Years ago Barbara was taking her daughter to a dancewear store in downtown Memphis to get her first pair of pointe shoes. The store must have been busy because the clerk pointed and said “the pointe shoes are over there” Barbara was on her own not realizing at the time that “fitting” someone with the right pointe shoes makes all the difference in the world and….. that she had a knack for it. It’s not inventory, store hours or location, it all about fitting and that’s why today people come from all over this part of the country to get Barbara’s help.
Started at American Way and Perkins as Taffy’s Dancewear in 1977, Barbara and her partner started what would become the top dancewear store in Memphis. After her partner bowed out Barbara moved the store to Park, across from Eastgate Shopping Center. After 5 years there, Barbara knew she was in it for the long haul so she purchased the building they occupy now at Perkins and Quince in 1987.
Over the years Barbara has enjoyed serving dance troupes that come to Memphis from all over the world to perform at the Orpheum, Theater Memphis and other venues in the city but in 1991, she had the thrill of a lifetime. Mikhail Baryshnikov came to Memphis to perform at GPAC and he came to her store. “You know that when he dances, something very special is happening but to meet him face to face was absolutely wonderful” says Barbara about the experience.
But, no less thrilling for her is watching her customers grow up, have their own children and pass down the joy and wonder of the world of dance to them. She has many customers who are 2nd and 3rd generation and even has some that are 4th.
Not surprisingly, Barbara loves this community and loves giving back. They’re big supporters of the Memphis Tigers and of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. When a career spans 40 years, there is so much to write. But better than reading about Barbara, stop in and meet her. You may just be starting a family tradition.