Gee - where to start. I started out selling Gold and Diamonds for my Auntie Paula when I was just 18. I worked for Jewelco of Ohio and we were located in a White Front store in El Segundo, CA. That was a million years ago!
I did alot of other things along the way but always came back to the jewelry. I got to SinCity in 1985. I didn't know one single person, didn't have a job or a place to live. My daughter was 15 then and we had 2 cats that we smuggled into the old Continental Hotel on Tropicana. My daughter thought we should live in a hotel forever. Well we only had $200 and a credit card so that wasn't going to happen even at $10 a night.
I found 3 part time jobs the first week and rented our 1st apartment with a credit card. This tottally dumbfounded me - getting an apartment with a credit card! Only in Vegas. Back then you could actually go to the grocery store - charge your groceries and get a roll of quarters to boot - remember this is 1985.
I brought with me to Vegas something stupid like 1,000 pieces of McCoy pottery that I had collected for many years. Every Sunday I would get up at the crack of dawn and sell those suckers at the flea market. I saved all the money every Sunday and within a year had the down-payment on my first house! That could never have happened if I had stayed in New Hampshire.
One of the company's I worked for part time was Pakula Jewelry Company. I serviced all the K-Mart stores in District 11 which eventually included Kingman, Bullhead and Lake Havasu City, AZ. Stupid cheap pay but I had a plan. I was going to jewelry college on them. I learned low end + high volume. Boy did I learn it. I worked for Pakula for 5 years. I knew I wanted to break into the hotel business with my own line. When the Excalibur Hotel was opening up I had the opportunity to work for SRI Enterprises out of Orlando, Florida. Another stupid cheap paying job. This was my foot into the doors of the hotels so it was worth it.
The opening of the Excalibur Hotel was an exciting time here in Vegas. Things were changing and changing fast. SRI was a Florida based company that serviced theme parks nationwide. The variety of their product was just not right for the fashion savy Vegas crowd. One day the director of retail at the Excalibur hotel (Robert Patrick) approached me and told me how much he (management) appreciated my work for SRI and they wanted me to start my own jewelry company. I thought the guy was a lunatic! Me? I didn't think I was quite there yet and had no money whatsoever. It was a huge boost to know that someone of that level had noticed my efforts and had that much confidence in me that eventually it did happen. I borrowed $50,000 against those danged credit cards and was off and running. I had a very successful 13 year run in the hotel going on to many other hotels. Luxor, Treasure Island, Mirage, Harrah's, Golden Nugget just to name a few. Over the 13 years I was on the strip my company generated over $15,000.000.00 in retail sales for 7 hotels. Sure wish I got to keep all that moula..
Creating the Luxor Hotel line.
I knew a full year ahead of time when the Luxor was going to come on board for Circus Corporation. This was the best time I ever had creating a line exclusively for a hotel...I was afforded the opportunity to travel to London and to travel extensively thruout Egypt. I even met Prince Charles one on one in Cairo! (another great story) I spent endless hours with my BFF Kathy scouring the bowels of dark and mysterious places in Providence, RI unearthing hidden treasures from egyptian revival periods of days gone by. My heart is still captured by the mystique of the egyptian period and mythology. You'll see alot of egyptian themed items here in the days and weeks to come.
So now I'm retired - Sure
LOL - what a misnomer that is - retired - don't we worker harder than we ever did before? I am planning to leave Las Vegas. Waaay too many people here now for me. Too much smog, traffic and getting too expensive. I just keep trying to clean out the garage. Thought I could get it done in a year but once you get in there - whoa - 22 years in one place is alot of stuff. . Don't think I'll disappear entirely but move out of the metropolitan area anyway. Clear sky's, peace and quite. I want to travel before I drop dead as well..
And that's my story. Oh there's lot's more but I'm tired now..