I slept in this morning, slept right through my workout time, right through Toby’s breakfast time. Why? I was dreaming of my other life when I had a sales company and we did 16 (or more) trade shows a year. The only reason I got up is because I thought I was late for setting up the booths!
I sold costume jewelry for 14 years, had 13 employees and showrooms in San Francisco and Seattle. It was a busy life. I often didn’t get home from the San Francisco showroom until wee hours of the morning. I first worked for a fellow, Steven Bolstad, and we made a great team. Boy do we have the stories! Finally, I bought the business from him.
Over the years I represented many, many jewelry lines but one of my favorite was Gorman Design Group, who used to make ceramic earrings that sold like wildfire! It was funny how I found GDG. I first saw the earrings in a store and loved them instantly. When I asked about them, the shop owner told me where I could find Ray Gorman, the owner. Well I did and he had his stuff in a cardboard box and sold to the shops right out of the box! After I linked up with him and his partner, Penny Bracken, we got super professional with display boards for the jewelry and roller cases to transport them. In my dream, I was putting up the GDG display, from a cardboard box! THE cardboard box!
Ray and Penny and I would get together and brainstorm like crazy people and would come up with new ideas, some that would change the world (of course), but most that would add a new line to GDG. Ray always reminded me of Robin Williams, with his quick mind and fantastic sense of humor. He once visited me in the hospital after I’d had an emergency hysterectomy and he started his humor routine and I had to beg him to stop making me laugh – he was going to split my stiches!
Penny ended up being one of only 7 people who were at my last wedding; on a 48’ trimaran. We all went diving off the Channel Islands (off Los Angeles) for 7 days and came back even better friends, with stories galore!
It’s funny how often I dream of being at a tradeshow, and making a comeback. I sold the company after 14 years of running it, working like a maniac. Yet still the dreams of me and Steven setting up for trade shows in the early days, arguing like an old married couple on what to put where, visit me often.
I could go on and on for pages about those times, but I’ll just end with a photo from back in the day and a posting that Penny recently wrote on her FB page. And then I’ll try to get up enough energy to go do the workout I slept through!
Ray Gorman, may he RIP, and me
at a San Francisco Gift Show.
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