FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) – If you’re looking for love this Valentine’s Day, a local clothing store might be a better bet than online dating or a bar.
The Shirt Box in Farmington Hills — open since 1981 — is responsible for nine marriages.
Co-owner Ron Elkus, who graduated college with a business degree before he opened the shop, has taken on the role of matchmaker, responsible for hooking up eight couples.
Elkus couldn’t explain to WWJ’s Marie Osborne how he does it.
“I don’t know, I can feel it,” Elkus said. “It’s just something that’s like a sixth sense.”
According to Elkis, and his partner Rod Brown, the men’s clothing store has been a breeding ground of love since day one — and the trend continues today.
“The oldest one is 32 years being married and my most recent is five years,” Elkus said.
That 32-year relationship turned out to be his cousin with a fraternity brother’s sister.
Brown has been responsible for one marriage: introducing employee Diane Starr to a close friend.
“She was walking around the corner with shirts in her hand,” Brown said. “I said ‘Keith, would you be interested in Diane?’ And he said to me, ‘Are you kidding me, she’s single?'”
Starr described the relationship as love at first sight. They dated for six months before he proposed.
“We got engaged in December here in the parking lot and in July we were married,” Starr said.
The reputation for the store as a hub for love has grown, as people call frequently looking for a matchup. BElkus says that it doesn’t work that way.
“Now I get phone calls like, hey I got somebody single in New York,” He said. “I’m like I don’t know anybody in New York!”
Elkus has even taken on the task of hooking up the one that got away.
“One was actually my ex-girlfriend and that was an interesting one,” Elkus said. “I introduced her to a friend when I saw him at the store, and said, you know something? I got someone to fix you up with.”
Elkus takes pride in his stumbled upon talent.
“There is nothing more beautiful than love,” he said.