Tuesday, February 28, 2017


While cleaning up my office I came upon a book which belonged to my dad, "How to Become A Super Salesman." It made me think about all the fabulous sales people I have encountered while working at Wesco Fabrics, and I've met quite a few. A great sales person is a rarity indeed, encompassing passion, showmanship, enthusiasm,  persuasion, and great service.
 I'll share a few of these special people beginning with my mother-in-law, Joline Weiss. Boy, could she sell! The image above shows her presenting Wesco Fabrics' latest collection to her husband Harry in the 1950's. She definitely had passion!

Shelly Meltzer, with Swavelle Fabrics, was one of my very favorites of all time! He was an old-school showman who loved to sell his new fabrics as well as wining and dining his clients. He was the best! Enthusiasm & great service!

There was nobody quite like Shep Ross from P. Kaufmann Fabrics! He was a seller with an artful & dramatic flair. I remember an early story when he came to Denver to show us fabrics. Joline didn't want to see him because she didn't want to buy anything that day. Shep told me,..."Well Dick,...I'll just stay in the Wesco Fabrics showroom until I get an order." Two hours later Joline gave in and bought 4 items! Now that is perseverance! Showmanship and persuasion!

Edgar Silberman of Edgar Fabrics could sell anything! If you were an Eskimo, he could sell you ice! What a character.
 George Lichter on the right, from Berkeley Mills, had the sales gift in spades! 
Selling was just in their blood! They had it all: 
Passion, Showmanship, Enthusiasm, and Persuasion!

Bernie Sunshine from ITC Fabrics, was totally polished and had so much style! I loved his Euro-Sateen prints from Holland! Showmanship!

Dan Tully is a multi-line rep out of Dallas. This is a photo in the Anju Fabrics showroom in New York during the jobber market. Dan is a unique sales person and a BIG personality! Persuasion.

Dan's son Matt, shown on the left, inherited his dad's gift for serving his clients. Matt is one of the best! Mukesh, on the right, from Silk Crafts, dazzles when showing his amazing creations he designed in India. It was always a treat to see a line showing of Mukesh's newest fabrics! Passion & showmanship!

Now here are two amazing textile Mavens from Richloom Fabrics. Steve Fanning on the left, is an industry expert calling on top tier clients. Chris Boggs on the right is a super talented sales pro calling on all levels of the industry from large manufacturers, fabrics stores, and wholesalers. These guys have...Passion & persuasion!

I consider multi-line sales pro, Danny Labruzzo, one of the finest in providing TOTAL service! He is totally "on it", from the presentation to deliveries. Very few reps combine his caring sales style! Great service!

Rodney Carr, from Softline Fabrics, is a real seller. He has the rare gift to amp up his sale personality no matter if you were a giant customer or a little one. Rodney definitely has enthusiasm!

Los Angeles based, multi-line salesperson Don Rosenbaum, is a real industry pro with oodles of industry experience! Don is a heck of a persuader!

Ron Kneitel on the left, from Chris Stone & Associates in LA, is a great sales person with a polished style. I always loved working with this company. Showmanship!

Ivan Ludvigson of Ludvig Svennson in Sweden, on the right, was a complete textile maven. He knew what was happening in the industry in New York, Tulsa, Hong Kong, or Denver! He was a non-stop selling dynamo! Our daughter Lisa worked in his textile factory one summer years ago. Enthusiasm & passion! 

Gene Gold of Doral Fabrics was the total sales package. He used to invite his best customers to visit his top mills. I was fortunate to visit Finland & Russia with Gene! Showmanship and passion.

Steve Beard was the real deal when it came to taking good care of his clients! No one has done it better! He is retiring after 51+ years with Wesco Fabrics. Enthusiasm & great service!

I am going to add myself to the mix of these sales pros. I loved being on stage showing our latest creations and telling each fabrics' story. It was one of my very favorite things! Passion.

And yes,...we DID have dancing girls!  Definitely some stylish SHOWMANSHIP! 

Images: Dick Gentry, Wesco Fabrics, Steve Beard


  1. I am honored to be listed and to have had the privilege to know and also
    consider some of these people my friends.

  2. Thanks for commenting Don!

  3. Fond memories of working with you and the family. I am honored to be in your rogue's gallery! - Dan Tully

  4. Dick
    It was great looking at these photos. I appreciate being a part of the presentation. You really captured the fun that these years have provided. Thanks for sharing!
    Matt Tully