The biggest thing I'll miss is the everyday interaction of problem-solving and working on creative solutions with Marla! She is the prettier and much smarter person on my left. This has been a big partnership for so many years. You'll laugh, but I may even miss my commute to our warehouse on Denver's Forest Street. It was a time to reflect and strategize before coming to the office.
I'll definitely miss the creative process of developing fabric lines and working with textile resources around the world. We traveled to so many places sourcing goods from Germany, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, France, China, India, ...and to New York City and North Carolina.
Sample books ready for market.
I loved going out to our sample department to look at finished sample books just in from the sample makers!
I will really miss doing sales meetings with the sales team!
I just loved new line showings with our interior design clients! Kathy Greaser, our National Sales Manager, is helping me with the presentation.
It was fun to be "on stage", if only for a short while, to romance our products.
I will definitely miss working with great clients and seeing their super creative projects in the early stages.
And of course, I'll miss the interaction with our employees! Nedzad on the cutting table on the top image would greet and chat with me every morning when I got to work. He would ask me about fabric issues, wines, the economy, politics, and how my Mom was doing.
During the day I loved walking through our custom workrooms to see what interesting orders were being worked on and from what customer.
I can't even tell you how much I'll miss seeing the arrival of new containers of furniture and accessories Marla and I would buy on our trips.
A great joy was showing our grandsons and later, our granddaughters, new fabrics! I cherish this image from years ago!
I've worked with so many incredible sales people over the years! This is a vintage shot of Steve Beard, our fabulous Southern states sales pro, and me at a trade show. Such fun times! I'll miss those special people!
Of course, I'll miss our Wesco Fabrics' incentive trips around the world. We sought to immerse our clients in new and transformative worlds. It was wonderful to interact with clients away from the business. We traveled with them to Bali, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Singapore, Positano, Cannes, Paris, a French chateau in the Vendee, Phuket, Bangkok, Hawaii, a Mexican Riviera cruise, and even San Franciso and the Napa Valley.
Maybe I won't miss the hard parts of running a business and the occasional conflicts and conundrums which keep one up at night. The struggles and difficulties which a small business face are exasperating at times. Yet through everything we persevered, loved the challenges, loved the people, and kept climbing that mountain! I will really miss it!
Thank you for letting me vent and share my feelings. My eyes are moist, but I know you won't judge me for that. Next week part 2.
Images: Dick Gentry