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Furniture Retail Tip #13 From Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90 - Marriage Is A Twosome Business

Furniture World Magazine


Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e at 90)

Many a year ago, on my Remington portable typewriter (Typewriter? What's that?) I'd write comments about my business associate "Bubbila." (Bubbila? What's a Bubbila?)  Well, I'll tell you: "Bubbila" is a cute darling label. In real life her given name is Anita and for short reference she is known as "Bubs" by those who've known her long.

A-n-d come this December, G-d willing, for the almost sixty-seven years of the seventy-four years she's hooked me, she will have been my wife, my kids' mother, a grandmother and great-grandmother.

The reason her hook has been in me for seventy-four years is because she spotted my powerful 106 pounds (at age fifteen) from her third floor apartment window and exclaimed to her mom: "I'm going to marry that boy!" What she didn't know was that at fifteen I thought "girls" were soft boys.

A-n-d down the wedding pike, Bubbila became a first-class salesperson at our family retail store for children's furniture (of my mica designs) and bedding (top custom quality) plus unique, upholstered headboards and correlated bedspreads. The store was a small, three story affair of quality design and customer service.

Bubbila thought that every person that walked in was buying. So she'd politely stick with them for three floor walks. Poor kid. She just didn't know the meaning of  "Thank you. We'll think it over." Result? She had a phenomenal sales record and matching sore feet that had to be soaked regularly.

I also think that the reason this partner was a nifty salesperson was that she also owned a creative arts record. She taught herself chocolate sculpture in which she molded gift boxes made of chocolate filled with chocolate gifts; she created decoupage "paintings" in which she'd cut up five multi-colored, identical prints of colored paper prints, lending depth to a scene and then framed them in wood; and to round out her creative-solo, musical talent she sang in the town's Broadway music productions and on Jewish holidays, in the synagogue choir. She couldn't read music or play an instrument but had a voice that hypnotized audiences.   And when the chorale sang in concert they waited for her amateur voice to hit the right, start-up key for the "professionals" to follow.

Finally, did you know that marriage is a twosome business? Honest, it is. To wit: You bank on one another, check in regularly and expect interest in return.

You create a two partner trust that you can count on.

If you're blessed and pay attention you may have products that you jointly created, developed, marveled at, loved and be loved in return. Naturally, your business is taxing but is tax free regardless of your warm profits.

Find someone you can partner, love and be loved and you'll see your interest grow day in and day out... including weekends and holidays.

A few years ago Bubbila and I visited with ma and pa home furnishing stores across our country and were delighted to meet so many of your Bubbilas who also added their born, retail spirit to your company's success. So why don't you chiefs e-mail me about them and I'll be delighted and privileged to give them a buzz.

Thanks, again, for listening.
Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90
Grandma Bubbila at 90...(today's her birthday)

Got a question? Got a comment? Great!! E-mail: grandpamike-e-e!@furninfo.com

About Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e!)

Retailer, author, columnist, lecturer, composer and lyricist.

Came to US with immigrant parents in 1924 at the age of three.

Graduated high school at 16.

Managed a small bedding retail and manufacturing company at 18 in 1939.

Hired as Assistant to the VP of Purchasing (Sweets Corp. of America... approximately 500 employees) in 1940 at 19.

Drafted into US Army Signal Corp - Communications Personnel Div., Fort Monmouth.Tested and selected for Army Specialized Training Program, Rutgers University. Qualified for O.C.S. - Officer Candidate School and graduated as Second Lieutenant, Inventory/ Personnel Division in 1944 at 23.

Married his sweetheart, Anita, and he gives thanks to the Almighty that they are still sweethearts... after 73 years.

Rejoined Sweets Corp as Director of Personnel in 1945 at 24.

Joined his suddenly widowed sister as President of a small retail/ manufacturing company in 1946. Stayed on for 46 years managing the custom designing of over 20,000 childrens rooms and master bedroom beds.

Attended Hofstra University (evening program), and graduated in 1968 at age 47. Two of his kids followed right along at two other college campuses.

Applied for 30 day temporary columnist opening offered by the Reed Business Newspapers in NC and stayed on for 27 years. His retail columns were distributed everywhere from Brooklyn to Bangladesh, to Belgium to Beijing.

Traveled the US and visited with 3rd/ 4th generation retail owners.

He was admitted to the Writers Hall of Fame for, "Conspicuous Excellence In reports and appraisals of the furniture industry."

Retired from retail management at age 70.

BOOKS: (1) At age 72: published first book "Where's The Green Pea?" vegetable character stories including his original music and CD.

Designed programs for primary and pre-K schools and presented them with his Anita. (2) At age 76: Gee! I Wish I Had A Bedroom All My Own," lectured in middle schools (teenage), with tech info for parents, teachers and students in Home

Science. (3) At age 80: Tzedakah - Caring And Sharing classic book with original music CD and illustrations for high school chorales and drama groups.

At 89 -- published Retail Life: How To Get In, Stay Alive a-n-d Love It! in online and printed version for business schools, industry, and entrepreneurs. Includes how-to educational section for "Wise Women Who Love A Challenge" and "Oldtimer Retailers Who've Missed Some Basic Goodies In Business Promotion. Also provides business professors and career students seeking everyday practical trade experiences and business thinking.

Invited to address Levitz Furniture retail salespersons, Furniture Designer Associate members,

IHFRA sales associations, High Point University students and F.I.T. retailer evening sessions. Also accepted as an ASID associate member.

At 90 plus... is a musical playwright, composer and lyricist with original music and thinking for very young and very old America.

Grandpa Mike-e-e

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