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How did you "end up" in your career? - Page 2

post #16 of 68
Thread Starter 
JCusey, I hope to visit Texas sometime in the not-too-distant future Maybe I'll like it enough to live there. The only thing I'm afraid of is the summertime high temperature...if you don't count poisonous snakes.
post #17 of 68
Quote:
JCusey, I hope to visit Texas sometime in the not-too-distant future Maybe I'll like it enough to live there. The only thing I'm afraid of is the summertime high temperature...if you don't count poisonous snakes.
I've never seen a poisonous snake down here. As for the temperature, it's not that much hotter in Texas than it is in the rest of the country. The difference is that temperatures stay high for a greater portion of the year. You'll get occasional 90 degree days in March or October. Of course, the tradeoff is that there's very little snow (at least in Houston; Dallas gets ice storms every now and then) and the winters are frequently beautiful.
post #18 of 68
Thread Starter 
I doubt I'll miss the snow. Overall which city(or cities) in Texas would you say best fit my desires?
post #19 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
...Austin in the late '90s did have an Icarus-flying-too-close-to-the-sun vibe about it.
Iron Maiden's Flight of Icarus is a great song.
post #20 of 68
Banks what ever you do, Don't go into the clothing business just because you like clothes. Who really wants to pay retail anyway. I grew up in my Family's Army-Navy store in Phila. I sold lots of Bell bottoms and carpenter pants as a teen. My idea of high style was a plaid western shirt, levis, and Frye boots. My father has great taste in clothes. In college I started wearing his cast off custom made shirts. I wore a couple of his French tailor made suits untill my shoulders grew too wide. I wish I could wear his John Lobb shoes. I moved to NYC after getting a degree in Marketing from GWU. I worked Briefly for Barneys when they were downtown. Fred Pressman was a true merchant. His son's are idiots. You know what they say about the third generation in a family business. I hope the same does not hold true for my sister who is now running the Army-navy store. I worked for a year for Hertling industries. I ran the special order dept. It was a huge Brooklyn based clothing factory. They made natural shoulder clothing for everybody. They even made Alan Flusser's first collection. I then spent a year working for Roger Laviale. They were a woolen house that supplied fabric to the tailors. This is before the Italians set up their own agents. I then opened up a cutom clothing business. I eventually stopped making suits and stuck to shirts and fabric. I do enjoy what I do. There is a great satisfaction in making well fitting clothes for people. I have some great customers. a couple of my best friends started as customers. I make shirts for other designers as well. I have a lot of fun making clothes for Movies and Broadway shows. I just got a job to make 96 "puffy shirts" for Les misarables. Thats the stuff that makes good dinner conversation. Most of my business is making shirts for men and woman that just can't find what they want that fits. There are lots of egos involved as well. Sometimes customers don't know what they really want. The worst part is finding out that old customers leave you for the next touted clothier. Who do nothing but charge more for the same product. My business thrives on loyalty and recommendations. To you young guys: get an education. The clothing industry is very competitve. (what business isn't?) Customers are fickle. Wholesale customers don't always pay on time. net 60 sometimes becomes net never. The hardest part of the industry is getting started. You need patience and deep pockets.
post #21 of 68
Quote:
I doubt I'll miss the snow. Overall which city(or cities) in Texas would you say best fit my desires?
Well, the cost of living is probably lower in Houston than in any of the other of the Big 4 cities (Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio), there are plenty of nice places to live, and the summers are more temperate than the others. However, most newcomers are taken aback by the humidity, the flatness of the land, and the fact that the lack of zoning means that you can go from nice to seedy in two blocks. I love living in Houston, but I can see how others might not. I think that most Northerners would feel most at home in Austin. It's hotter in the summer and drier in the winter than Houston, but the much lower humidity makes it much more bearable. Because of the University of Texas and the tech boom in the '90s, there are lots of youger people there, and it sometimes lives up to its reputation as a hip and happening place. The job market has been tough there for a couple of years, but I hear that things are picking up. San Antonio is a wonderful city with a climate very much like Austin. It seems like a much older city than Austin, and I don't think that that's a bad thing. Depending on what you want to do, San Antonio might be a tough job market, though. The Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex is, to me, the very definition of suburban sprawl. I lived for one summer in Plano and one summer in McKinney, and it was subdivisions as far as the eye could see. Undoubtedly, Dallas proper would have a different atmosphere. On the plus side, Dallas has a vibrant and diverse economy, so there are a lot of opportunities to do a lot of different things. There is, of course, more to Texas than the big cities, but I wouldn't recommend someplace like Brenham or Fredericksburg (both of which are wonderful) unless you're drawn to small town life.
