Schmattas to Shopify, Part 2: 100 Years of Family Retail

by John Grimshaw

By Ezra Firestone | June 11, 2020

Want to know the most popular video I ever posted on my blog?

It wasn’t about Facebook ads, or email marketing, or anything strategic at all for that matter.

It was an interview I did a few years ago with my dad, Jack Firestone, that I called “Schmattas to Shopify”.

Schmattas is a Yiddish word that literally means “rags” but can mean anything that is of low quality…

And in that post, it referred to the clothing that my Great Grandfather, Abraham, would sell on the streets of Europe 100 years ago.

He was the first merchant in what would become a long line of Firestone merchants:

After Abraham, his son Isaac would go on to open three clothing stores in New York City; then my dad spent many years as a merchant at the local flea market in the San Francisco Bay Area; and now here I am, an ecommerce merchant, selling to customers all over the world.

This post, which my dad thought to call Schmattas to Shopify Part II, continues this story, as we talk about how selling products has changed over the last 100 years — and how it’s stayed the same.

At the very least, you’ll get a kick out of our days at the flea markets. I hope you enjoy the video!

Watch the original “Schmattas to Shopify” here.

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