Beck's Shoes on the Move!
By: Erin Beck Maver
I was walking the halls of “Wall Drug” in South Dakota when I got the call that my grandfather, Bill Beck, had passed away at the age of 92.
The Beck Family in 2012 (3rd, 4th and 5th Generations)
My stomach sank and my heart ached at the realization that I’d never hear his voice again. My grandpa was a formidable man and challenged everyone he met to be their best. He was so integral to our family’s story and it felt impossible that we could go on without him. But, he did something important before he left this world: he instilled the best bits of himself into the generations he left behind.
One of his biggest messages was to be your best self. If all else failed and any mistakes were made, you’d know you did the best you could with who you were at the time. The second message: no excuses.
Beck’s started in the 19th year of the 20th century, at the hands of my great-grandfather, Ole P. Beck. He’d come to America from Denmark. It felt quite surreal to be wearing shoes from our modern Beck’s store as I looked up my family surname on the records at Ellis Island. But, there it was in print. And, I saw with my whole heart how hard the journey must’ve been.
I wonder what Ole would think today?
I’m traveling the country and I’m taking my favorite shoes with me. My Ugg slippers walked the sand and grass of the Pacific Coast as I made pancakes for my kids, in and out of our RV and overlooking the Puget Sound.
My Brooks walked the trails of Glacier, Zion and Bryce Canyon, leaving me grateful and proud as I reported back to my online hiking groups that I had no blisters!
My Olukai sandals were immersed in the warm waters of the gulf coast as I soaked up the beauty of the Florida panhandle
Beck’s Shoes was making an imprint! And, I began to think about how many more journeys other shoes from Beck’s had made!
I wonder, since 1919, how many shoes from our family store have trekked this great nation (and beyond!) and given freedom and comfort to their wearers? I imagine the butterfly effect in action: if a butterfly flaps it’s wings the effect could be a hurricane across the world or a breeze on the river as the next Henry David Thoreau decides to find inspiration on a canoe. If we take our shoes a walking, we have unlimited power to bring joy, authenticity and inspiration to every person we meet!
When I was a child I watched with awe as my Dad, Dan Beck, and Uncle, Blaine Beck, led the family to pursue even greater endeavors. They were blessed to have devoted wives who joined the business’s efforts. And, they watched with pride as their own children followed suit.
Blaine and Dan Beck in 1995 (4th Generation)
Today, Beck’s is led by my brother, Adam, and cousin, Julia, which represents the fifth generation of Beck’s Shoes in the United States. And that doesn’t even speak to the generations of Beck’s who worked the shoe making and repair business in Denmark! My brother and cousin, along with many other family members, have continued to cultivate a workplace that serves the public, their employees and our human family at large.
Julia Beck-Gomez and Adam Beck in 2019 (5th Generation and current owners)
The newest project they are heading, #DenverWest,
is aiming to bring our family legacy to even more states and communities!
I think Great-Grandpa Ole would be proud.
I think my Grandpa Bill would be proud.
Without a doubt, I am proud.
Because, Beck’s isn’t just a store. Beck’s Shoes is an inspiration. We should all be inspired to find shoes that fit, find a journey to embark upon and find a way to leave the best bits of ourselves trailing behind us wherever we go. We should all be inspired to put our best foot forward, no excuses.