Michael Guy "Mickey" Rosmarin passed away suddenly of cardiac arrest, at his home in Houston, Texas on Friday, June 17, at the age of 63. Mickey was the founder and owner of the store Tootsies in Houston, with additional stores in Dallas, Atlanta and San Antonio.
At the age 13, Mickey took his Bar Mitzvah money to buy recycled jeans and quilts to sell at area flea markets. Ever the entrepreneur, he began silk screening Rock and Roll handbills and T-shirts to sell to local head shops in the mid-60's. As his business flourished, Mickey opened his own shop, Shiddy Shirts, in a wonderful rambling old building in Old Market Square all while still attending Bellaire High school.
Mickey opened his first retail space, Honest Threads in Montrose at the age of 17, selling vintage clothing. Just after graduating from high school, he closed Honest Threads and opened Tootsies in the same location. In addition to the vintage wear, Tootsies also carried more glamorous fashion in keeping with the disco era and soon became the center of Houston's burgeoning young fashion scene.
He later moved Tootsies to Westheimer in the Galleria area of Houston, and it was a hit. As Tootsies expanded, the merchandise became more exclusive. By the late 70s, Tootsies became the first store in town to carry edgy European imports, selected by Mickey on his trips aboard. In 1985, Mickey expanded his storefront to 15,000 square feet in Highland Village Shopping Center, solidifying Tootsies as a pioneer in specialty store retailing, with carefully curated merchandise ranging from European and American designers to contemporary collections, jewelry, shoes and accessories. Mickey experienced continued success in the industry, and in 2011 he opened his most magnificent store to date, at the corner of Westheimer and Kirby. The 35,000 square-foot store is the mainstay in West Ave, and Tootsies is host to countless charity fundraisers and trunk shows.
For over 40 years, Mickey tirelessly supported the Houston community through generous financial contributions and by hosting innumerable philanthropic events in the store. His commitment to community service, his dynamic personality, along with his passion for retail and merchandising, contributed to Tootsies' success.
Mickey loved his life, Tootsies and his associates, life-long friends, new friends and family. His legacy and vision for Tootsies will continue.