Tom’s Uniforms: an Alhambra tradition since 1954

From left are Julio Sosa, Ruth Failer, Rivi Shulman, and Armando Cardona.

Tom Shulman was born in Russia. His family left when he was just 5 years old, first to Mexico and then to America where the family settled in Boston. As an adult, Tom wanted to open his own business. He moved to California and opened up a clothing store called Tom’s in Alhambra in 1954.

Originally at 112 E. Main St., Tom’s moved to its current location at the Corner of Chapel and Main Street in 1964. Tom’s wife, Alice, said that at that time there were several clothing stores but few restaurants. Now it is the other way around. Tom began selling clothing for adults and children, but there was stiff competition for children’s clothing from stores like Woodruffs. So Tom focused on adult wear. Later, to set himself apart from the other stores, Tom offered clothes for customers who were “Big and Tall.” As the clothing business moved to malls and then online, Tom looked for a niche market and found it in uniforms.

Located in Alhambra for 67 years, family owned and operated, Tom’s Uniforms is one of the largest uniform stores in the San Gabriel Valley. They maintain a large inventory of police, fire, industrial, medical, and restaurant uniforms. They also carry police, fire, and medical shoes, boots, and accessories. Expert tailoring is provided by two onsite tailors who have both been working for Tom’s for 40 years.

In April 2018, Tom’s owner, Jeffrey Robert Shulman (son of founder Tom Shulman), died. Jeff’s wife, Rivi, now runs the business and is keeping Tom’s Uniforms family owned and operated. Rivi admits that it isn’t easy to fill Jeff’s shoes, but she is determined to succeed.

There are some very large uniform businesses in California and beyond, but Tom’s has built relationships over the years with fire, police, and sheriff departments. They also have contracts for security guard uniforms at such places as JPL, Huntington Hospital, and Huntington museum. Tom’s also serves the medical community with scrubs and lab coats. In addition to custom tailoring, they can provide embroidery and sewing services.

One may never need a uniform, but it is encouraging to see an Alhambra business change and adapt to new circumstances while remaining relevant as an industry standard in a tough business. Tom’s has adapted and changed many times. Tom’s Uniforms is a shining example for any business that wants to reinvent itself to change with the times.

Tom’s is located at 303 E. Main St. Store hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact them at 626-281-5341, or e-mail info@tomsuniforms.com.


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Jan 2022


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