Victoria Bruno, 60, of Franklin Township remembers the day she got a pamphlet and taught herself how to tie a tie for Mickey’s Men’s Store. She was 13 years old, and she was helping her father, Mickey, who she fondly remembers.
“I probably started waiting on people, customers, at the age of 13, and I really liked being in the store,” said Vitoria Bruno. “Some of my favorite times when I was young was during Rain Day.”
During that time of the year, the store would try to clear out items that weren’t selling, putting them in bags and selling them for 50 cents each. But Bruno really loved Rain Day because she made all the profits.
Mickey’s Men’s Store celebrated its 50th anniversary last month. Over the last 12 years, due to the increase in mining, the shop has changed from a suit and tux store to more blue-collar worker. Despite the shift in focus, Bruno said her father is still at the forefront for how the business is run.
“He never let a customer get away, and I’m pretty good at doing that too,” said Victoria Bruno. “He was a super good business man and very well-liked person in the community.”
Some have even called Bruno “Mickey Jr.” because of how she mirrors her father in running the business, and being able to close sales. She is one of four siblings and one of three that went to Waynesburg College. Ironically, when she was still in school, she never thought she would end up working in the shop again.
“No, no I didn’t think [I would come back and work in the shop] when he sent me to school,” said Bruno. “That’s another thing. My dad has four children and he put all four of his kids through school.”
Mickey paid for his children to have an education, and Bruno said that Mickey “would have been a rich man had he not had four kids.”
Up until the day he died, Mickey spent every day in his store, which helped him put four kids through college without debt. He “loved being in the store,” Bruno said.
She is the same way. Bruno is also a long way from retirement. In the past two summers, she has had two knee replacements and still made it to work on days she didn’t have physical therapy.
Even today, customers come in asking how to tie a tie and that little girl from 1968 still knows. Although the fashion has changed, the oldest business in Waynesburg stays in the family.