My father was an entrepreneur. In the late 60’s he met Jilbere Rasschaert from Belgium, who arrived here in the U.S. to launch a beauty supply company featuring an unheard of product called the Capilustro curling iron. No one was using a curling iron back then, and no one had ever heard of it either.
My father partnered up with Jilbere and put up the money they needed to launch this curling iron. At that time the Capilustro curling iron was for professional hairdressers only. The first irons went into the Kaufmann’s Department Store beauty salons around the Pittsburgh area, but they were soon to expand the product line into ‘home use’ curling irons and opened mall kiosks that were elegant and custom built for the demonstration of these curling irons to the public.
Sales were phenomenal and they couldn’t get the product quick enough from Belgium as they sat in customs for too long and there were too many regulations and complications.
Funny how that same problem exists today in the year 2017.
I managed the kiosk operations at all the tri-state malls for retail sales, and employees until the company got bought out.
The 70’s brought more professional sales experience with the Food Service industry and a local meat packing plant called North Side Packing, owned by a local entrepreneur named Bob Hofmann.
I was a manufacturer’s rep whose territory was Pa., Ohio and W. Virginia…
I have a link to the story which is quite interesting, as eventually this company had a product that McDonalds wanted…. http://old.post-gazette.com/obituaries/20021108hofmannobitp5.asp
To prevent this from getting too lengthy I will not go through my entire history as an entrepreneur and business owner, only to say that from 1983 until 2006 I’ve owned and operated four different businesses, all of which I ‘bootstrapped’ with my own money. The last of which was a mall chain of clothing stores with about 50 employees.
Hubs built the first store, designed it himself and built it out from a white-box, which in mall terms means empty unit.