Inside Elieen’s of Tucson, the owner Eileen Paulus is helping the dozens of customers that fill the store on Oracle Road. It’s something she’s done at the store since she opened in 1974.

This week, she and the team are celebrating their 50th anniversary.

“Im so excited,” Paulus said. “Ive been excited for weeks for this.

She opened the store in the 1970s. It started as a bike shop.

“I had four teenagers at home,” she said. “I just started off by wanting to get tubes, wires and tires for bikes. Somehow, along the way, it became an apparel store.”

But her passion for her career and family ignited long before she opened her store. As a teenager, she left her 15 siblings in Ireland and moved to America. She met her husband in Sacramento before they moved to Tucson together.

“I immigrated here when I was 17 and was a nanny and house keeper to a family of six, she said.

So over the last 50 years, her career represented something more than just a successful clothing store.

“Because I am the American dream, she said. When I look back over my humble beginnings, meeting a great man and raising children and grandchildren, I think your life is planned, you just have to carry it out.

She’ll be at her second store location on Grant Road on Thursday afternoon to celebrate with customers with some cookies and lemonade.