Rhonda Morrison Carries On The Detroit Family Business, Thriving For Almost Seven Decades
Morrison's vision includes her functioning as kind of a motherly figure, indicating her willingness to bring others together in times of conflict or confusion.
Rhonda Morrison has developed the lessons she picked up from her father as a young woman and is carrying on with the family business. According to the Detroit Free Press, Morrison runs House of Morrison Shoe Repair, which was started by her father, the late Theodore Morrison in 1954. Morrison’s shop is part of the larger Avenue of Fashion, a section of Detroit encompassing the area between Clarita and 7 Mile Road.
As Morrison told the Detroit Free Press, “In this business corridor, we share a vision of being successful, and what we have figured out is that the best way for us all to be successful is to work together.”
Morrison’s vision includes her functioning as kind of a motherly figure, indicating her willingness to bring others together in times of conflict or confusion. Morrison says it comes from how she was raised, “Where there is confusion, I always try to find a solution. And sometimes all you have to do is just give a big ole hug,” Morrison continued, “That is what’s needed sometimes — just shut out all of that conflict and confusion and bring it to a hug. I do that because I was hugged all of my life growing up.”
Sevyn Jones, who owns Skin Bar VII, one of the establishments in the Avenue of Fashion, says that Morrison’s hugs often have the desired effect that Morrison intends for them, telling the Free Press, “Her (Morrison’s) hugs are infectious,” Jones said. “And if there is a problem, once that hug goes down, the problem is solved because the hug came from the Queen Mother.”
Jones, who was instrumental in pushing for the activation of the Avenue of Fashion, told the Free Press in 2022 that she sees Morrison as a mentor in their tight-knit community, “I feel that a lot of time people use the word ‘mentor’ loosely, but the Queen Mother has demonstrated a long-term drive and spirit, along with a reality that hard work is required and that there are no shortcuts.”
Theodore Morrison also remains an important part of the fabric of House of Morrison Shoe Repair, according to his daughter Claudia Helton. Helton told the Free Press, “We talk about dad every day. He taught us that there is nothing too good for the customer and that you always give the customer the ultimate respect, and that concept has carried us through all different lines of life that we have been in.”
Helton added, “We keep all of our ancestors very close to us and we have shared what we have learned, which has helped to create a spirit of community in the Avenue of Fashion.”