WOW, you visited where? Did you buy a souvenir to remember your visit?
Goldfarb Novelty Co., was a company bought by Josh Rothstein, after Revlon’s owner, Charles Revson, pushed him out of the company that Josh and his two partners built from scratch, and was an artificial flower company where i worked, called Zunino Altman, or ZA. I continued working there after they left, running a Department making flower arrangement. I have written a story about that time called “Politically Correct” and how I helped Jewish families devastated by WWII, that finally came to America to live and work. you’ll find it on my blog called thewhiteknight.org
When Josh and Joe Young settled into their new company, they asked me to leave ZA company and come to work for them, to help bring The F.W. Woolworth Co, over as there customer, and naturally I did ASAP! Because besides being my bosses, they were my friends.
After a while, working there, I was told by Joe Young to go out on my own and I did, by starting Sal Bianco Inc, and the beginning of my adventures. I began travelling to the Orient to design and purchase Artificial flowers to sell to retailers, and the F.W.Woolworth’s was my first. It was at this time that I was asked by Joe Young to travel to CEYLON,INDIA to buy “T”shirts, as Goldfarb was buying their brass bells and accessories from India. I was able to buy “T” shirts for $0.90/dozen, and when I returned, along with Joe Young, we began producing souvenir “T” shirts that had the “Logos” of Tourists locations like “The Empire State Building”, “South of the Boarder” and hundreds more locations, printed on them . At the time, “T” shirts were only worn as an undergarment, and sold for $0.49 each. All souvenirs at that time were items that represented the actual popular location, and usually were either figures or pictures of famous attractions of that location, and sold to people that visited a location to remind them of their visit. Without realizing it, we started a new industry by selling “T” shirts with printing on them using a silkscreen that had holes throughout them allowing colored ink to pass through them, but only at places that would create a picture on the “T” shirt of the picture that was on the screen. Since I now had friends that were buyers for the F. W. Woolworth Co., and it had Stores in many these same tourists locations, I was able to introduce to Woolworth’s these printed “T” shirt as cheap, colorful souvenirs. It naturally was very successful and put me in better with the company to now sell my plastic flowers in “all” their stores. Their profits were much greater because “T” shirts they normally sold were very cheap, but now, when sold as a souvenir, much more could be charged. After a while, other souvenir companies began doing the same thing, but Goldfarb had the advantage of buying very cheap “T” shirts with the contacts I had set up. However, at the time, we didn’t realize that selling “T” shirts as an everyday items had not been introduced. A large amusement company saw that beside offering “T” shirts as a souvenirs, they could offer them as bright shirts with colorful designs on them. They having the same screening facilities as souvenir companies, started offering them with LOGO’s from from different popular brands. however, now it presented a bigger problem, the companies owning the brands demanded it be stopped. So, again another industry began as the brand companies charging for the use of their brand. Some companies decided to make their own “T” shirt using their brand on them, and why stop there why not use other clothing to create another product. So, the “T” shirt idea that was for souvenirs, now became a design item for clothiers. In the meantime my business was growing and I started going in another direction to Hong Kong,Taiwan, Seoul, Korea, Bangkok Thailand, The Philippines setting up office for my company.
I began by going to Troy, Michigan, to sell the largest flower company in America called FTD and began making holiday accessory products for them. At Valentines Day their largest volume holiday, I designed and made in Hong Kong, “Heart Throbs”, and then at Christmas I came up with “SUGAR PLUMS”., picture below!
Heart Throbs were 16 wires, each with 3 hearts on each them, that were placed into a stem, pictured below, to be able to then be pushed by a florists into a vase, adding fresh flowers placed in between them.The hearts then stuck out around the flowers. This was put into a flower arrangement to sell at Valentines Day
My “Sugar Plums” had Five smaller sugarplums(not as shown in picture below) on a branch that was used in Christmas flower arrangements.
All of a sudden my reputation became known as a source of products, and when other retailers saw that I was supplying F,W,W, with products that they wanted as well, they too came to me for products. So before long I was selling Walmart’s, Montgomery Wards, J.C. Penney and later Home Depot, and then later others, with all my products being shipped from Asia.. So, I was on my way! Please don’t be mad at me for doing business in Asia, cause all the products I made didn’t exist in America. When in the 90’s I saw what was happening to products made here, I formed a Company called “MADE IN THE USA”, business card pictured below. another story will follow about “MADE IN USA”