The Coastal Star

Meet Your Neighbor — Bruce Gimmy: Ocean Ridge/Delray Beach

Meet Your Neighbor — Bruce Gimmy




What have dads (and other guys) found fashionable over the years? The preppy look is always in, one way or another, said Bruce Gimmy, owner of the Trouser Shop on
Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. He, for one, has never been afraid to wear
red, white or plaids and admits to being a long-time preppy himself.

Fancy was in when I took over the store
from Nick Vitale 25 years ago,” he recalls, explaining that fancy, as opposed to plain, is a trade term for slacks with
patterns. “Nick sold tons and I sold a ton.”

“Then,
we went into a sliders stage —
yellow, lime green, orange, royal blue — ice cream colors.” By sliders, he’s
referring to slacks with a waistband that has stainless steel buckles that
slide.

“Now,
we’re back to fancy — Loudmouth slacks and shorts.”

Some
customers just love Loudmouths, big boasters in bright prints, patch and
plaids.

“I’ve
been selling them for about three years. I’m wearing a pair right now. They
were designed as golf pants. They are retro — the “fancy” from years ago, but
bolder. People like them or they don’t like them. The ones that do buy six to
eight pairs.”

Trends
do change over the years, he notes. Right now, khaki and jeans are in big
demand and he’s considering adding more jean lines. “Men aren’t as interested
in sport coats and dressy clothes, but I do have a man-on-the-road, Chuck
Dussmann, who does custom shirts and clothing for those who like to dress up.

“He
also takes care of the guys who are 6-foot-10, with a 38-inch waist and a
48-inch chest.”

When
Gimmy bought his store 25 years ago, fashion was not something he had to learn.
But tailoring? That’s another story.

About
a year into his new business, he met Leo Taub, and learned tailoring from him.
“He was retired, financially secure, and had been a custom tailor who had also
done sample making for women’s wear in Manhattan.

“He
was so happy to find someone who wanted to learn tailoring. He lived in Kings
Point, where there were a dozen retired tailors. If he didn’t know how to do
something, he’d get together with them and come back with an answer.”

Although
Gimmy, who enjoys word play, knows how to sew — he “presses on” and is “no
slacker” when it comes to tailoring — he fits and marks, but leaves the rest to
his employee, Tarsilla Norine. “She’s better at it,” he said.

Gimmy’s
wife, Joanne, is the Trouser Shop’s CFO, and two years ago, their son, Scot,
joined them. “I have this strategy to pass my store on to my son,” Gimmy said.

“Now,
Scot does the front of the store — sunglasses and hats — keeps things straight.
He’s excited that he’s learning the sales part, and I will ease him into the
tailoring aspect.

Scot
and his wife, Heather, have a 2-year-old son, Shane, who eventually may take up
tailoring, too, Gimmy said. “Who knows what 20 years will bring?”


10 Questions



Q. Where did you grow up and go to school? How do you think that has influenced
you?

A.
Suburban Reading, Pa., and Stone Harbor, N.J. I did 11th and 12th grade
at Mercersburg Academy and attended Michigan State University. I became a
preppy who loved the beach.


Q. What other careers have you had; what were the highlights?


A. Dishwasher, busboy, waiter and bartender. These experiences led me to have my own business out of the hospitality
field.


Q. What advice do you have for a young person selecting a career today?
A.
If you are not the college type, there are many trade and technical schools or
apprentice programs for rewarding careers.


Q. What’s your favorite part of the work you do?
A.
Having my “fit specialist” tailoring talents work successfully on challenging
body shapes.


Q. How did you choose to make your home in Ocean Ridge?
A.
Twenty-seven years ago I found a reasonably priced home in a great community by
the sea.


Q. What book are you reading now?
A.
The Digital Photography Book


Q. What music do you listen to when you need inspiration? When you want to relax?
A.
I’m inspired by the musical ministry at the First Presbyterian Church,
Delray Beach.

Pandora.com, George Gershwin, Andre Previn,
Letterman and Duke Ellington.



Q. Have you had mentors in your life? Individuals who have inspired your life decisions?
A.
Many, but foremost my mother and father, Kathryn and Norman. Leo Taub, who
taught me tailoring and patience. Most recently my Stephen Ministry group.


Q. If your life story were made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
A.
Adam West or Gene Hackman


Q. Do you have a favorite quote that inspires your decisions?
A.
The slogan “press on” has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the
human race.



“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full
of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

— Calvin Coolidge












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