post #22 of 68
Thread Starter 
Thanks fellows.  Thoughts on Portland(OR) and its surroundings?  Also northern California, SoCal, northern Florida, Tampa/Clearwater/St Petersburg, Washington (state), West Palm Beach?
post #23 of 68
Logan: I'd like to point out that corruption, cronyism, and the herd mentality are hardly limited to unions and their management. I offer Enron, Tyco, and all the other scandals within the Billionaire Boys Club that is upper-level corporate management in America (or for that matter the rest of the world)... I'll stop my rant now to avoid hijacking the thread (although this one seems to be meandering quite a bit and probably belongs in a different Forum). I second previous posts that you should choose what you love and hopefully the money will follow. I'm hoping it's still following me, and I wish it would catch up soon. Shirtmaven also has an excellent point about retail being a tough business. Especially for those who are outsiders trying to do things in new, different ways. Retail people from my perception are real heel draggers when it comes to innovation. Only industry I can think of that might be "worse" is publishing. Guess who decided to try his hand in both at the SAME TIME???
post #24 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'll stop my rant now to avoid hijacking the thread (although this one seems to be meandering quite a bit and probably belongs in a different Forum).
Sorry 'bout that Steve...I just thought that it would be best to post this in Men's Clothing since this seems to be the most popular section of the forum.
Quote:
I second previous posts that you should choose what you love and hopefully the money will follow. I'm hoping it's still following me, and I wish it would catch up soon.
Only one problem...I don't yet know what I want to do.  But as many of you have indicated, it may take a couple jobs before I settle on one which I really like.  I have developed a list of possibilities, though.
Quote:
Shirtmaven also has an excellent point about retail being a tough business. Especially for those who are outsiders trying to do things in new, different ways. Retail people from my perception are real heel draggers when it comes to innovation.
As Shirtmaven said, customers can be fickle, and realistically, how many of us on this forum can afford to drop $3000 on a suit or $1000 on a pair of shoes?  Many among us have Kiton, Oxxford, Brioni and Attolini suits, but can truly afford them only at a steep discount.  Every person(even the ultra-wealthy) is looking for a bargain.
post #25 of 68
Steve, I certainly won't defend the criminals at the tops of Enron and Tyco. I'd also like to point out that many of those guys got Ivy League MBAs before they went on their greedy, fraudulant rampages. The graduate schools certainly didn't teach them much about ethics and morality. I say lock 'em up and throw away the key.
post #26 of 68
Quote:
seems like communism on a small-scale basis
Well, it's closer to socialism, really, but no less evil in its disrespect and control over an individual's sovereignty and dignity.
post #27 of 68
Banks: The thread's fine where it is. No worries. It may sound hackneyed, but follow your heart...
post #28 of 68
Thread Starter 
Hackneyed or not, you're probably right, Steve - thanks.
post #29 of 68
OK Steve, your going to have to qualify that statement about retailers. You have been to our stores - what innovation are we missing? Frankly, all 'new way' concepts I see any more are all about getting customers to help themselves as opposed to being served by knowledgeable salespeople. I'll admit that a family operation like ours is far behind the big budget stores when it comes to display concepts(usually paid for by vendor), advertising ( usually paid for by vendor), decor ( usually paid for by vendor), but not when it comes to information on product and service to customer and attention to details. All these things don't need any innovation - they were perfected long ago. You just have to practise them. I will happily be behind the times AFA technology goes as long as our people treat customers as well as they can. BTW, if you find yourself down here again any time soon, call and come see our new shop. Ten times better than before..
post #30 of 68
RIDER: I agree. But I think your store is the exception, not the rule. You're ahead of the curve on inventory size and selection, use of the Internet, and great customer service. I think spec stores as a rule consistently outrank dept stores and even company owned boutiques in the service category, but I'd compare your service favorably to anyone's. I'd love to stop by some time- if it's 10 times better than it was before, it must be noteworthy indeed.
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