About

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In 1948, John and Ida Ellman opened a shoe store in what is now the heart of Carytown. As the trends in fashion changed throughout the decades so did Ellman’s. John and Ida added clothing and other accessories to their thriving business. A request by many loyal customers resulted in the need for dance shoes and dance apparel – a niche that had yet to be filled in Richmond. More requests by urban cowboys resulted in Ellman’s carrying English and Western riding apparel and boots. John and Ida’s philosophy was to give their customers what they wanted. And so they did. What a unique mix of merchandise! As 1980 approached, John and Ida decided to retire and sell the business. Their most viable candidate was long time customer and friend Jo Anne Wade Draucker. Jo Anne, local actress, dancer and owner of Premiere Costumes, was more than willing to take on this well respected business landmark. Once Jo Anne became the owner of Ellman’s, she realized that the dancewear side of the business had remained consistent over the years – and was still growing. With this in mind, she expanded the dancewear and moved Ellman’s and Premiere Costumes to 3339 West Cary Street. On February 1, 2016, our 68th year in business,  Jo Anne Draucker semi retired and bestowed the great honor of ownership to long time store manager, Rosemary Liberto. Rosemary started working at Ellman’s when she was in high school –  her first job! She continued to work intermittently for over a decade, moved out of state for 15 years and then finally returned in 2001 as store manager. Her ever growing passion and talent in her work at Ellman’s has indubitably led her to her well earned new title as owner. Although we will miss Jo Anne very much, all of us at Ellman’s are overjoyed to have Rosemary as our new owner! We MOVED January 1, 2017 to our NEW location at 19 S Belmont, 2 block east of our previous location on Cary St. Our 6000 square foot store will allow us to expand our inventory even more than before and will allow us to be extensively stocked for dancers of all ages and levels: toddler to senior, beginner to advanced. Ellman’s Dancewear has what you need! Our store has made many interesting changes over the years but John and Ida’s philosophy has continued – keeping our customers happy!

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