Bricker-Tunis Furs prepares for 100th-anniversary celebration.
By Matthew Totsky
Photography by John Sobczak
In 1916, Jacob Bricker opened the doors of Bricker-Tunis Furs in Detroit. Now, nearly 100 years later, his son, Arthur, carries on the proud family tradition in West Bloomfield, as he has for the past 44 years, not only servicing clients who demand the best in quality furs, but also working with many local charities and planning special events for the company’s historic anniversary.
“I’ve been involved in the fur business my entire adult life, and I learned the basics from my father,” Bricker says. “Instead of pursuing my first career choice to become a lawyer, I joined my father’s business — and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
“I’ve met so many wonderful people over the years, including numerous Motown stars, Hollywood actors and actresses, professional athletes, elected officials and professionals from every walk of life. I feel blessed to work in a business that I love, and I appreciate the support from customers that has allowed our business to grow and prosper. I believe we are the oldest retail store in West Bloomfield, and we have our customers to thank for that.”
The holiday season is always a special one for Bricker-Tunis Furs, and this year looks to be especially exciting with its 100th anniversary on the horizon. Still, Bricker realizes that trends and styles in the fur industry are constantly changing, and he and his staff work hard to keep up with this constant evolution.
“In our business, we realize that the changing social agenda has made it necessary to incorporate new looks in fur fashions at price points that reach out to the average buyer. That’s why we travel to places like Europe to bring in the newest fur fashions, ranging from the most elegant formal looks to everyday styles.”
The Fur Experts
After a period of decline in fur sales, expert furriers across the country like Bricker-Tunis Furs are seeing a renewed demand for everyday furs for both men and women. The company’s stylists and fitters are dedicated to assisting clients in the selection of the right fur for any lifestyle and budget.
“When customers walk in our doors, they’re taken care of the old-fashioned way,” Bricker says. “We’ve created an atmosphere here that reflects the products and services we offer. No matter a customer’s budget, they’re always taken care of the same way.”
Additionally, Bricker and his staff pride themselves on offering several unique services aimed to help their customers get the most out of their furs.
“Proper care is key to protecting and extending the life of a fur,” he says. “Cold storage and professional cleaning during the off-season is an essential service we provide. Improper storage — in your basement perhaps — and lack of regular cleaning can result in mildew, dryness of the skins and shedding of your fur. Our state-of-the-art storage vault provides preservation and maximum protection.”
Fur restyling and repair are two other important services Bricker and his staff offer to fur connoisseurs in Metro Detroit.
“If you have an older fur coat that is in good condition but no longer fits or is outdated, our design experts can turn it into a beautiful new design,” Bricker says “We have restyled and repaired hundreds of furs for our clients with outstanding results. What used to be your grandmother’s prized fur can be transformed into something new and contemporary to be enjoyed for years to come.”
If you own furs that are in good condition, but you no longer want them, Bricker-Tunis Furs also offers a trade-in and consignment policy.
“You can apply the value of your current fur to the cost of a brand new fur, saving hundreds, even thousands of dollars,” Bricker says. “Or, if you no longer have a need to own a fur, you can make some extra cash by allowing us to sell it at our consignment boutique.”
Each item in the company’s pre-owned fur selection is inspected by an experienced team to ensure that customers have access to the best products. Additionally, all garments are professionally cleaned, conditioned and glazed prior to purchase.
“We are passionate about furs, and we believe no piece should go to waste,” Bricker says. “We also offer appraisals for clients seeking to insure a fur against loss, theft or damage.”
Commitment To Community
Bricker-Tunis Furs has always believed in supporting local charities and giving back to the community. In honor of its 100th anniversary, it is sponsoring several special events.
On Nov. 18, Bricker-Tunis Furs held a Motown Night with special guest Martha Reeves of Martha and the Vandellas. Every customer who made a purchase received a one-year membership to the Motown Museum, courtesy of Bricker-Tunis Furs. Additionally, a percentage of the night’s sales were donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit.
On Dec. 5, Bricker-Tunis Furs will sponsor and present a fur fashion show for the eighth annual Ronald McDonald House of
Detroit Holiday Tea to be held at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. Later that same day, the store will present a fur fashion show during the Kidney Ball at the Motor City Casino Hotel to help raise funds for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan.
Also, running through Dec. 31, Bricker-Tunis Furs will showcase and hold an auction for a collection of one-of-a-kind furs worn by actresses Linda Evans, Joan Collins and Dihann Carroll on the 1980s hit ABC television show, Dynasty.
During the show’s run the furs were supplied to ABC by Bricker-Tunis Furs and, until very recently, were in cold storage in Hollywood. A percentage of the auction proceeds will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit. NS
6335 Orchard Lake Road #A (in Orchard Mall), West Bloomfield