PROVIDENCE (WPRI) – A few weeks ago, Guido Silvestri got an offer he simply couldn’t pass up.
As the owner of a local skate shop facing an unknown future, Silvestri was approached by Vans, a major shoe company, interested in starting the “Foot The Bill” initiative. It’s main goal is to keep small businesses alive during the coronavirus pandemic.
He was instantly hooked.
“They are allowing customers from all over the world to customize shoes of their hometown shop,” the native Rhode Islander explained.
“And the net proceeds go directly to the (local) shop.”
We Are Civil was founded in 2006 and by the summer of 2007 Silvestri opened his first store in East Greenwich. Over the past 15 years, he’s added two more locations in Providence and Westerly and has created a great relationship with Vans selling their products at his stores. He’s grateful for their support as a big bigness helping a small business during this crisis.
“For us, it’s taken off like wildfire,” he said. “The best thing is seeing people’s custom designs.”
“Not only are people doing something great by supporting a local business but they’re also getting something special in return.”
With continued success of the initiative, Silvestri plans on doing his best to retain 100 percent of his staff.