With only a high school diploma and no formal business training, Ray Murphy, after a lot of turndowns from loan officers, managed to borrow $100,000 in 1972 to buy the already well-known Tommy's Men's Shop in North Philadelphia.
Forty years later, that storefront is a neighborhood landmark.
Loyal customers credit Murphy as the reason the shop has been successful enough to celebrate its 40th year at 2917 N. 22d St. But to Murphy, the longevity of his store is a testament to the surrounding area, not his business savvy.
"I've been able to stay in this location for so long mainly due to consistent community support," Murphy, 63, said. "We've had our share of struggles throughout our 40 years, but we still remain. This 22d Street corridor is great for the inner-city community, and I'm proud to be a part of that."