By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — A community shop will be closing its doors after 68 years of providing dance shoes and leotards, costume rentals, wigs, theatrical makeup and more to Dearborn residents.
Lynch’s was started in 1949 by Eleanor Lynch after her children’s home sewn dance costumes became popular during dance class.
“Other moms at the dance studio loved the costumes and wanted to have some made for their children,” Lynch’s Owner Patrick Lynch said. “My grandmother started making the costumes and it started from there. The shop opened later in 1972.”
Patrick grew up at the store and would visit every Saturday helping with the family business before taking over full time in 1977.
Today he is fighting against the market which is controlled by companies like Amazon and online shopping. After receiving an offer to sell the building and have it transformed into automotive offices, Patrick and his wife, Susan Lynch, decided to sell.
Currently, everything in the store is on clearance with some of the 7,000 items up to 50 percent off the retail price. The shop, at 939 Howard, will remain open until mid-June.
“We have to be out of the store by July 1, so we are liquidating our inventory,” Patrick Lynch said. “Merchandise that remain will be donated or put in storage.”
When asked what he will miss the most, Patrick said watching young dancers coming into the store for their first dance shoe fitting.
“I’ll miss seeing the smiles and pain on their faces as we help fit them into their first pair of pointe shoes,” he said. “I am grateful that dance studios trusteed us to provide the best service and shoes to their dancers over all these years.”
He also said watching customers come in year after year to rent their Halloween costumes as something he will miss.
Patrick’s favorite thing about owning the store would be the customers who he interacted with every day.
“The one-on-one time with each customer, helping them with their purchases, has been my favorite part after all these years,” he said. “We built this store on customer service and we will continue to provide that until the final day.”
Once the store is cleaned and closed, Patrick said he plans to take the summer off and do nothing for at least six months. He said a part-time sales job could be in his future, but that he would not own a business again.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])