50th anniversary celebrates mother's legacy, customer service

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - A Wichita Falls family-owned business celebrated its 50th anniversary on Saturday.

"It's just been in my life since I can remember," Megan Ermis the co-owner of The Browse Shop said. "It's a legacy for my mom so we're trying to keep that going."

Ermis and her brother took over the business from their mother, Marlene Marshall Ermis, after she passed away last January from ALS, known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Ermis' mother started working at the shop in 1974 and she bought the store in 2005. Ermis at 15 started to work alongside her mother. She said it was her favorite thing to do.

"My brothers would sometimes come out and help us," Ermis said. "Being together as a family was really nice.

As the disease worsened, Ermis said it was harder for her mother to work from the store but it never stopped her from running it.

"It's funny because even when she was in a wheelchair she wanted to come up here," Ermis said. "She wanted to come up here almost every day. She wanted to see the customers and she did up until she could no longer do that. She would boss me around from her home."

Ermis said she learned all about customer service from her mother.

"She loved visiting with the customers and meeting their needs and getting them what they wanted," Ermis said. "The one on one reaction with the customers was her favorite thing."

Many customers said the love and care the staff shows them is why they have been loyal for all these years.

"They know you and they know what you like and they'll special order things if you want them," Dr. Bruce Palmer said. "Also, there's a friendly face when you walk in the door."

Dr. Palmer said he has been shopping at the store since his father first took him to buy a pair of boots when he was a child. He now takes his son to buy clothes as well.

Ermis said shoppers come from all over for the customer service and the prices.

"I've had customers come from out of state," Ermis said. "Every time they're in town they come and visit us. I've had customers out of the country come and visit us so it's pretty neat. We get all different kinds of cultures."

To thank their customers for their loyalty Ermis said there will be specials all week long at the store. On Saturday, they were giving customers free barbecue sandwiches.

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