If you’re wearing shoes, the Sole Brothers will shine them. If you don’t have shoes, they’ll give you a pair

OKLAHOMA CITY - He's still learning the trade.

Adrian Grayson or 'Ace', as his friends and family call him, had to sit patiently at his Uncle Odies' feet to find out how to make a towel sing and how to make a pair of shoes shine like brand new.

"A good shine is taking pride in what you do," Odies Gilliam said.

Gilliam himself had to learn how to shine shoes at his own father's feet.

Odies Sr. or 'Bill,' as his friends and family called him, had a shine parlor down the street for more than 30 years.

"He taught us how to shine shoes so we'd have a skill and a trade," Odies said.

So, welcome to Sole Brothers, another, rare, stand alone parlor Odies and Ace had been talking about for years.

"We wanted to keep the legacy going," Gilliam said.

Odies knew Ace had the social skills to hold a conversation. But, he needed to know if his nephew could do the actual job.

Long before the first customers walked in, he had Ace shining old pairs of shoes they had lying around, some from Goodwill, others from the back of the family closet.

"We were saying 'What are we going to do with all these shoes once we're done?'" Gilliam said. "We decided. Let's just give them away."

That's how the Grab-N-Go shelf filled up.

"Anybody that comes in, you see something on that rack you like, you can just pick them up and walk out with them. It just feels good to be able to give something back to the community," Odies said.

The Sole Brothers Shine Parlor opened in late March. They put in a machine for free coffee, a couple of couches for people to hang out, even a snow cone stand if customers wanted something cold.

"The snow cone business is booming," Ace said.

But, word spread about the Grab-N-Go shelf.

People with extra shoes brought them in.

People with no extra shoes picked them up.

"We're getting people every day to donate shoes for the Grab-N-Go because that's exciting to people. You're giving something back instead of taking something in," Odies said.

Odies' dad was famous for never turning away a stranger.

The Sole Brothers welcome is the same whether you have shoes or not.

For more information about Sole Brothers and their Grab-N-Go shelf, click here.

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