When Ron Cohle was in faculty he began serving to Jack Muscalus at his store, Muscalus Furs, on the weekends.
In 1978, Cohle started working at Muscalus Furs full time as a driver making pickups and deliveries. It was the start of a four-decade journey that he calls a “true American dream.” Through the years, he was mentored by Muscalus and taught the fur enterprise. When Muscalus retired, he bought Cohle the enterprise.
“I assumed possession in 1997 having discovered each inch of the enterprise by working for over 42 years from the bottom up,” he mentioned. “I grew up in Harrisburg and Jack employed me contemporary out of college, so my story of pulling on these proverbial bootstraps and attaining success is really an expression of the American dream.”
However he has determined that it’s time to shut the 51-year-old retailer that featured fur collections from world wide.
“To have the ability to discover the choice that we’ve got multi function place is simply exceptional,” he mentioned.
Muscalus Furs opened in a small store on Jonestown Highway in Decrease Paxton Township in 1969. Seven years later, it moved throughout the road to its present location at 4669 Jonestown Highway.
Cohle mentioned he and his spouse have been speaking about closing the shop for a number of years. He mentioned he needed to retire whereas he was nonetheless in good well being, and needs to spend extra time together with his grandchildren and for actions similar to taking part in golf. October via February is usually his busy season, so he started a liquidation sale on the finish of October and, whereas there’s no particular date but, he expects to shut the shop on the finish of February.
Cohle mentioned that the closing just isn’t associated to the COVID-19 pandemic that has put so many retailers out of enterprise. Neither is it as a result of anti-fur motion, which he mentioned has not affected his enterprise through the years. As an alternative, his enterprise has been rising yearly, and he mentioned this season may make this the shop’s greatest yr.
“It’s been phenomenal,” he mentioned. “We had such an enormous response. This may most likely be the perfect yr ever.”
Cohle mentioned there may be nonetheless loads of stock left, together with mink and beaver and quite a lot of equipment ranging from $15 and up, together with strains of scarves, mittens, purses and hats.
Cohle mentioned that the fur enterprise is a distinct segment enterprise and even after greater than 40 years he’s nonetheless studying new issues on a regular basis. And being the proprietor of a enterprise has actually given him the chance to assist quite a few nonprofit organizations from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to Theatre Harrisburg and United Cerebral Palsy, to call a number of.
Whereas Cohle is closing the retail retailer, he solely plans to semi-retire. He’ll proceed to supply the storage, cleansing and restore points of the enterprise. He has a climate-controlled vault for storage at a unique location and he could have pick-up places at boutiques. Extra info on the boutiques shall be introduced at a later time.
The shop employs 4 individuals and there have been a number of long-time staff through the years.
Cohle mentioned what he’ll miss most are the individuals. He mentioned a lot of his prospects are available in for his or her “yearly ritual” to buy on the retailer yr after yr. He mentioned they’re not simply prospects however pals.
“There’s nothing higher than individuals,” he mentioned.
Many individuals are coming in to say farewell.
“It’s so heartwarming having so many individuals coming in and saying goodbye,” he mentioned.
Cohle mentioned that his 42 years on the retailer, from supply driver to proprietor, have “been the best expertise you may think about.”
“It’s a real American Dream,” he mentioned. “That’s what this nation is about. You’re employed onerous. You’re employed for what you get and you’ll obtain your objectives if you happen to put the time in.”
You possibly can observe Daniel Urie on twitter @DanielUrie2018 and you’ll like him on Facebook.