On May 28, just four days after his 64th birthday, Andy Harris passed away in his sleep. Known as a selfless, compassionate and loyal man, Andy was the longtime owner of Harry Harris Shoes. The beloved children’s shoe store was founded almost seven decades ago by Andy’s father Harry at the same location it still exists today on North Canon Drive.
Since Harry Harris Shoes’ founding in 1962, Beverly Hills families have loyally patronized the children’s shoe boutique and pediatricians to this day continue to recommend the store.
“We were very family orientated, so it was something that was probably meant to be,” he said in an interview with the Beverly Hills Historical Society in 2014 in tandem with the City’s centennial. “It was such a pleasure working with my parents.”
From blowing up balloons to visiting with customers, Andy learned early on the essential relationship skills needed to create customers for life. He grew up on Camden Drive. After graduating from Hamilton High School and attaining his Bachelor of Arts, he entered the family business.
Over the years, he watched the small town aesthetics of Beverly Hills shift. Gradually most of the mom and pop stores disappeared, but the essential small town feeling remained.
“Beverly Hills is still a small town,” Andy told the Beverly Hills Historical Society. “It’s not a big touristy corporate type atmosphere like everyone in the world thinks it is.”
Andy worked with various companies to design shoes specifically for the shop with the understanding that after the season had ended, the designers could sell those shoe designs to other merchants to stock.
An active member of the community, Andy often advocated for effective parking measures to ensure the continued success of local businesses.
Family was everything to him, particularly his two children Courtney and Nicholas. In fact, Courtney told the Courier she plans to take over the store.
Andy is survived by his two children, his sister Sue and her family, and many close friends who were like his family.