I want to be a buyer! I want to travel the nation and buy beautiful clothing while using other people's money. The dream that began at age seven became a reality years later. The offer came from May-Cohen's in Jacksonville, Florida. I was offered The Forecast Shop which meant that I would be buying designer fashions as well as bridal, coats and suits and furs. I was ecstatic. The most wonderful perk of the job was that my office was right next to Jean Lillian's. As you may remember from Part One of my journey that she was the woman that set me on this path.
Every day was a joy! Flying to New York and sitting in various showrooms seeing all the newest looks was my dream come true. Models paraded in front of me while I decided which options were appropriate for my clientele. Sometimes I carried their wish lists with me and I tried to make them happen. Often I would hurry down to the receiving room in my store and watch the boxes opened, items ticketed and I would bring my treasures to the floor for sale. There were also many special events including fashion shows featuring Yves St. Laurent and Oleg Cassini. Sometimes you lead your life and then life leads you! Life led me to Tampa, Florida, and career wise various management positions in a branch of Federated Department Stores called Burdines.
Some time later my "AHA" moment tapped me on the shoulder. I was called to the store manager's office and presented with a life-changing career opportunity. I just didn't know it at the time. Before I knew it I was situated in an office at the rear of the second floor! My name was on the door! I was the new Human Resource Director of this location. I can hear you saying WHAT??? Where did the dream go?
The next morning a beautiful woman entered my office. She had every materialistic item on her body that a fashionista would covet. I asked how I could assist her. Before I knew it misery poured out of her lips. She was miserable in her job. She was at odds with her manager. Her paycheck was shorted. In just a few minutes I knew her entire life story! I glanced down and thought to myself how could this woman be so miserable when her shoes were the cutest I had ever seen? Associate after associate came thru the door looking great on the outside and unhappy on the inside. At the end of that first day, I closed the door to my office and limped home mentally exhausted.
Wow! All these years I had dedicated my career to the outsides of women! I thought it was about the next dress, the next top or the next handbag that would bring joy. Now I had the realization that if you are not happy in your heart and mind inside no amount of materialism will make that happen on the outside. This unusual career twist taught me an important life lesson. Now I had a new dream. NOW I would travel the nation and teach men and women to dress from the inside out! I would still never be bored! I would still be excited and love every day. Now comes the best part of all! I thought I could finally make a difference in the world by taking clothing to a higher purpose! Stay tuned for Part Three to see how this new dream evolves.