Benjamin Lovell’s Curtain Call

Footwear isn’t the only thing on Benjamin Lovell’s mind these days. After 20 years in the retail trenches as owner of Philadelphia-based Benjamin Lovell Shoes, he is heading for the stage. “It seemed to be the right opportunity,” said Lovell, about his decision to pursue a full-time acting career. Next month, Lovell will appear as Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” in Philadelphia.

Though Lovell’s been bitten by the acting bug, he’s not completely turning his back on a business he spent decades building. He has assumed the title of non-executive chairman. Stepping into his shoes is John Holden, who will serve as GMM and company officer. “I have a strong team running the business, and now there are other things I want to try,” Lovell said.

If I were 21 again, I’d …

“Be looking for a career in the shoe business, but would not choose retail. It would be design and product development.”

The talk show I’d most like to be interviewed on:


I’d like to shake the hand of …
“Actress Elaine Page. I just love her work, and she seems to be such a nice person.”

My favorite holiday:
“July 4th. I always read the ‘Declaration of Independence.’ Without sounding overly patriotic, the U.S. has been very kind to me, and July 4th embodies all that I feel.”

When I want to escape from it all, I head to …
“The Pocono Mountains at the Delaware Water Gap to hike a bit of the Appalachian Trail.”

The celebrity I’d like to dine with:
“Stevie Wonder.”

When in the shower, I often sing:

“‘Oh, what a night, late December back in ’63. What a very special time for me.’ It wasn’t — I was only 12, but I like the song.”

Most recent passport stamp:
“London Heathrow, December 2007 — visiting family for Christmas.”

When not shopping at my store, I browse for shoes at …

“Clarks Village Outlet in the U.K. The shoes are very inexpensive.”

I obsess about …

“Details of travel and airplane seats, mostly because I hate flying.”

If I ran a shoe show, I’d …
“Make sure it was in New York and everyone was in the same building. Period.”

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