Closing up shop

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 20, 2005

In 1984, Sharon Harris started a floral arrangement business out of her home and later expanded the idea into a bridal shop, after experiencing great success.

Over the years, joined by her husband, Harold Harris Sr., the couple has seen growth beyond measures in Suffolk’s thriving downtown, where they now operate Classy Tuxedos in the Washington Square Mall.

The Harrises downsized the business two years ago to focus on formal wear. Prior to moving to its current location, the business was located on North Main Street.

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Sharon Harris has lost count of the churches she’s decorated,

the bridal parties she’s dressed, or how many corsages she’s arranged. Calls pour in steadily from anxious brides who want to take a peek at the gown and tuxedo selection. While having lunch recently, a woman inquired about a gown for an upcoming formal affair. Business couldn’t be better.

But even though city’s central business district is experiencing another rebirth, Sharon, a member of the Suffolk School Board and retired Army Chief Warrant Officer, believes it’s time to move on. The couple hopes to sell the business by July 1 and focus on retirement.

&uot;We’re old,&uot; Harris laughs. &uot;We’ve enjoyed the business and Suffolk has been good to us. The downtown merchants have been great.&uot;

She added that they plan to spend a lot of time at their second home at Smith Mountain Lake, and remain active in the community.

&uot;We’re just ready to enjoy retirement,&uot; she said.