Sure, Ron Davis has gotten down on bended knee before thousands of women—but he’s only ever proposed to one. As co-owners of Natick’s Shoes to Dye For, he and his wife Lisa have helped outfit countless brides and bridesmaids with comfortable yet chic footwear and accessories, although it’s often him suggesting fingertip- or cathedral-length veils and kitten heels while Lisa takes the lead on the paperwork side of things.
“People have all different types of relationships—it’s really just what works for you,” Ron says about what he’s learned working with couples over the years, including unconventional brides who bring in their grooms for a sneak peek.
The couple’s own Cinderella moment came 27 years ago, when they met at an anniversary party. They soon discovered that each other’s family histories in the shoe industry went back three generations, and they even went shoe shopping during their first date. Ron jokes that he knew Lisa was The One when he found out she was a sample size 6.
Today, with their 17-year-old daughter Mandy helping out at the store, there’s another generation involved, though her twin brother Josh “only stops by when he wants a free lunch,” Ron jokes. Customers are more likely to meet the Davises’ 6-year-old Havanese named Fenway, who, Ron says, “has his own fan club.” And although the industry has changed over the years, he still loves the art of matching just the right shade of champagne to a gown—and carrying on a tradition. “Bridal shoes used to be part of every family shoe business, but it’s really become a competitive, niche market now, and there are fewer and fewer stores like this,” Ron says. “We’re a dying breed, pun intended!”