Educating Barbara part 2

So my 1st job wasn’t exciting to most, but at the time it was very rewarding to me. So I’ll do a summary of the assorted jobs I’ve had since then, with some brief comments on a few. I know I can’t get them all in order or even remember them all but here goes…

After the shoe store I started modeling for an agency in the Philly area, and then became their receptionist p/t and taught some classes at their modeling school… loved all of it! Then we moved to Massachusetts and I missed it painfully.

After getting settled in the new area I needed another p/t job to keep my sanity. Had a few false starts like my 2 wk. stint at Brigham’s ice cream and sandwich shop… stupid looking uniform… stuck with the morning shift because I was new… rude old coots that didn’t tip… other than that it was a dream job! I came home one night and said, ‘The next old fart that snaps his fingers and yells, hey hon, I’m outa there!’ Shockingly that occured the very next day! I took the uniform off and said, ’see ya!’

I got a job with the Limited at a local mall, since I had that Asst. Mgr. experience! haha! I think that lasted about a month. Les Wexman owned them then, don’t know if he’s been deposed since, but his philosophy was, ‘this is your family, this job and my company come first!’ He was the first to actually coin the phrase ‘churn ‘em and burn ‘em’, which meant… get them young and single, burn them out quickly so you don’t have to raise the pay! Truly sick, but Lord he was successful.

I stumbled into the Lord & Taylor at the mall and got a job at the Lancome counter. That was kind of fun. The cosmetic companies really treated their help well back then! We had training seminars at chi chi hotels. They fed us well those days! The freebies were good… but still min. wage and lousy hours for a mom.

Then I got a job selling advertising with a local paper in our area, a shopper more than newspaper, that was flexible enough that I could handle anything that came up with the kids. Dave was never around for Dr.’s visits, or sick days with the kids, so I had to have that flexibility. He handled the sports activities, which was cool with me! The paper was called ‘Action Unlimited’ and it was owned and operated by 2 women… I liked that! They were great people to work with, and I enjoyed being ‘on the road’ most of the time. Freedom!

The 2nd year in MA I opened my own modeling agency. I was 29 years old, and realized that my favorite boss was me. I was lucky to have stayed friends with the owner of the agency in Philly, and she really helped me put the plan together. We found a cool location, met and hired great people, had a lot of fun, never lost money. Wasn’t getting rich but holding my own. We moved to a larger location, still holding our own and growing slightly. Started producing an annual Bridal Fair that made a decent amount of money. And met more great people!

I decided to close the business when the kids needed me more than the business did. They were going through some difficult phases and I really needed to concentrate on them. I continued to do the annual Bridal Fair, and I went back to the paper on a limited basis. It worked out ok.

A few years later, when I felt the kids were doing better, and I was getting antsy, a friend said to me, ‘Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur! You need to reopen the agency.’ I was at first excited about the idea, but it felt like going backwards somehow. Then a few weeks later she told me about this fabulous franchise opportunity I should check out… a Women’s Health Club!

Next: The Health Club That Ate My House! or as I like to think of it… My MBA!

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