A Shoeshine & Company,” with Kevin Tuohy as our sole proprietor. He and some friends built a portable shoeshine chair and started marketing to conventioneers who wanted to put something special in their booth. When the dotcom boom hit, our shiners were in huge demand. Simultaneously, there was a big swing music scene revival, and everyone wanted to hire our portable stand and its shining stars. Kevin and Tommy Daly took the helm, becoming expert swing dancers as well as stellar shiners. They recruited more friends who were also interested in the retro themed industry, and together we created a business that would be the best in its class while showcasing the unique people who formed it.
The most important common bond among the original crew members is that we are all recovered alcoholics. Together, we created a place to work and grow as industry leaders and as people. The atmosphere of like-mindedness created support and positivity that none had imagined would be so beneficial for all concerned. Governor Grey Davis actually presented us with an award for “Providing a Joyous Contribution to the Community.”
We opened our first permanent location in 1999 at The Crocker Galleria. Soon after, Rachel Leamy joined Kevin as operations partner. We were so successful that we were asked to open in the Bank of America Center (now 555 California) in 2001. When Kevin answered his country’s call to serve a tour in the Middle East after the tragedy of 9/11, Meghan Scanlon was promoted from Bank of America site manager to full partner . Later that year, we opened in the Russ Building, adding full service shoe repair to all of our shops. Soon thereafter, we began providing the Olympic Club with drop-off and in shop service on their basement level. In October, 2008, we went bi-coastal, adding two new stands in Jet Blue’s terminal 5 at JFK. Most recently, in February, 2009, we brought our Five Star services to 1 Embarcadero Center! At our Embarcadero stand you can also buy high end refurbished shoes for great prices. With the advent of our New York locations (including at Chelsea Market!), we’ve also expanded our event services to the Washington D.C. metro area.