Harley Hooper has owned and operated The Suit Club, Inc. and its predecessor, Harley’s Menswear, since 1979. The business has since grown into one of the distinguished and well-known menswear stores in the East Texas area. Harley’s carries top-of-the-line menswear brands and also offers tuxedo sales and rentals. The business outgrew its rental space and relocated in 2006 to a newer, more upscale facility just two blocks away, which not only ensured retention of existing customers, but resulted in a vast improvement in customer exposure and convenience.
Harley’s wife Bridgette has owned and operated her ladies’ ready to wear boutique since August of 1992, and has 23 years of experience in the women’s retail clothing industry in Tyler. Relocating both stores to the same building allowed some consolidation of overhead in accounting and administrative functions, and in the process created a “destination” retail center for men, women, and children of all ages.
“I’ve known John Hart for a long time…perhaps 20 or 25 years now. I’ve had many SBA loans over the years but John always told me that when I was ready to build my commercial real estate – come talk to him and he’d tell me if the project would work or not. He reviewed all of my information and said, ‘we can do this’. From that point forward John was our greatest advocate. He handled everything very, very professionally. After all, a borrower’s greatest fear is the paperwork & red tape. I didn’t have the time or inclination to tackle it. But John helped us. He’s a complete joy to work with and he did a tremendous job. And he works with some great folks over there. Because of my experience with them I have become a walking, talking advertisement for SBA loans.”
—Harley Hooper, owner