Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Gucci replaced with a Generic Gown

A more somber side of me today after listening to our President last night, it brought back memories of tons of emotions. As previously mentioned, my last business that I worked myself to near death literally was not only my life but I loved it. Traveling to Italy, two to every four months to buy, will and deal. My business partner Vittorio originally from Conegliano, Treviso, Italy (20 minutes north of Venice) would go more often without me due to his family there and certain items individually needed for his own retail store in Canada. We sold wholesale authentic Italian high-end designer clothing to boutiques and small retailers throughout the country. My partnership with him was only in Florida and me operating the wholesale end in the States. The timing seemed perfect and we took baby steps before plunging ourselves in too deep knowing we both had limited capital for this endeavor. Shipment by shipment imported we would pay and it was sold before it went out on the UPS trucks. Customers started coming out from the woodwork all over the States, consumers were buying Versace sportswear, jeans especially and the many other brands that we were fortunate to get in bunk. Life was getting good and the showroom/warehouse was perfect.

Bam!! The day 9/11 came! Prior to that retail sales were up, Liras were not Euros and the products were flowing through customs with no delays. In August of every year, there were three of us that would go the last week to Jesolo Beach and then start work on the first when all the factories would re-open after holiday. In Italy the whole country takes off work for the month of August to vacation at the beach. As we were rapping up our yearly longest trip, our return date 9/12/01 the world suddenly changed and we were a long way from home without a flight back. That nightmare is another blog!! Not long after our return, the money stopped, our biggest import was held at the Port of Miami. I could have sold that shipment four times over, but until they decided three months later that all was authentic and released it, then it was too late to recover the out of pocket expenses to survive without our products. After that we probably held on too long hoping and praying we would survive the world holding out on spending money, but did not happen. The retailers were selling inventory and not buying, and the customers stopped shopping for high end clothing or buying as much of it. The attitude I guess was “I have enough Armani Suits, Louis Vuitton handbags, and Fendi scarves, etc. I even retired my Vuitton’s after the French acted as they did, I still support the boycott. I’d rather use my Prada or Gucci ones.

Anyway, enough background on that!! During the holdout on the shipment at customs, the doctors claimed I had breast cancer. A close call, but a false MRI and diagnosis, Praise GOD HE gave me another miracle; (edited out) This only added to my Fibromyalgia that I have fought with for about ten years. It took two surgeries back to back within six weeks to put me down for the count.

There is a huge gap between then and now, WOW what a life I live now, but I do have some fun and fascinating stories to tell about traveling all over Italy. Attached is a photo of me on Jesolo Beach that year before my life changed some fewer transatlantic flights for now. The old website of mine is still there, long over due for edits for my friend Vittorio, it seems to be lost in cyberworld. However Vittorio still travels frequently to Italy and buys for his store and occasionally takes orders from the internet.

(removed link)

meaning THE BIG NAMES!! Bye for now, needing to get dressed and out of this generic gown that I lounge around in way too often.

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