Photo by Michael Taylor
Michael D. Srokowski is the owner and third generation of Wilson Paint & Wallpaper Center Inc. His grandfather, Vincent started the business in 1950, where it grew and has continued to thrive to this very day. Michael's father, Michael S. Srokowski rejoined his father's painting business after graduating from college. From that point on, Michael S. became a main fixture in Windsor, joining various community programs and a staple at town meetings. He became president for the Chamber of Commerce from 1966-1967. In later years he would be contracted to paint the Chamber when they relocated to Broad St. As Michael's business and name grew, so did the interest in one of his four children, Michael D, who did small jobs in the store at a young age. He went along with his dad to various project sites "With crews," Michael says. "They always worked in crews."
When walking inside Wilson Paint, you will be personally greeted by Michael D. Srokowski himself. That's probably why this place has endured with six-plus decades and three generations. Things have changed though. Michael saw a change in the retail market in more recent years that made him come to a decision that would both be financially beneficial and keep the business opened. He changed the clientel of Wilson Paint. They now work with contractors exclusively, which is better in the long run. Many small shops in this line of work have gone out of business due to the interest of big box stores with the many departments that serve home owners. Michael has been determined to stay faithful to the family's business. "I've been brought up in it. It's the only job I've had all my life," he says. At one time there were as many as a hundred and fifty workers. Those numbers are now five, which he is content with. Michael has done plenty of contractual work here in Windsor, and for various schools in surrounding towns. How does he get business since the change from retail? It's the old-fashioned way. "Word of mouth," Michael says.
A life-long Windsor resident, Michael attended Roger Wolcott School, L.P. Wilson, and graduated from Windsor High in 1972. He is married and has two sons. Michael's favorite hobby is golf. He's been playing since he was twelve years old. As for the family business and retirement? Michael says, "I have no clue and I haven't even been thinking about it." No other family member has expressed interest taking it over in future years. But, the idea of somebody else loving the business as much as him, his father, and grandfather is not out of the question. They should be about small business, not corporate. "We need more small businesses like mine to be supported."
Words that best describe Michael: Knowledge, Time, Experience
Wilson Paint is located at 360 Wind