About Utah: Utahn's passion becomes his profession for Brooks Brothers

Published: Sunday, March 18 2012 9:00 p.m. MDT

In that visit last September to the Seattle Brooks Brothers, as he stacked his shirts and ties on the counter, he explained to the store manager he was stocking up because there wasn't a store in Salt Lake City, where he lives.

"Well there will be soon," he was told.

John was so thrilled to learn that America's oldest retailer was coming to the City Creek Center that he sent a letter of congratulations to Brooks Brothers management. In it, he mentioned his history with the brand and offered to help with "the launch" in his hometown.

Brooks Brothers wrote back with another idea. How about coming to work for us?

John wasn't looking for a job, but the more he mulled it over the more he warmed to the idea. Especially when the company asked him to run the made-to-measure suit desk?

"Who goes into retail at 55?" he asks.

But he asks it with a smile. Because he said yes.

"I get to introduce the Brooks Brothers brand to my hometown. How great is that?" says John. "Of course my family and friends are having a great time razzing me about my obsession. But I'm used to that. And I don't mind. I can't believe how excited I am about this happening."

Starting Thursday, his passion becomes his profession.

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Lee Benson's About Utah column runs Monday and Friday. Email: benson@desnews.com

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