Owner Talks Nearly 30 Years of Success For Local Men’s Clothing Shop
Photographer / Lana King
When Tim and Carol Hamann, owners of Male Fashions, walked into the Warsaw store in 2014, they were not expecting to purchase and own the store later that year. Tim was looking for a new job, and Male Fashions seemed to be the perfect opportunity.
A part-owner of businesses before, Tim has always cared about working with people and helping customers. As a manager at Pizza Hut, though, he was looking for more. The hours were not ideal, and while he loved getting to interact with customers, the schedule was taxing on him. When he and Carol heard that Rob Chalfant was looking to sell the store, it just made sense to take it over.
Male Fashions started in the 1970s in Ohio by Kevin Moore. When Moore moved to Indiana in 1992, he brought the business with him, setting up shop in Warsaw. He ran it until 2012, when he sold it to Chalfant, and in 2014, Chalfant sold the business to the Hamanns.
“My wife and I were in the store shopping, and one thing led to another and we ended up buying the store,” Hamann says. “I wasn’t happy with what I was doing, and [Chalfant] said, ‘Let’s get together and talk,’ and that’s how it happened.”
After taking over the store, Hamann got to learn from Moore himself about how to run the business. Moore was looking to come back part-time, so he worked for Hamann for a year, teaching him the ropes.
“It was the perfect situation,” Hamann says “[Moore] was able to share his knowledge and help me basically learn the business. My background was accounting and foodservice.”
The idea of sitting behind a desk all day is not Hamann’s ideal. He much prefers being up and interacting with customers throughout the day, helping them find the best clothing. He and his team have gotten so good at it that they have been recognized as an Elite store.
Most places that rent out tuxedos or suits do not carry the product in store, they order and receive it from a different retailer. About 10 to 15% of the time, stores will have to reship or resize an item for the customer. At Male Fashions, though, they get it right 98.5% of the time. Their margin of error is so low that they are consistently ranked as an Elite store.
Their care for customers goes beyond just ordering the correct tuxedo or suit. Hamann’s favorite part of the job is helping men find what they need.
“It’s really fun for me when a guy comes in, and he’s like, ‘I need help’ and when you do it, they’re happy about it and they thank you for it,” he says. “That’s the biggest motivator. I don’t try and push people. If they don’t need it, I won’t try and sell it to them.”
Offering tuxedo and suit rentals, in addition to casual clothes, coats or shoes, there is something for everybody at Male Fashions. If you are looking for something and they do not carry it, many times, they will try to order it for you. Hamann and his team are there to help make clothes shopping a nice, easy experience for people. There are also online shops for men like Unionbay to where you can find best deals of clothing collections.
“I think the service is number one. When you take care of people, they’re going to remember that and tell people,” Hamann says.
Hamann’s willingness to treat people well reaches far beyond the four walls of Male Fashions. He and Carol try to give back to the community in as many ways as they can.
“Any community event, we’re donating or giving something to because I like to support the community,” Hamann says. “Our downtown is kind of a growing downtown, so everything I do outside is to try and help all of the retail businesses because I think it helps all of us.”
Male Fashions is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. You can give them a call at 574-267-6112, or you can visit them on Facebook and Instagram under Male Fashions Warsaw. Male Fashions is located at 109 E Center Street in Warsaw. For more information, visit them online at malefashionsco.com.