Thursday, October 20, 2022

Reynolds Clothing celebrating 50 years in uptown Denison

Reynolds Clothing is celebrating 50 years of business in Denison this month. Troy Gehlsen says their current location at 1323 Broadway is actually the third since his father started the clothing store. Troy and his brother, Brett, now own and operate the family business. 

“He started small. We got bigger and then we got bigger yet. Where we’re at now is the old JCPenney department store in downtown Denison. And when Dad opened his doors he was the fourth independently-owned men’s clothing store in our two-block downtown and there were four department stores to boot. At one time. And we’re still here,” said Troy Gehlsen. 

“It was kind of our intention with this being our third and, we believe, final destination, 20 years ago we made the conscious effort to get bigger where we’re at and have people come to us. Get to know your customers better that way,” said Brett Gehlsen. 

Troy says he was five years old and Brett was three when their father first prepared to open Reynolds at 45 years old. 

“When my dad was doing the build-out at our very first store my mom would take us up there and it was kind of a construction zone and that’s what I remember. The first line of suits my dad ever bought the sales rep, who is still alive today, sold him our first line of suits in our living room,” said Troy. 

He says their mom was the bookkeeper for more than 40 years. Brett says they eventually started helping out in the store as well. 

“Early middle school age my dad would have us come to work at our location at the corner of 14th and Broadway. We called it the dungeon. We would be downstairs. It was half-lit. We would do the marking of all the merchandise. I always remember my dad yelling down the steps you guys want to take a break? We were like sure and I remember walking out into the bright light just like a vampire. But yeah we’d go over and have lemonade at Johnson-Kehl Drug and then come back and keep marking away,” said Brett. 

They say their father almost sold the store at least once during the 1980s but the plan right now is to continue his legacy for years to come. 

“We plan on being around for a while yet…Oh yeah…Definitely…We’re not close to retirement yet…As much as we’d like to be but…yeah, that’s not happening anytime soon.”

Troy says they expanded things a whole lot since 1972 to now offer men’s and women’s casual, formal, and work wear. 

“One of the best pieces of advice he ever gave us was don’t be afraid to change boys. You’ve got to change with the times. Especially in this business dealing with fashion if you’re not willing to change you’re done. That’s not what we want. We want to keep on moving forward,” said Troy. 

They say being part of events like Thursday night’s Brews and Browse suits them just fine as well because they want to see all of Denison’s local businesses thrive.

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