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Second Generation Took Me By Surprise

Posted on 08 November 2016

FROM MY SIDE OF THE COUNTER
A message from Paul, owner of Crawford Boys

It first happened about 6 years ago.  Up to that point I had been in the men’s / boys’ clothing business for almost 40 years and it had never once occurred to me to contemplate this scenario.  I rather unprepared for both the concept and my reaction to it.

A woman came into the store……….

“Hi.  I’m sure you wouldn’t remember me.  My son used to get his clothes here when he was younger.  He’s married now and had a child, a son.  I’d like to bring my grandson in.  What size do you start at?”

It took a few seconds for me to comprehend what she had just said.  Then I was totally taken aback with surprise.  Almost speechless.

Second generation?????  What? Did I hear correctly?

In the few seconds that it took me to react I felt absolutely rocked.  Second generation!  Aren’t you supposed to be really old before you see that?  I don’t feel anywhere near old enough to be seeing a new generation of boys shopping at Crawford Boys. This just can’t be right.  And the woman who asked the question did not fit my mind’s eye picture of a grandmother.  Give me a break.  This just can’t be right.

The concept of encountering second generation customers was a psychologically uncomfortable feeling and one which persisted for some time.  Since that first encounter I have met many moms who are now grandmoms, sons who are now fathers.  I eventually overcame my initial discomfort.

I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity of reacquainting myself with customers from years gone by and am honored that so many trust the staff at Crawford Boys to assist them with a new generation of young boys.  I also consider myself most fortunate that after 46 years in this very demanding profession I still feel ‘way too young’ to be working with a new generation.

And fortunate that along with the ‘old guard’ here at Crawford Boys; me, Don & Jan I have been joined by Caitlin, Charlotte and now Iris.  They are amazing young women and are the foundation upon which the future of Crawford Boys rests.

I will do my best not to be surprised if at some point down the road somebody walks into the store to say “You probably don’t remember me but I used to buy my clothes from Crawford Boys.  And so did my dad.” 

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