The Smart Shop

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The Smart Shop was a busy part of downtown Huntington for
 more than 60 years. Opened in 1922, it closed in 1986.

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HUNTINGTON ó The Great Depression changed the lives of many people.
 One of those was Simon Mazo. As a young man, Mazo wanted to be a
lawyer but instead had to go to work to help his family. After high
 school, he went to work at the Huntington Dry Goods Co.
(later renamed the Huntington Store) and spent four
years there learning the basics of retailing.

In 1922, Simonís oldest sister, Gertrude, and her husband, Paul Kirsh,
had opened a tiny womenís clothing store, The Smart Shop,
 at 804 4th Ave. In 1935, Mazo joined the store.

When the 1937 flood wiped out a variety store on 4th Avenue at 9th Street,
 it provided the Smart Shop an opportunity to move to a bigger location.
In the late 1940s, Mazo became a partner in the store. The Smart
 Shop kept expanding and in 1951 added an entrance on 9th
 Street. After Paul Kirsh died, Mazo bought
 full ownership of the store.

ďIn staying at the store Iíve been fortunate because Iíve
loved the business,Ē Mazo said in a 1973 interview
 with the Sunday Herald-Advertiser.

When the Kirshes opened their original store, they had one
 employee. She sold merchandise, did alterations and
helped with the books. By the late 1950s, the
 Smart Shop had 40 employees on the payroll.

The building that housed the Smart Shop once housed several
other businesses, including Lawrence Drugs, Metheny
 Shoe Repair, Seaboard Loans, Barta Photography
 and the Hobby Sport Shop.

In 1975, the Smart Shop leased the entire building and expanded into the
 spaces previously occupied by Lawrence Drugs and Metheny Shoe
Repair, using the additional square footage to open a new
young womenís shop. For a number of years, the
store operated a Teen Fashion Board in
conjunction with Seventeen magazine.

The Smart Shop closed in 1986

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Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Apr. 20, 2021.

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