A daughter shares her vivid memories of her mom,
who made a lasting impression in her 65 years as a store owner
By Bill Gelman
Ava Atzram remembers taking a trip to Jamaica several years ago, and running into a fellow South Philadelphia resident. What did they talk about? Her mom, Edith Weinstein, fondly known as Edie.
“I bought all of my daughter’s clothes from your mom’s store,” Atzram recalled the stranger saying.
The store she is talking about is Edie’s Children’s Corner, 200 McKean St. Mom opened it in March 1953. Outfitting infants and toddlers along with students (school uniforms) became a way of life for Weinstein. The children and their parents were more than just another customer — they were considered family and friends.
Ava still cherishes these stories, which provide great memories of the amazing woman she called “Mom.” Sunday will be the first Mother’s Day in which Mom is not around, having passed away in November after living a long and prosperous life.
“This Mother’s Day is going to be very difficult for me,” she said.
In terms of age, that information remains part of the off-the-record conversation. Edie worked well past retirement age, and was still doing the bookkeeping in her final days.
“The girls who worked in the store were like her family, and they felt the same way,” Ava said.
Some of them had been with her for 20 to 30 years, including Pat who retired a few years ago. Terry, meanwhile, continues to uphold the Edie’s traditions including personally fitting the clothing for the children.
There were times when customers came in to purchase clothes, but didn’t have the money to pay for them. Instead of telling them to go away, Edie was one of those store owners who would say, “Don’t worry about it, you will pay for it later.”
Some of those families are still coming in today. One lady recently came in and said “I remember coming in with my grandmother. Now I come in with my niece.”
While Edie may be gone, Ava, who is a social worker, is the owner of Edie’s. We are talking about a corner business that has been in the family for more than 80 years. Prior to it being a clothing boutique, it was Mollie’s Hair Salon, which was owned and operated by Ava’s grandmother, Mollie Gorewitz.
“We feel very emotional about the location,” she said. “It’s very important to keep it going. My mother put her heart and soul into it. I grew up in the business.”
The plans are to keep it going as long as possible, with the store open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Through it all, as a daughter, employee and now owner, Ava picked up valuable life lessons, with her mom providing guidance and advice. Valuing family and friendships was a big part of it.
“One thing I would like to share about my mom’s legacy is that she would tell everyone to be kind to each other and spend time with your loved ones,” Ava said.