'Hard to say goodbye': After 7 decades in the menswear business, Elwood Flynn hangs up his suit
After decades in the menswear business, Elwood Flynn is retiring. (Laura Woodward/CTV Saskatoon)
SASKATOON -- At just 15 years old, during his summer break at Nutana Collegiate, Elwood Flynn began his career in menswear.
Most men were fighting in the Second World War so there was an opening for the then-teenager at the shop.
“I was hired. And this is a true story, I made $12 a week,” Flynn tells CTV News, sitting in front of dress shirts at the store that bears his name.
Flynn bought his first menswear store in 1953.
Since then, he’s dressed thousands of men — including Team Canada hockey players, Harry Belafonte, Red Skelton and BB King.
A signed BB King painting hangs beside the cash register of Flynn’s store.
He says the friendships he’s made in the business are what he’ll miss most.
“There’s nothing like menswear for making long-term friends,” Flynn says.
“My love of the business, meeting people and my relationship with our customers — it makes it hard to say goodbye.”
Flynn says retiring was a difficult decision, but it was the logical move.
The store’s lease ending, combined with Flynn’s knee injury, made it right time for Flynn to hang up his suit.
“I wish I was a little younger and I’d be right back at it,” the 91-year-old says, laughing.
While Elwood Flynn Ltd is closing at the end of May, Flynn’s legacy lives on through his son.
Barry Flynn opened his own menswear store in 1989.
Flynn taught Barry the ins-and-outs of the business, the father-son duo took many business trips together.
But Barry says the most important thing he learned from his dad has to do with character.
“The number one thing is to be nice to everybody. That just pays off time after time, and doesn’t cost you a thing,” Barry says.